Belfast Telegraph

The software company that has come from humble beginnings to make its 1,000th sale

By Staff Reporter

It's a long way from the Sinclair spectrum to a successful business selling paperless meeting software systems.

But managing director Geoff Higgins has taken exactly that path as his firm Team Solutionz celebrates its 1,000th sale.

He set up the company in 2003, and it has since grown significantly and now employs 12 full-time staff serving businesses ranging in size from 30 staff to 30,000.

Mr Higgins said: "I come from the generation of IT people who bought computer games magazines with games that had to be 'typed' into a Sinclair spectrum or Commodore 64. Eight hours of typing to get a few dots moving around a screen - character building stuff.

"The games sparked an interest in the hardware themselves and I found myself being the go to guy at uni when people needed help with computers.

"On graduating, I found my business degree wasn't in demand as much my ability to provide basic IT support. Through the Irish mafia 'Murphia' in Brussels I found a job working for the European Commission in an IT support role."

He found his way to London, then Australia, then back to London before coming home to Northern Ireland in 2003. "With the first of four babies (in five years) on the way, there was no better time to start a new business. I like a challenge," he said.

Team Solutionz started as an IT service consultancy firm with clients like Bombardier Shorts, Coca-Cola and Ulster Carpet Mills. However, it embraced changing technology and began developing its own web-based solutions.

It now specialises in the design and implementation of web-based management systems, and its flagship product MinutePad is now used across the UK and Ireland.

"The development of tablet computers was a real game-changer. We were able to supply a system that was easily portable but that could manage a huge amount of information," said Mr Higgins.

The firm reached its 1,000th user milestone when the Northern Ireland Science Park purchased the software for its board.

"Our aim was to design a paperless solution that transforms the way meetings are held, allowing organisations to make better decisions, to be more efficient and benefit the global environment," said Mr Higgins.

Clients include five of the newly formed NI councils, Belfast Metropolitan College, Southern Health Trust, Western Health Trust, RSM McClure Watters, the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Probation Board for NI.

MinutePad also has many clients in England and the Republic.

Mr Higgins added: "We will continue to develop innovative cloud-based products, especially for senior executives, while staying faithful to our vision to make Team Solutionz a world class software company."

Belfast Telegraph