Preferred Solutions - 30 Years
The story of Preferred Solutions – established in 1991
PREFERRED SOLUTIONS TIMELINE
Celebrating our stories over the past 30 years
Preferred Solutions has been around for 30 years. But where did this all come from? Well, where do all good stories start? At the beginning of course…
Life really has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. We’re talking about a time when an entire company’s data could fit on a 800 KB floppy disk, Pastel still worked on DOS and South Africa had just hosted and won their first Rugby World Cup.
I know you folks have mixed feelings about prequels. But I assure you, this will be good, trust me. It all starts round about the time when Preferred Solutions first came to the scene, with a twenty-something couple stepping out of a beat-up golden Jetta onto the fynbos flats of the Cape Peninsula.
Now, some of you might know Engen Petroleum, you know, the guys that supply a decent part of the fuel used in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yeah, that Engen. In 1997, Pastel Accounting was adapted by Preferred Solutions for the Engen Depots to manage their bulk diesel sales to many farming communities.
Ok, sometimes I forget that I’m a fair amount younger than some of my colleagues (don’t tell them I said so). It doesn’t come up very often but when your boss calls you into his office with a suggestion for the next chapter of the story you’ve been writing and he starts talking about MS-DOS and the changeover to Windows in the 90s, it becomes fairly apparent.
A first-person narrative: a mode of storytelling in which a storyteller recounts events from their own point of view. Generally not a very reliable point of view, as the protagonist can be biased to some degree, but it is relatable as the protagonist is wont to be. So let me take a leaf out of Gandalf’s book and invite you on an unexpected journey.
Here’s an interesting thought experiment. You know that the technological and societal demise of the human race is immanent. Your time in a “normal” world is limited before chaos and anarchy become the supreme governing factors of this new dark age. What do you do?
We’ve had loads of soft reboots in the last couple of years. Between Blade Runner 2049, Star Trek and even a little Halloween, there’s no shortage of fresh takes on existing intellectual property. And we’re getting to the point where I can regale you with the story of our own soft reboot in 2001. The early days behind us, the true adventures can begin.
Heroes are a staple of nearly every story ever written. Knights that slay dragons, warriors that battle great armies and the strong that defend the weak from certain doom. But not all heroes wear capes, don gleaming armour or sport lustrous golden hair that flows dramatically in the wind. Some are normal, everyday people that do their best to build, nurture and protect those around them. And this is where we start our adventure…with forty thieves.
Circles are pretty cool, if you haven’t noticed. People have been fans of circles for nearly as long as we’ve known what circles are. The original origins of the word circle is from Homeric Greek which we can pin to circa 8th century BCE but people have been messing with round stuff for much longer than that.
Now, the word Evolution has wider implications in the Pastel world. In 2003, the release of Pastel Evolution changed the playing field forever. The available products of the time, like Pastel Partner for example, were great accounting solutions. But Pastel Evolution was a business solution, providing a wider range of capabilities to manage your entire company, not just the money side of things.
So, I like globetrotting adventure movies as much as the next cinephile. Crowded cities, car chases, rappelling down skyscrapers and such, you know what I mean. Now, not a lot of people get to experience this in real life. But, as per, it happened to us. Gather around the fire people, time for a story.
In 2005, Preferred Solutions was invited to a Pastel event in Johannesburg. Now, these events were legion around that time, so it wasn’t weird for us to get an invite. But this one was different. The glamorous event commenced, food was eaten, drinks were had and the chit-chat went thick and fast. After a while, the bigwigs stood up and headed for the stage.