Where did it all start?
Pat Graham, the Founder of Trivaeo has had one hell of a journey on what has ultimately been the pathway leading to the creation of Trivaeo as technology and as a business. Pat started out his technical career by spending 7 years in the United States Marine Corps in the specialist fields of
Electronics, Communications and Cryptographic Systems Maintenance. He followed this with another 7 years serving in the United States Diplomatic Service working with a focus on systems and telecommunications in support of US State Department activities and sites.
On joining the US State Department, Pat was initially assigned to the US Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia and found himself instantly placed in an evacuee status due to the Civil War. This resulted in a new assignment to the US Embassy in Bonn, Germany. At the time Germany and Europe were going through their own challenges following the the fall of the Berlin Wall and the associated subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union; events that created challenges and opportunities due to the US Government needing to setup missions quickly in the newly formed countries. Pat jumped at the challenges these new missions created and whilst new to the State Department, quickly established himself as a “go to technical guru” on just about every technology and was able to operate independently as a problem solver locally and at remote locations.
The opportunity to relocate to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) came up and Pat once again jumped at the chance. Arriving in Abidjan Pat had to re-establish himself as the technical guru which he did with the pizzazz and demeanour of an old hand. As such, he spent time travelling and supporting other embassies in West Africa, streamlining operations, writing programmes to automate and track call records and fixing virtually any system that needed power. In 1994, an opportunity came up to relocate to the newly established Embassy in Ljubljana. Without hesitation and up for a new challenge, Pat relocated to Slovenia where he became more and more embroiled in systems, the connections between and the processes they were designed to support and service. With the arrival of Pat’s son in 1997, craziness all over the world and the desire to have a more stable footing and wanting to embrace a focused commercial challenge, he and wife Jackie decided it was time to leave Government Service once and for all.
Upon leaving Government Service, Pat decided to focus on helping start ups establish their technology function and existing businesses re-engineer theirs to increase efficiency and business effectiveness as a business consultant. In other words, doing more with less cost in a quicker timeframe whilst increasing service levels. His years in systems development, administration and troubleshooting whilst bouncing from challenge to challenge gave Pat insights that exposed a consistent theme in nearly every engagement he and his consulting team embarked on. It was namely that there was always a lack of process, very little automation in process or procedures, and the constant use of reams of paper at every turn. Compound this with complex single-user spreadsheets, clipboards and enterprises running off 'best-intentions', human memories and their ability to push things through.
Sometimes these very businesses had spent small fortunes on mainstream vendor software platforms but they still didn't help much if at all and were often only partially realised and never completely implemented. No wonder businesses were struggling to keep costs down whilst offering high quality customer experiences. It was the same in the public and private sector, left, right and centre. Pat began to create a set of tools to help his Consultants become effective in their consulting practice from the very first day of their engagements in managing their own interactions, activities and priorities. Pat created an initial set of simple utilities and some failry complex applications, all linked inside a web based “extranet”. The purpose of these tools was to assist his team of consultants in dealing with process driven tasks across multiple projects, in multiple locations and to do so quickly, efficiently and effectively.
At this point the very businesses that Pat and the team were consulting for began asking questions about the software the consultants were using to increase their efficiency and ability to get lots done; quickly. These businesses had noticed what subsequently became the kernel and foundation of Trivaeo. Whilst created as a suite of tools to support a business consulting practice the end businesses themselves became very interested in what Pat had created and began asking if there was a way that they could use it.
Spurned on by the obvious enterprise interest in the tools Pat had written in 2008 to support his consulting business Pat took a step back to look at where business as a whole was going and realised that the market still had a huge technology gap, especially in the Small and Medium Business Sector. The software tools available in the market were way to costly for SMB’s, too complex and demanded huge overheads in terms of staff, equipment and skills; often taking 18 months or more to plan let alone deploy and realise any benefit from. Pat decided to have a further look into the Market and secured interviews with 50 of the UK’s FTSE 250 companies. The objective was to see where they were operating manually, using paper, no automation, etc. This proved very informative in that nearly every utility Pat and his team had developed to support the work of his consultants were needed in a much wider range of business, across all sectors and nearly every business division.
This proved to be the catalyst for the creation of Trivaeo (Tri = PEOPLE PROCESS AND TECHNOLOGY, VAEO = VIRTUAL APPLICATION FOR ENTERPRISE OPTIMISATION) and the Crossroads Business Management Platform. Initially taking an opportunistic approach by finding businesses with obvious challenges and delivering a web based capability to address that problem head on. Meanwhile in the background Pat was converting the toolset into full multi-tenant suite of unified products and applications. To speed up facilitating this business and technology conversion from concept into a viable commercial product, Pat setup a development office, hired his development team and progressed with the creation of the fully integrated platform. Pat continued to take on interim consulting engagements to help fund the platform build and get first hand knowledge and experience of daily business challenges at the coal face. Trivaeo as a Company and as a solution to address Business Applications for Enteprises was on its way, the seed was planted, the needs were clear and it was warmy embraced by a very receptive market across businesses of many shapes and sizes.
Today, the Crossroads framework remains as the core platform for Trivaeo. The concepts, architecture and model remain largely the same. The technology has matured with market trends and concepts like Software as a Service, Public and Private Cloud have gone well beyond early-adopter stage and Pat's early investment in the vision for integrated business applications proved to be true. Pat remains the Trivaeo technical guru and as with his early career, the business and technology problem solver and a day to day basis.