OneNet is a pioneer and a New Zealand market leader in cloud computing. OneNet was founded in 2000 and is the third successful entrepreneurial IT company that Paulette and Michael Snowden have founded since 1983.
Financial Systems Limited, established by the Snowdens’ in 1983, was an inaugural IBM Business Partner specialising in the marketing of IBM PCs to large New Zealand businesses and New Zealand affiliates of multinationals.
A team of Financial Systems’ software developers provided custom competitive advantage systems for its clients. From this core of intellectual property a new company, The Great Elk Company Limited, was spun out of Financial Systems Limited in 1992 to focus on what is now known as customer relationship management, or CRM. The target market was global multinationals. In 1999, The Great Elk Company launched one of the world’s first examples of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model in the U.S. market. This places the Snowdens as one of the earliest pioneers in the nascent field of cloud computing.
The Snowdens sold the company to a U.S. firm in 2000 and immediately founded OneNet Limited to address the emerging cloud computing market, with a more appropriate company name and a clear market focus.
OneNet absorbed the Financial Systems business and, building on the original core team, OneNet Limited has grown over the years to become well recognised as a New Zealand cloud computing innovator and market leader.
Financial Systems Limited
Financial Systems Limited, was an inaugural IBM Business Partner for personal computers, appointed in 1983. Financial Systems Limited provided systems integration and custom software development services, primarily to multinational clients operating in New Zealand and large New Zealand businesses.
Multinational clients included Ford, Johnson and Johnson and Johnson Wax, together with many large New Zealand businesses. Examples included Wattie Industries, Fletcher Challenge, Foodtown, LionNathan, and Alex Harvey Industries.
Financial Systems Limited employed a relatively large team of software developers who developed sophisticated competitive advantage software applications for its corporate clients in banking, including The National Bank of New Zealand, forestry, including Rayonier, manufacturing, including Bluebird Foods, distribution and professional services.
The Great Elk Company Limited
Established in 1992, The Great Elk Company was a global software company specialising in customer relationship management (CRM) software for multinationals.
The Great Elk Company was spun out of Financial Systems Limited to market intellectual property that had been developed while solving customer relationship challenges for its multinational client base.
The software was pioneering and represented a very early entrant into the CRM market, with a focus on the requirements of global organisations.
A number of multinationals adopted The Great Elk’s CRM solution across the globe in various country affiliates, including Eli Lilly, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline (as it is now known), 3M and Xerox in the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Australia and South-East Asia.
A Japanese language version was distributed within Japan by Canon. A Chinese character version was implemented by GlaxoSmithKline into mainland China in 1995. At one point, 3M adopted The Great Elk CRM solution for a global implementation.
The Great Elk Company Limited was sold by the Snowdens in 2000 to a U.S. company which has continued to prosper since then, along with the same core group of original software engineers and marketing staff.
The SaaS version of The Great Elk CRM product was offered as a monthly subscription, pay-as-you-go business model. This event was one of the earliest examples of the new business model of cloud computing.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model of software consumption is generally recognised as beginning in 2000, when Salesforce.com launched their CRM product in a SaaS format. The Great Elk Company entered the SaaS cloud computing market segment one year before that.