Effectively using the Faroe Islands as a software development laboratory, Formula has turned its Totalview suite into an international 80,000-user business optimization platform to help SMEs operate smoothly and efficiently.
It took Faroese software developer Formula some time and a great deal of agility to get where they are today: their home country’s undisputed leader in their field while primarily serving an international client base. Working with the likes of Microsoft and Siemens (Unify) to develop its flagship product suite, Formula over the years has refined and extended what was essentially a communication and time management tool into the 80,000-user strong Totalview business optimization suite. The suite consists of four products that work as individual applications but even better together: Availability, Telephony & Switchboard, Time, and Human Resources.
Starting out back in 1986 — long before the invention of the Web, not to mention the era of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) — Formula was a local IT firm in Tórshavn with an IBM PC and Xerox copier dealership. While sweeping changes were taking place in information and communication technology already then, the company has managed to adapt and continually renew itself. After a decade of making good use of its special strength in software development and customization, Formula had been transformed into an internationally recognized software developer.
“We were early out with an advanced telephony and time keeping system,” said CEO Fróði Magnussen. “Remember this was back in the day before the Internet had become mainstream and by the mid 1990s we had developed the first versions of a user-friendly clocking and time recording software application alongside a Windows-based system that offered desktop control of switchboards and telephones. This caught the attention of many including a couple of very big companies who would use it as part of their offerings to SMEs [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][small and medium-sized enterprises]. Over the years these systems were gradually developed further in close liaison with our partners and clients, and organized into an integrated suite of four applications under the Totalview brand.”
According to Mr. Magnussen, the Faroese business environment has a unique characteristic that offers a competitive advantage in product development for SMEs.
“In the Faroes, it doesn’t necessarily make much difference whether you’re an executive, a mid-level manager or an office clerk,” he said. “Faroese organizations tend to be very flat, and the holistic approach to solving business problems is something you cannot escape in this environment.”
“Necessity is the mother of invention. Here is an extremely small, extremely industrious community which, at the same time, is somewhat geographically isolated. In this very special market, as a provider of IT solutions and services, you will frequently find yourself in situations that call for tweaks and customizations. That again makes for an excellent training ground for software development skills.”
Agile philosophy: As it turns out, SMEs in many countries have a hard time finding the right business optimization product for their particular needs. This is where Totalview comes in as a viable solution for many organizations of 20 to 500 employees.
“Totalview is a highly competitive package for business optimization, with a price tag that is very SME friendly,” Mr. Magnussen said.
What the product suite essentially promises is making business decisions more knowledge-driven and consistent with business objectives and goals. The applications work together to register and document, in real time, everything from staff activities to project and telephone activities, reporting at any time what each business hour is used for. Facts and statistical data are made available on sick days, meetings, and vacations; on the amounts and periods of time spent on projects; on inbound calls and outbound calls.
With the HR product, for example, Totalview provides insight and overview of personnel and the skills available within the organization, optimizing staff allocation and project planning. Sound management of this vital area is generally linked to raising employee satisfaction while lowering the costs of improving competitiveness.
“This is an effective way for businesses to know exactly, based on real-time facts, who is or was doing what, where, and when. Our clients save substantial amounts of time, effort and money inasmuch as they are able to manage projects and teams based on actual data, and make plans that work.”
According to Sales Director Rúni Brimvík, Formula envisions its growth to continue along the incremental and collaborative path that characterizes its agile philosophy.
“All our license sales go through distributors and established partners, including Microsoft, Unify [Siemens Enterprise Communications] and Broadworks partners,” Mr. Brimvík said. He added: “Already with 80,000 business users throughout Scandinavia and northern Europe, we believe Totalview has good potential for further market expansion.”