Specialist interoperability company, Systematic, has marked a quarter-century in providing Command, Control & Information Management solutions to defence forces throughout the world.

The company was founded by its current President and CEO Michael Holm, on 19 August 1985 – the very same year Microsoft launched Windows 1.0, and the time when US President Ronald Regan announced his Strategic Defense Initiative.

Systematic’s first major contract was to provide maintenance and future development of a command, control and information system for the Royal Danish Navy, known as FOD CCIS (Flag Officer Denmark Command Control and Information System). Since then, Systematic software developers have written many millions of lines of code and have developed hundreds of IT solutions for the defence, national security, healthcare and integration markets. Today the company’s situational awareness and military messaging software is used by more than 100,000 users in over 35 countries worldwide.

Key to the success of Systematic’s products is that they are built around core, open architecture systems, which can be tailored to meet individual customers’ interoperability requirements as necessary. This means that typically 75% of customers’ needs can be met using the company’s off-the-shelf products, leaving just 25% to be addressed with customisation.

Systematic’s first commercial product was IRIS, a suite of military messaging and standards management software, which unites different systems and different nations by using international military standards to exchange data.

The IRIS software framework became the de facto standard for military messaging after NATO accepted Germany’s proposal to use it for NATO’s Automatic Message Handling in the early 90’s.

Meanwhile, Systematic’s SitaWare suite of software has been developed to provide a core C2 capability, based on international standards, which can be extended through its open architecture. Now proven in both national and multinational operations, it is in service with over 20 countries, offering a flexible C2 solution that can be tailored to meet disparate interoperability requirements.

The flexibility offered by open architecture has even made it possible for the company to adapt its SitaWare C2 software for a civilian Danish freight company, Danske Fragtmænd, to track 40,000 shipments and 1,500 trucks each day. This customised logistics software is now gaining interest from military customers, and so the software has gone full-circle.

The advantage of Systematic’s COTS approach is a clear cost saving for customers: many hours have already been invested over the product’s lifetime, resulting in a highly stable product with significantly reduced development costs, which is easily delivered on time and within budget.

Speaking at the company’s 25th Anniversary celebrations at Systematic’s head office in Aarhus, Denmark, Michael Holm looked to the future, saying “The days when individual nations developed large, bespoke systems are over. With increasing pressure on today’s defence budgets, and the need for agile procurement, smarter solutions are needed to keep project costs in check. Systematic is well prepared for the future. We can provide ready-to-use solutions which work for the customer straight out of the box.”

From what was a one-man band in 1985, Systematic now employs around 450 people in Denmark, the UK, USA and Finland. It is the largest privately-owned software and systems company in Denmark, holds CMMI Level 5 Certification and has a turnover of EUR 47.4 million (US $60 million) in 2009.