HMS Software, the company I run and founded turns 40 this year.  If you had asked me back in 1984 if I thought the company would be around 40 years hence I’d have laughed.  I was in my mid 20s at the time.  The idea of anything lasting 40 years was mind boggling but here we are.  My own start in the project management software industry is probably a year or so older but HMS Software was the start of something significant in my life and it took over my entire focus.

Starting with a partner at the time, we started a specialty in project management systems and quickly became the Canadian distributor of a high-end project scheduling tool based on the PC.  We caught the early wave.  PCs were not yet on every desk in every company and certainly not in every household so our expertise as it quickly grew was sought after by reasonably large companies.  Philips Information Systems was the first client (Philips would get out of that stream of business a few  years later.  Bell and Howell (remember their projectors?) were next.  Bell and Howell would be sold off in 2001.  We were a tiny firm with great expertise and we’ve never had a client our size.  We did business with large utilities and defense contractors.  I was once asked four times at the security desk of the Canadian Navy offices in Ottawa to repeat the name of my ship before I finally handed over a business card.

In 1994 my partner moved on to other endeavors and I decided to pivot HMS from a consulting/distribution company to a software publisher.  “We’ll do a timesheet”, I said. “That’ll be quick and easy for folks like us.”

That became TimeControl version 1 and TimeControl took over our lives.  It’s now at version 8.5 and there is a TimeControl for on-premise, TimeControl Industrial for on-premise, TimeControl Online subscriptions in the Cloud, TimeControl Industrial Online subscriptions in the Cloud and TimeControl Project in the Cloud.  Not to mention TimeControl Mobile on both Android and Apple devices.  It’s been quite a ride.

One of my international colleagues asked me this week if I was ready to hang up my hat and turn it in.  “Not at all, I replied.  “When else would I get a chance in my life to make the kind of impact we make?  We sell our product to people who put things into space and who cure disease and who safeguard countries.  We’re in use in the IT industry, the nuclear industry, the law enforcement community and in so many other places.  Our product is in use all over the world and while we may make up a tiny part of each user’s week, our impact is making a difference.  I’m not giving that up anytime soon if I can help it.”

So, thanks to everyone for the last 40 years of my career and let’s look forward to many years of the same in the future.

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