Darren Bridges, President
It’ the time of year where we take a moment to pause and review the past year’s achievements and look forward to the potential of the new year. From Safe Systems’ perspective, we have cause for enthusiasm in both directions!
Safe Systems experienced strong sales, revenue, and operating profit growth again in 2007. We finished the year with total sales of 13.7 million – 10.4% ahead of 2006. These strong sales yielded operating revenues (after deferral of service contracts) of $5.2 million which is a 15% increase over fiscal year 2006 revenue. Our strong revenue growth was fueled by the continued demand for our support contract services and a solid year for network installation services, especially from our DeNovo customers. Our sales and revenue performance enabled us to achieve double digit operating profit before taxes. Additionally, in September, we were voted one of Inc. magazine’s top 5000 privately owned companies for our growth and progress in the past five years.
As for the 2008 forecast, our management team has been working hard on that since the middle of last year. Our plan for the year involves great improvements in our base support models, designed to be customized to fit the support needs of the variety of financial institutions we serve. As many of you know, we offered our NetGUARD service as an add-on to our model last year, allowing for a more proactive analysis in the management of your network. For those of you who are not familiar with NetGUARD, it is a software agent that allows us to constantly monitor the health of your network. This approach often provides foresight that allows us to diagnose and resolve issues before they become disasters. In the coming year, we will closely integrate our support services with this technology and leverage it to provide a variety of assistance levels unparalleled in our market. Your Account Manager will discuss the new support options as we work through your agreement renewals in the coming months.
You will also see some changes to our Support Center as we work to integrate a tier 1 support level into the daily operation. The idea behind adding a front-end, layered approach to our Call Center is to provide a more efficient process and faster issue resolution. Ultimately, you will find yourself getting to our voicemail system less frequently. Also, with the front-end assessment group, your call can be evaluated and routed to the proper team for a more efficient prioritization of issue resolution. As always, we will continue working closely with each of your Core Providers to ensure that Safe Systems maintains a strong knowledge base of their core products including planned upgrade paths for new versions of these products in the coming year.
We have also been focusing attention on our strategic partnerships in 2008 in an effort to provide our client base with a complete offering from a technology and business perspective. Among these new partnerships is CyberVault, our associate in Business Continuity Planning and Network Disaster Recovery Testing. We realize that this is an issue of high visibility from a regulatory perspective. This alliance will combine years of experience from CyberVault in designing Business Continuity Plans with our years of experience in network design and support down to the bank’s core applications to give you a fully functional and complete Plan. We have also partnered with Agility Recovery Solutions to allow for recovery with connectivity, office space, technology, and power. These solutions will address both best business practices and meet the increasing examiner expectations for business continuity.
For several years now, phone systems have been evolving into more of a merged environment with the network. We feel that this progression has stabilized and will soon be incorporating voice system installation services into our offerings via our partnership with Utilicomm Solutions. Utilicomm can provide telephony solutions ranging from basic digital to fully functional VOIP systems that integrate with Microsoft Exchange, providing access to voicemail and fax services from the desktop. Utilicomm will provide Safe Systems with the capability to easily quote various forms of Internet access and a variety of circuits for WAN communications. It also allows us to utilize Utilicomm’s expertise with phone systems to better react to potential support issues. You will hear more about this service in the coming weeks as well.
Safe Systems has also experienced growth in the past few weeks in our Sales and Account Management Departments. We are pleased to announce that Toni Sibert has moved into the Account Management group. Toni has always had a knack for quality customer service in her role as an Engineer over the past two years, and we look forward to her contributions as she moves into this new position. We are also pleased to welcome Michael Walker back into the company as a District Sales Manager. Many of you will remember Michael who worked as an Engineer for Safe Systems from 2003-2005. He was recruited back from a successful sales position with NCR, and we are thrilled to have him back in the family.
In the midst of all the changes and improvements, the one thing that has remained constant over time is the reason for our existence as a successful organization and that is our client base of community bankers. We appreciate the confidence that you place in us by choosing to partner with us as your trusted technology advisor. If there is anything we can do to enhance our role as such, please do not hesitate to call.