Darren Bridges, President
Well it’s time again to take a look back at the year that was and a look forward to the year that will be! 2008 was an eventful year to say the least for our banking industry as a whole. It wasn’t exactly the typical front page news that we’re used to, but by now we have all been through the assessments and are moving forward.
Despite all the industry related “less than positive” news, Safe Systems experienced strong financial growth for the year. We finished the year 10.3% ahead of total revenues for 2007. During 2008 we made substantial investments in new systems and software enabling us to provide our customers with a more robust and comprehensive Managed Service solution – NetComply. The launch and conversion of our customers to the NetComply model yielded an increase in total support revenues of 21%. Notwithstanding our significant investments in systems and severe economic pressures within the financial institution industry, Safe Systems achieved positive operating margin of 7.5%. The new support platform has also enabled us to bundle several critical services into one managed solution including Data Vaulting (Backup), Antivirus protection, and Remote Access. The grouping of these services creates a more simplified environment for you to manage and monitor the many aspects of technology required to perform your daily banking functions.
2009 has gotten off to a busy and positive start for us. In January we announced that Niki Neese would move into the role of VP of Account Management. While Niki will continue to manage her customer base, she has already begun the process of moving this department forward. She brings to the role many years of experience from her background as a successful Engineer and Account Manager. Speaking of familiar faces in new places, Mark Clemens has rejoined Safe Systems as an Account Manager. Mark did a great job with the Project Management group for many years and we are excited to leverage his skills as we make moves to add more of a technical consultive expertise to our Account Management program overall.
Also in January, Safe Systems began our own internal software development staff. This will enable us to continue to tailor our support services to the ever changing mandates dictated by regulatory requirements and industry best practices. The result of this addition will be a unique service offering combining our many years of providing solutions to the financial services industry with the latest innovative software toolset.
Additionally, Safe Systems has recently engaged top-tier accounting and audit firm, Porter Keadle Moore (PKM) to provide SAS 70 audit services for our NetComply offering. The intent of this engagement is to provide third-party validation that Safe Systems NetComply services are adequately designed and properly controlled, in order to sufficiently limit the business risks of our clients. The services for which we have engaged PKM include a SAS 70 pre-assessment and a SAS 70 Type I Examination. These services are anticipated to conclude by the end of June 2009.
Finally, we were recently presented with an honor that we would like to share with you. MSPMentor (www.mspmentor.net) is a media group that is focused on the worldwide Managed Service Provider community. They publish an annual list of the top 100 MSP’s worldwide based on several factors including annual managed services revenue, annual managed services revenue dollar growth, annual revenue managed services percentage growth, devices managed, and several other data points. The list was unveiled last week and Safe Systems ranked # 15! The list includes some very large companies across the industry and throughout the world and we are honored to be recognized for the inroads that we have made with our solution over the past year. Our team has worked very hard to build a solution that can be customized to meet the needs for a variety of networks infrastructures and internal I.T. staff scenarios.
Let me close by saying that we realize that there are many support options out there every day and we appreciate you choosing to partner with us. Safe Systems has been serving the community financial industry since 1993. We feel that our industry specific experience and tenure is primarily what sets us apart from the crowd. During this time we’ve seen big leaps in technologies and up and down economies. We know that no one knows better than our clients how comforting it is to see a familiar face during these times and we appreciate you allowing us to be that for you!