Steven Knutson and Peter Cummins lost their jobs on March 31 when the Christchurch-based DatasouthBusiness Solutions went into liquidation. Two days later, together with David Carter, from Datapro, the former members of the Datasouth software team formed Canterbury Business Solutions.
The new company will focus on .Net development, SQL servers, reporting services, data warehousing and consulting around solution design and architecture.
In a blog post published on April 2, Knutson wrote that the previous day had been the most exciting in his 21 years in the IT industry.
“It’s been an emotional week, really,” he said speaking to Reseller News. “What we’re doing is software ... initially for several clients that already had projects in progress or wanted to have support going forth with the same people,” he says.
Canterbury Business Solutions has also taken in other Datasouth employees as contractors. “We’ve managed to pick up enough work to get four people up and working. That says a lot about Canterbury at the moment. The response has been pretty good from our existing clients,” adds Knutson.
Aside from the normal challenges that come with starting a new company, the team also has the added difficulty of moving projects from a company like Datasouth, with a strong infrastructure side, to a small new stand-alone software company. Knutson says the company is “probably not going to take on infrastructure people but find partners. Our interest is really in software development in the enterprise space and that often requires a mixture of infrastructure. But the core strength of our team will be around SQL and .Net.”
His goal is to bring all of the six staff that made up the software team from Datasouth to the new company. The team has already found an office but is yet to move in. “We’re hoping to move in later this month.”
Knutson’s excitement about the new business is balanced by the saddeness of seeing the doors close at Datasouth where he worked for six years. “It was a sad ending and a very difficult time for everyone involved,” he says.
“I believe we had built a truly world class team delivering exceptional service. I am extremely proud of the work we did and in particular how we helped our clients in the two catastrophic earthquakes that hit Christchurch.”