IN 1992 the UK was in the midst of recession. After 15 years in the computer industry in a number of senior technical and marketing roles, John Goodyear started his company, System Automation, with the help of his redundancy payment, a Government Enterprise allowance and advice from Blackwater Valley Enterprise.

In 2002 John and System Automation celebrate the first ten years and the business goes from strength to strength.

System Automation provides an all-round IT service, including consultancy, PC server and systems installation, networking, electronic mail, internet access and security software to those businesses which need to have — and keep — their systems up to the demands of today's fast-moving technological developments.

Customers without an in-house IT manager can obtain the services of one from System Automation without incurring employment costs, while for those customers with an IT manager in place, System Automation can provide additional expert support and back-up.

The customer base includes a major firm of solicitors, a stockbroking and investment management business, a leading PR consultancy, and the John Lewis Group.

Many of the customers have come as a result of John's personal contacts and recommendations from satisfied customers.

He says: "So many people have a horror story to tell about IT — the systems which don't do what they are supposed to do, the salesman who sells you the kit and disappears.

"We are there to provide whatever help the customer requires. We have seen many of our customers start in quite a small way with their IT systems and then develop them with our help and expertise into something very substantial. We are there for the long-term, not for a quick profit."

At the beginning of 2001 the company moved to Bentley. A further visit from a Blackwater Valley Enterprise adviser also helped John think about his next steps.

"It's tough going sometimes as a person running a small business and the most difficult part is making time to work on your business rather than in it," he says.

For further information contact him on 01420 526300 or e-mail