Member of the Week - sfG Software
sfG Software was formed in 2009 by David Garvie and Robert Murray. Both had become frustrated by the lack of choice Highland businesses had in relation to their IT support needs. They saw an opportunity to ‘do things differently’ and to provide a level of service that hadn’t been previously available in the Highlands. They wanted to offer a “Giant” service but in the manner you’d expect from a “small and friendly” company. Hence the name: “sfG Software” – they are your “small, friendly Giant”. The “Giant” service includes things like formal out-of-hours cover, service levels backed by penalty fees, and money back if you don’t use as much of the service as expected.
sfG has grown steadily in the last 8 years and has still not lost a single customer through dissatisfaction with the service.
sfG Software have been growing steadily since they were established and now have 8 full-time technical employees – and they have just hired a new senior software developer who started last week. Additionally, sfG also have 3 part-time people for Finance, HR, etc.
We spoke to David Garvie, Managing Director of sfG, who has oversight of the running of the business. David said: “the two teams, IT support and Software Development, manage themselves on a day-to-day basis. I am very lucky to have such good teams, each with their own areas of responsibility and expertise.”
We asked David why sfG would like to feature as member of the week: “We look after the IT Support for a number of Chamber Members (including the Chamber themselves) and we are keen to make sure other members have the same opportunity to have a friendly and effective IT Support service.”
sfG Software are committed to a providing a ‘friendly’ and proactive approach. David said: “We put a lot of effort into giving advice and making suggestions, rather than just waiting for a problem to happen. We have a very close relationship with all our customers and if we see any potential problems or potential security breaches we will let them know. For example, recently we have been putting a lot of focus on advising customers on cyber security and encouraging people to review their security procedures. Often these are not IT issues, but rather user training, e.g. having passwords like “Password 123” is not great security, but we will help regardless.”
Although sfG’s ‘small’, ‘friendly’ and ‘Giant’ service doesn’t change, they are constantly renewing the advice they provide as IT is changing all the time. SfG can make suggestions as to how people can use their IT effectively, as well as doing all the basic stuff like reminding customers when their warranties expire, their UPS batteries need replacing, etc.
We asked David what their plans are over the coming year: “There is a lot of focus on the new GDPR data protection legislation coming into force in May and we expect to spend a lot of time advising our clients on how they can ensure they are keeping personal data secure.”
SfG were awarded a Gold Competency from Microsoft last year. To earn this award, partners must successfully complete technical exams and must submit positive customer references. Only the top 1% of Microsoft partners worldwide achieve Microsoft Gold competency and sfG are the only IT Support provider in the Highlands that has this level of recognition from Microsoft. David said: “It gives our customers the confidence that we do know what we’re talking about!”
David shared with us what sfG value most about membership with Inverness Chamber of Commerce: “Chamber membership gives us the opportunity to meet and talk to other Chamber members, and to learn what challenges they face. It’s amazing how often you discover very different businesses experiencing the same IT challenges, and if we can learn from one member we can provide a better service to other members. The Chamber team is also incredibly supportive of member businesses and will encourage profitable connections between member businesses.” David’s top-tip to maximise your membership would be: “Attend the networking events and make use of the help the Chamber team are happy to provide.”