M&I Systems, Co. - 30 years and counting
January 23, 2021
In the first 30 years, M&I went through quite a journey, always strategically focusing primarily on product development and employees’ development. This anniversary is an opportunity to look back on everything we have achieved during this time but also, to reflect on a few interesting facts and stories that will provide insights into the 90s IT world.
In that time, mainframe computers ruled the world, the companies had their own computer centers with tens, hundreds, and thousands of employees, who developed software solutions for their own needs, based on proprietary platforms, owned by the largest IT companies in the second half of the 20th century. The IT technology of the time was bulky, expensive, and with limited capabilities and performance. Of course, for everyone who worked with that technology - it was the best - because there was no other!
The first computer with an internal program was purchased in Yugoslavia in 1960, by the Federal Bureau of Statistics - IBM 705. This 10-ton computer had a central memory capacity of 40KB and its price was 1,460,000 dollars.
In the late '80s and early '90s technology development brought a significant decrease in the terms of computers’ size and price, and an increase in performance. Client/server platforms took over, characterized by lower prices and higher performance, ISV (Independent Software Vendor) application solutions, independent from the client/server platform and DBMS manufacturers, and intuitive GUI based on Windows and exceptional PC graphics.
During the '90s, another thing on a global level - today may be somewhat forgotten - led to a remarkable development of IT and a remarkable investment in IT - Y2K, also called the Year 2000 bug or Millennium Bug. Until the 1990s many computer programs, especially those written in the early days of computers, were designed to abbreviate four-digit years as two digits in order to save memory space. Millions of programs were written that way, the people who wrote them disappeared and the documentation was mostly always incomplete. These computers could recognize “98” as “1998” but would be unable to recognize “00” as “2000,” perhaps interpreting it to mean 1900. No one knew what would or could happen after midnight on January 1, 2000. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in IT to (successfully) overcome this problem.
The term ERP, today something that is a must for successful and prominent businesses, was first used by Gartner Group analysts in 1991 to describe an integrated information system with all the functionalities needed by a business entity. The key characteristic was that data is entered in only one place and that, when entered, is unchangeable. Until the rise of ERP, the term MRP (Material Resource Planning) was used. Also, in 1991, SAP, today one of our valued partners, launched the R / 3 client/server ERP solution.
Our market has always been tech-savvy, aware of global trends, and aware of our own desires and capabilities. Our clients, in that period, also recognized this. The founder of M&I Systems, Co., Nedjo Balaban, recognized on time the changes on the global market, saw the opportunity and potential of those changes, and founded a company that will base its development on new and innovative technologies. It was his ideas and vision that marked the first 30 years of M&I. Apart from his professional interests, which included human resource management, performance management, and business intelligence, through his University teaching career, he educated over 12,000 young people, today successful professionals, many of whom have worked or are still working at M&I.
A lot has changed, especially in the world of technology and business, in these 30 years. Keeping up with the world trends, innovation, diversified portfolio of products and services, quality, and consistency in their implementation, has enabled M&I to be where it is today.
Data generated every day is growing exponentially, the market and requirements are becoming more dynamic, there are always demands for more efficient and innovative business processes or human resources optimization. By following modern market concepts and trends that include machine learning, artificial intelligence, intelligent analytics, and process automation, as well as its own mission, vision, and business strategy, M&I offers business transformation to companies, thus constantly creating new opportunities for improvement, innovation, and growth. In the past 30 years, more than 400 companies and other organizations have recognized and chosen our company as a reliable partner that can support their growth and development through long-term cooperation.
Having grown to a 250+ team, M&I’s success has been built on trust, pride, professionalism, competence, passion, and commitment. Our employees are the most valuable resource of our company. They work every day on making our portfolio better and more innovative, enabling all of our clients to transform their business, and became market leaders.
Our projects, references, list of partners and companies that have joined M&I Systems, Co. since the year 1991, indicate that our values are recognized by European and world markets, which puts our company directly in the center of the business and technological revolution today. These facts enable and encourage our team to constantly stretch way beyond the comfort zone, which makes us very happy and excited about everything that the future will bring to us.