This year, M&I Systems, Co. celebrates 30 years of business – 30 years of innovation, learning, and success. The company was founded on January 23, 1991, as Management & Information Systems Company. Today, after three decades of business, it is considered a regional leader in the world of business software and digital transformation in various business processes and industrial branches.
In the past 30 years of business, M&I has gone through a significant development path, always focusing on developing products and knowledge of our employees as a strategic goal. This jubilee is an opportunity to look back on everything we have achieved but also remember a few interesting things that will describe what the IT world looked like in the period when our company was founded.
In the period when our company was founded, the world was ruled by mainframe computers, 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, which were the property of the largest IT companies of the second half of the 20th century. The IT technology of that era was bulky, expensive, and limited in capabilities and performance. Of course, for all those 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 – it weighed 10 tons, had a central memory capacity of 40KB, and cost 1,460,000 dollars.
The development of technology in the late 80s and early 90s brought multiple reductions in computer dimensions, multiple reductions in price, and multiple increases in performance. Primacy is taken over by client/server platforms, which are characterized by much lower prices and high performance, ISV (Independent Software Vendor) application solutions, independent of client/server platform manufacturers and DBMS manufacturers, and intuitive GUI based on Windows and exceptional PC graphics.
During the 90s, another thing on a global level, which is somewhat forgotten today, led to an extraordinary development of IT and an extraordinary investment in IT – Y2K or the “millennium bug”. For decades, due to limited capacity and performance, applications were developed according to a standard that showed the year with only the last two digits. Millions of programs were written that way, people who wrote them disappeared, and documentation was mostly and always incomplete and problematic. No one expected that a bunch of programs would “spin” for decades and no one knew what would happen to all those applications a minute after midnight on January 1, 2000, when “00” would mean both “1900” and “2000”. Hundreds of billions of dollars were invested in IT to (successfully) overcome this problem.
The term “ERP”, today something without which modern and successful business is unimaginable, was first used by analysts of the Gartner Group in 1991 and denoted an integral information system with all the functionalities required by a business entity, the key characteristics that any data enter only in one place and that, once entered, they are unchangeable. Until then, the term MRP (Material Resource Planning) was in circulation. In 1991, SAP, today one of our valued partners, launched the R/3 client/server ERP solution.
Our market has always been extremely IT-educated, and aware of global IT trends, own wishes, and possibilities. Our clients, in that period, also recognized new trends. Prof. Neđo Balaban, Ph.D., the founder of M&I Systems, Co., recognized the coming changes in time, saw the potential of those changes, and started a company that will base its development on new innovative technologies. Prof. Balaban – his ideas and vision – marked the first 30 years of M&I. In addition to his professional interests, which included human resource management, performance management, and business intelligence, through his teaching career he educated over 12,000 young people, today successful professionals, many of whom worked, or still work, at M&I.
A lot, especially in the world of technology and business, has changed revolutionary in these 30 years. Following world trends, innovation, a diversified portfolio of products and services, quality, and consistency in their implementation, enabled M&I to become a regional leader.
The amount of generated data is growing exponentially, the market, as well as the requirements, are increasingly dynamic, and the conditions for more efficient and innovative optimization of business processes, and human resources, are being set more and more often. Following modern concepts and market trends, which include machine learning, artificial intelligence, intelligent analytics, and process automation, and leading and supporting companies in developing new business models, optimization, and implementation of more efficient business processes, M&I enables companies to transform their business, thereby constantly creating new opportunities for improvement, innovation, and growth. In these 30 years, over 400 companies and other organizations have recognized and chosen M&I as a reliable partner that can support their growth and development through long-term cooperation.
Employees at M&I Systems, Co. Group, now over 250, are the company’s most valuable resource, daily working on developing and implementing innovative solutions. Our projects, references, and the list of partners and companies that have joined M&I Systems, Co. Group since its foundation, indicate that, in addition to the regional market, these values have been recognized by the European and the global market, which enables M&I to be at the center of the business and technological revolution today. These facts enable and encourage us to constantly step outside our comfort zone, which makes us happy and excited about everything the (technological) future brings.