LRS Through the Years
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
by Mark Brudnak
2019 is an important milestone at LRS: the year that marks four decades in business. Back in 1979, three men — Dick Levi, Roger Ray, and Bob Shoup — came together to develop computer solutions for hire. Our company and the software industry haven’t been the same since.
One of our founders’ early projects was for a large manufacturer that needed help migrating their computing environment from a Honeywell mainframe to a state-of-the-art IBM 4381 system. Some might call this mainframe modernization, but not in today’s sense of moving MIPS from the mainframe to a UNIX, Linux, or Windows platform (in fact, two of these didn’t even exist at the time).
During the course of this mammoth effort, Dick Levi requested the customer’s permission to use some processing time on that new IBM machine to expand and “productize” a printing application he had written for another consulting client. Working after hours to avoid impacting the customer’s operations, he created the original version of what would become the first true print management software. The VPS solution was born.
The rest, as they say, is history.
By the mid-1990s, we had expanded beyond simple print management and pioneered the field of Enterprise Output Management, capturing and delivering documents securely from any application on any computing platform to any print or electronic destination across a variety of network types. Before our 15th anniversary, LRS software was a critical element of the IT infrastructure in most Fortune 1000 companies. This is still true today.
To meet the ever-growing needs of these global customers, we continue to enhance and expand our solution portfolio. Many of those customers that originally relied on our mainframe solution have ended up deploying other LRS software as well; often this involves workplace printing with secure pull print or one of our mobile printing solutions. Since 1997, we have also been helping customers use LRS solutions for SAP printing, where we impact the bottom line by making the print process more transparent and reliable.
Our solutions have been developed in-house to address specific customer needs or to capitalize on new market trends. But sometimes, we have chosen to invest in other companies that were already experts in areas complementary to our core output management solution. By doing so, we not only rapidly expand the capabilities of our solution set, but we add whole teams of developers and support staff with years of valuable expertise.
Through this combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, we have gone from a three-man team of consultants in 1979 to a worldwide organization of 900 men and women intensely focused on our customers’ success. In the words of our founder, Dick Levi, “LRS continues to build, grow, and repeat. Technology truly leads our growth and the advances we make in our technologies will lead our growth for years to come.”
Every LRS employee knows that without our valued customers, none of this growth would be possible. Some of those who work most directly with these customers are our systems engineering and sales staff. When asked to share his thoughts on LRS’ four-decade journey, Nigel Whitmore, a colleague in our UK office, said: “As a sales guy, I am part of a great family! A great family of products and a great family of coworkers. This allows me to sell with the greatest confidence possible. The products are simply awesome, and the support I get from LRS is second to none. Period.”
In the coming weeks, as we move toward LRS’s official 40th anniversary, we’ll be taking a closer look at some important milestones along our journey and the people who helped us achieve them.