Darren Bridges, President
It has been a busy and productive first half of 2009 for Safe Systems. Our clients’ continued positive responses with NetComply, our managed support service, can be clearly observed by our high retention rates, our many service level upgrades, as well as our multi-year contract agreements. Personally, it’s been a great pleasure to see our initial vision for how we could bring efficiencies to our partners through the utilization of this technology come to fruition. The automation of much of the new Core software upgrades has been a great example of time savings in this respect. We have also seen an increase in the number of installation projects within the past couple of months as we all begin to move forward through these difficult times. Our customer satisfaction rate is now at an all time high and we thank you for taking the time to contact us with positive comments about the great experiences you’ve had with the individual members of our team.
There is also good news to share from our financial perspective. Our revenue for the first six months of the year is up 6% from the same period last year. Additionally, our operating profit is well ahead of pace. In spite of the fact that we have had fewer Denovo’s or branch expansions in our partner base during this period, we have added several new services within the past year, which have had a strong positive response from our client base. These new services have helped us to better serve you while providing revenue to enable us to grow financially stronger.
So how do we decide on which services to add to our roster? There are a couple of ways we do this: first, by examining the data that we gather daily in our support center. For example, one of the most painful aspects of network maintenance we have noted in the past has been network backups. The issues inherent in network tape backup systems have been consistent pain points for our clients for many years. Our research team assembled a vaulting solution that largely removed that daily burden and risk of tape backup systems from the client. Similarly, we created our hosted email service (SafeSysMail) as a way to relieve our clients of that maintenance burden of in-house server based email solutions.
The second method of determining our clients’ needs is through direct interaction via user group meetings. Many of you participated in our regional user group meetings last year and early this year. The feedback we received from those meetings helped us to refill the roadmap, and we are already working through many of the suggestions that you provided us during those discussions. As I am sure you have already heard, in 2010 we will be hosting our first National User Group Meeting at Callaway Gardens on March 22 – 24. We are currently finalizing the agenda and have secured Joe Brannen, President of the Georgia Bankers Association and Danny Johnston, Group President of the Profit Stars Division of Jack Henry & Associates (and our Board Chairman) as guest speakers. In addition, we are planning to have many other Safe Systems key team members and partners who will provide you with technical and business educational sessions to offer strategic tips to assist you in the continual growth of your business. It will also be a great opportunity to interact with your peers and meet several members of our team as we look to you to help determine our future directives. We hope to have you be a part of the inaugural version of what will be an annual event for Safe Systems.
We are excited about a few internal additions and changes that we have made in the first half of 2009 as well. I’m pleased to announce that Tom Hinkel has been promoted to the position of Director of Regulatory Compliance. For several years, Tom has served as Account Manager for the Carolinas. However, he quickly became known around the office and to our clients as the “go-to” guy for all things compliance. You may have met Tom at one of the BCP seminars or compliance related classes or webinars, but if not, it is our goal that you will have the opportunity of meeting him in the upcoming months. Tom will work closely with Jackie Marshal and the Gladiator Regulatory Compliance Department to ensure that all things we do for our clients and partners begin with a core focus in Regulatory Compliance.
Salina Wuttke joined our team as Marketing / Communications Director earlier this year. Salina and Stephanie Foerst have done a great job in giving Safe Systems the”extreme home makeover” from a marketing perspective. Evidence of their great work is obvious in every visible aspect of Safe Systems. If you have not had a chance to view our new website, head on over to www.safesystems.com and let us know what you think. The site has been redesigned from the ground up with great content and information.
Finally, if you missed our press release last month, Safe Systems has completed the acquisition of Total Data Services’ Network Support Division. As many of you know, Total Data Services has been a close ally and an extended member of the Safe Systems’ family for many years. We are pleased to welcome the Total clients and support employees to Safe Systems.
As always, we thank you for your trust and confidence. I’d love to hear from you with any feedback or ideas for ways that we could better serve you. We are excited about the future and appreciate you being such a large and crucial part of it.