Business can be a jumble of technology and management issues. Arbutus Software can help companies untangle.
There’s no question that business can be a thorny tangle of technology and management issues. Bothell-based Arbutus Software can help companies untangle and streamline their processes. Founder Wayne Bishop chats about tools, technologies, and the technical community.
How did Arbutus get started?
I have been working in the software development industry in the Seattle area for about 10 years. I developed a reputation for producing quality work and being easy to work with. I started getting requests to do development projects on the side and eventually decided to start my own development company, so Arbutus was founded in January 2003. Today we provide custom software development and consulting to businesses and government organizations.
What got you personally interested in doing this work?
Back in college, I learned about HTML and Web pages through a work study program. I returned to class excited by the new technology and ended up volunteering to make Web pages for the faculty of my college. I added a technology focus to my business-focused education, and began working in technology after graduation.
Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?
Choosing the right technologies or services to meet business needs is challenging. At Arbutus we work with many companies to match business priorities using an array of tools and technologies. This allows clients to stay focused on business objectives while Arbutus focuses on the tools and technologies to complete projects on time and on budget.
What makes Arbutus unique?
Arbutus enables companies to outsource their software development projects or their technological research to a company that specializes in such things. But Arbutus provides Seattle-area businesses and organizations our in-person attention. We know businesses like to meet face-to-face to really feel comfortable with consulting services.
What kind of challenges does your company still face?
Our biggest challenge is communicating our services to those organizations who need it most. Many companies are faced with designing thier business processes around technology, instead of having technology working for them. By empowering customers with timely information and services, we can enable them accomplish their daily tasks on time and on budget.
What type of technology directions do you see in the coming year?
We are excited about the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio .NET 2005. Businesses will ask themselves whether they should upgrade their SQL Server installations, what the benefits are, and how they should go about upgrading. As a Microsoft Partner, we will be there to guide clients through those choices.
We are also excited about the continuing growth of Linux and other open-source software solutions such as Mono, Gnome, OpenOffice and Samba. Linux is becoming a viable low cost solution for businesses every day and we expect adoption to increase in the coming year. At Arbutus, we install and use open-source software in order to evaluate its interoperability with Windows, ease of use, and other questions our clients have. We are also considering starting our own open-source project in the area of content management or customer relationship management.
What do you like best about what you do?
Technology consulting and software development are very rewarding for me personally. When a project is completed, it’s great to see users benefiting from a new solution we’ve built or an package we recommended.
Arbutus also requires me to stay on top of the latest technological trends. Our team attends numerous user group meetings and seminars which allows us to stay in touch with the technical community. As a result, it provides us with a better understanding of business challenges companies are facing.
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