Have you ever played poker? If your answer is “yes”, you should recall the feeling when you sat to play for the first time. Most likely it was like that: you didn’t know combinations and conventions (and everyone around asked about some blind and gave advice to go all in), you didn’t understand the rules of the game and at the end you folded again and again. Even if the high card or pair of nines is all that you have, you have a chance to win, just because a book with all conventions in your pocket. And you start to raise a bet. Timidly.
This is how we started developing ICS CUBE. There were five young students and graduates, and they were talented IT-specialists. Together, they began to create ICS CUBE - solution for traffic monitoring and accounting.
In 2003 Internet connection was necessary for every company but the price for traffic was high and everyone wanted to save money. That’s why such a program was in such demand. There was a great opportunity to start the game and we understood it. But we didn’t know the rules of the game. Where could we find customers? How should we inform everyone about our program which would help to save a lot of money?
Ambition did their job: through trials and errors we became a part of the IT-industry of our city. Developers were going to customers and helped to install and activate ICS CUBE on premises. Thereby we started to have B2C communications, received feedback and future ideas. I think during this period we had realized the relevance of our program and there came a desire to “raise the bet”.
FROM THE BEGINNER TO REGULAR / FROM FISH TO SHARK
Over time our team grew and we improved ICS CUBE functionality. Back to poker terms it was a period when we held in hands a set or two pairs. Sometimes we were lucky and we won straight. At other times we made checks or passed, and it was important.
You know the feeling, when you are watching the player and have an understanding of whether he has good or bad cards or is just bluffing?. Do you remember this feeling? This is how we watched our customers. We constantly communicated with system administrators and company CIO and CTO seniors. It helped us to create most wanted functions such as access control, internet security and many network services.
10 years have passed. There were thousands of customers, dozens of functions in ICS CUBE and a small team of talented guys who were enjoying their work. We clearly understood what we wanted and where our direction was, and sometimes we played it “all in”. I admit it was not in vain. Content filtering was added to ICS CUBE in 2011 and it still is the most popular service for clients in the education domain. All these factors were permitting our company to progress.
BAD BEATS IN PAST
Sometimes the bet didn’t work. We had failed updates or made “crude” releases or some client’s ICS CUBE simply didn’t work with specific hardware. I suppose every vendor can be in a situation like this. Some bugs were fixed rapidly, others took some time to be fixed.
Again and again we learned from mistakes. At the least we do not repeat the same mistakes. As the most we started to concentrate on details and managed to find a personal approach to each client. Now when our team has grown and we are proudly serving over 10 000 clients from Russia and neighbouring countries we are still treating our customers personally. That’s the reason why ICS CUBE is the most affordable solution for state-financed organizations and most popular multifunctional solution for traffic monitoring and network protection for small and medium business in Russia.
NUTS FOR NOW
The office is now full of people working hard and enjoying it. I look at this like at another one poker hand. Someone wins, someone loses, someone gains a stack. Herewith everyone improving their own skills and starting to play refined games as a team. I need only to supervise and coordinate when the professionals are in the game. Good cards are coming more often: many satisfied clients who recommend ICS CUBE to others. It means that we are on the right way and I’m glad about this.
ROYAL FLUSH IN FUTURE
Royal flush (and all that you were reading right now) isn't a story about money, this is a story about experience, progress and success. 17 years is a significant time. But I hope this is just the beginning. There are many possibilities in future like new software releases and new clients around the world. Everyone in our company is taking pleasure in their job and loves the product we create. This is the secret of success.