Scopic: A Founder’s Journey

by | April 18, 2017

For those of you who don’t know, Scopic is a software solutions firm based in the United States, offering custom solutions in web, mobile, and desktop development.

Scopic currently employs over 200 people, in 30 different countries.
The company is 100 percent virtual, meaning there is no home office, and no barriers due to location- all employees work remotely.

How did Scopic get started?

It all began in 2006, with a man and his plan. That man was Tim Burr. Tim was no stranger to the tech industry. He spent the 20+ years of his life leading up to 2006 in the software industry. He worked with companies both large and small, including IBM, Teradyne, Adaptive Media, and Mok3.
Through his work he contributed to over 30 commercial software product releases. After working in software on both coasts of the United States, Tim decided it was time for a change.
He wanted to take off on his own.

So, then what happened?

He decided to create Scopic. The company began small to say the least, in fact, Tim was the sole employee. After a successful year of going at it alone, Tim decided to expand to 5 employees in as many countries.
By 2010, Scopic had grown to 10 times its size, now with 50 employees globally.
The number of employees doubled by 2012, 6 years after its humble beginnings, Scopic employed 100 people.
In August of 2013, Scopic hit an impressive landmark. They completed 100 successful projects, with a slew of happy customers and 5-star reviews on Guru. Things were only continuing to look up for Scopic.
In 2014, Scopic had over 100 projects in active development for clients in over half the world’s continents. However, being a successful virtual company is not all growth and success.
In 2012, Scopic began to experience some growing pains.

Ouch, what kind of growing pains?

For the first 8 years Scopic Software had little or no management or administrative employees. The organization was mostly programmers and IT professionals.
Tim explains: “the company was very ‘lean and mean’, but it was not scalable.”
So, he decided to invest in the creation of diverse tools both internally and externally, and gradually employ a full management team.
Some of the most important functions covered by the internal tools are related to accounting, time logging and approval, performance reviews, and general data input. Instead of having Tim in charge of managing every vertical, Scopic decided to employ managers for Operations, Finance, Sales, Marketing and HR.
The need for Operations grew exponentially in early 2010. As the demand for projects continued to increase, so did the number of new employees. As a result, certain procedures and processes needed to be put in place, and executive decisions needed to be made.
Even with new vertical managers, Tim remained very involved in all departments. Over time, teams became more independent, however, even today, Tim remains an active participant in project activities.

New infrastructure & new offerings

In software services, if you’re not constantly updating your technological offerings, you will fall by the wayside.
In 2007-2008, Scopic moved into mobile software services, and made changes in web development by transitioning from one main language (PHP) to the many they work with now (PHP, Java, Javascript, Python, ASP.net, RoR).  The company has also worked hard to expand their domain knowledge in certain niche areas – e.g., Dental/Orthodontics, Finance/Trading, Manufacturing and Health/Fitness.  Competition is fierce, and offering high-value, non-commodity services is key.
Although Quality Assurance was present from the very start, Technical QA became an integral part of the Scopic team around 2012-2013. By 2015, Scopic had 5 technical QA team members with skills in Selenium, Robot Framework, and Junit.

So, now what?

Tim explains, “a virtual company is not defined by bricks and mortar, but by flesh and blood.”
As Scopic continues to grow and change, the employees continue to create beautiful work, and the clients continue to be pleased.
Plans for the future? Tim says, “investment pays off in the longer term and benefits those that are focused but patient”.
However, in the ever-changing, fast paced environment of the virtual IT world, patience is not always a constant.
With Scopic, Tim learned long ago that planning, counting, and processing are essential. But, in this industry, you have to be flexible to change, even if you don’t see it coming.
Scopic began as a 5 employee, on-site company, and quickly adjusted to the market becoming a 200-employee virtual company. How did it make the change? Some trial and error, but mostly, great teamwork and planning.
Tim aims to keep his eye on the future and expand the Scopic Software business from all perspectives, without sacrificing quality for quantity.
Scopic has laid the groundwork for a successful company, which strives to be around for decades to come. Stay tuned for more insight soon on our blog!

Cara Chatellier

Marketing Specialist, Scopic Software

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