The basis of Open Box has always been about win-win relationships. One of the finest examples of this is how we started. A global real estate company was in a tight spot with a system upgrade in London and their vendor running the upgrade had run out of ideas on how to move forward. Our founder, Malcolm Hall, who had been acting in an informal trusted advisor role, responded to their urgent call for help and, after a number of long days and nights living in their server room, managed to get everything working again. This lead to a more formal trusted advisor role for Malcolm as they restructured their accounting processes in the UK and EU. When the opportunity came up to build a system for a property in Germany their IT Manager repaid this assistance by taking a risk and getting us, an unproven start-up, to build it. Cue a mad scramble for Malcolm (in London) and his co-founders, Richard Hartely and Andrew Preston (in Cape Town). Following this success, the client’s newly promoted CIO went even further out on a limb to award Open Box the contract to build a very high profile system. We’re proud to say that this company, Tishman Speyer, is still one of our on-going clients (as is the CIO who is now at another company), over 20 years and countless projects later.
Open Box turned 20!
With so many continuing to be affected by Covid lockdowns we continued to focus our efforts on grassroots assistance with food packages.
Trivia: Open Box was recognized by MRI as only one of four global Gold Partners
|Projects completed during the year||192|
|Total projects completed||1657|
Along with the rest of the world, Covid in this year provided a number of new challenges to Open Box. It also showcased many of our strengths, including the fact that delivering for our clients in a remote fashion was something that wasn’t new to us - we’d been doing it successfully for 19 years. It also highlighted the strength of our culture and our adaptability to constantly find a better way no matter what the circumstances.
This year was about the smaller things that could make the difference in our communities – food packages for those that had lost their livelihoods due to lockdowns and contributing to basic shelter for those that had lost their homes to some terrible fires in informal settlements in the greater Cape Town area.
Brendan Canny, who was appointed our CEO in this year, started with Open Box as a graduate, continuing a proud tradition of many of our senior leaders and personnel joining us at the start of their careers.
|Projects completed during the year||153|
|Total projects completed||1465|
2019, marked the introduction of the Open Box Academy. A 6-month graduate training program geared at developing the practical knowledge and skills of South African IT graduates. The Academy is held within our offices and the students are exposed to real project delivery by shadowing client teams or delivering prototypes. Stand-outs from the program are offered a permanent position at Open Box. Read more about it here.
In honor of Nelson Mandela, Open Boxers pledged 67 minutes to put together care packages for our local night shelter. These included basic hygiene essentials and food and were very well received by the community.
As the Open Box automation team continues to advance the adoption of automation in commercial real estate, we were acknowledged for our work for an automation project with Cushman & Wakefield as winners of the Productivity Category at the EG Tech Awards.
|Projects completed during the year||112|
|Total projects completed||1312|
2018 was a busy year for our Automation Team as we took one step closer to dominating automation in CRE by delivering over 30 automation to some of the leading real estate organizations across the globe.
The Open Box staff opened their hearts and pledged 74 boxes to the Santa Shoe Box Foundation.
Open Box won not one, but TWO Real Estate Marketing Awards (REMAS) for Best Overall Real Estate Company Content Marketing Plan and Best New Product Content Marketing Launch.
|Projects completed during the year||105|
|Total projects completed||1201|
We introduced the newest member to the Open Box team, our Automation Engine, Rob Sparke.
We dedicated 67 minutes in aid of Nelson Mandela Day to make over 300 sandwiches for the local Haven Night Shelter.
Open Box became the first certified partner in the MRI Software Partner Certification Program.
|Projects completed during the year||87|
|Total projects completed||1096|
We started the year off with a bang by having one of the applications we delivered to JLL being awarded the JLL Platinum Da Vinci Award for innovation and cost savings.
In 2016, we renew our commitment to transforming local sport by once again partnering with the Race Ahead Foundation. We also remain one of the key sponsors of Code4CT – a Cape Town based initiative aimed at introducing young girls from disadvantaged communities to the career prospects of the technology sector.
This year we introduced Kitten Therapy to relieve stress!
|Projects completed during the year||83|
|Total projects completed||1009|
We formalise our partnership with MRI Software, launch our 24/7 helpdesk and are selected as a Top 10 Finalist for the PWC Vision to Reality Awards.
We hold our first charity auction, where proceeds are donated to Learn to Earn – a Cape-based organization focused on empowering previously disadvantaged individuals with scarce skills.
|Projects completed during the year||76|
|Total projects completed||926|
An Open Box team wins the Africa regional finals of the first ever International Software Testing World Cup, and Open Box is voted the Healthiest Company in South Africa (Discovery Healthy Index, Small Company Category).
We donate 60 boxes to the Santa Shoe Box project; collect 465 blankets for our annual Blanket Drive; and cycle 1,492 kilometres for Youth with Diabetes during the 2014 Tour de Office.
In addition to Healthiest Company, Open Box also wins Most Smoke-Free Company and is a runner-up in the Most Active Employees in South Africa category.
|Projects completed during the year||123|
|Total projects completed||850|
The first year we complete over 100 projects.
‘Tour de Office’ expands to include another Cape Town company, Quirk. Competitive juices flow to produce records in distance, as well as funds and awareness raised.
33 Open Boxers enter and complete the Totalsports Challenge – a multi-sport event comprising a 50km road cycle, 14km road run, 25km mountain bike and a 9km beach run.
|Projects completed during the year||128|
|Total projects completed||727|
Open Box celebrates 10 years in Cape Town.
We launch ‘Tour de Office’ – a week-long challenge to keep a stationary bike moving during the last week of the Tour de France – in aid of Youth with Diabetes.
Our in-office gym opens, run by ‘Coach’ our Biokineticist.
|Projects completed during the year||93|
|Total projects completed||599|
We open our new kitchen and chill-out space, complete with its own golf driving range to complement the pool table and other toys.
The Dance for Peace program’s tally is 305 trophies and 446 diplomas at provincial and national championships.
In this year, we deliver to our first Real Estate client on the African continent with a project for Old Mutual Property. We have now delivered projects to every continent… and we take dress up day very seriously.
|Projects completed during the year||92|
|Total projects completed||506|
Open Box is named fourth fastest growing company in South Africa, and our founder, Malcolm Hall, is a finalist for South African Entrepreneur of the Year. We deliver our 50th custom application – a mobile solution for Top of the Rock – to Tishman Speyer.
In our 67 minutes of service on Mandela Day, Open Box builds, populates, deploys and trains users on a full CMS site for Valley Development Projects (a grass-roots education initiative, which we have supported for many years).
Spain wins the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup hosted in South Africa. South Africa introduces the world to the vuvuzela – a plastic stadium horn that becomes the signature sound of the event.
|Projects completed during the year||86|
|Total projects completed||414|
We launch the Financial Systems Support Helpdesk, starting with MRI support services. This has since expanded to become the Enterprise Solutions Division, which implements and supports a host of third party systems.
In 2009, Open Hearts donates towards the Valley Development Projects, various homes and continues to support Women for Peace.
The financial crisis of 2008—2009 is a very busy time for us, as our blue-chip clients see it as an opportunity to invest for future growth.
|Projects completed during the year||85|
|Total projects completed||328|
As part of our on-going community outreach, we begin supporting Dance for Peace – a ballroom dancing program aimed at keeping children off the streets and out of gangs in Mfuleni, a local township in Cape Town.
In 2008, Open Hearts funds several worthy causes including: Women for Peace, Masakhane Educare Centre and the Green Curtains Preschool.
In mid-2008, all talk in the Real Estate industry is around the implications of “$200 oil”. This seems foolish only months later, as the implications of the credit crunch and financial downturn begin to be felt.
|Projects completed during the year||48|
|Total projects completed||243|
We deliver our 25th custom application – Net Effective Rent for Boston Properties.
In 2007, Open Box provides much needed medicines to The Shaster Foundation, as well as contributing educational resources to the Masakhane Educare Centre.
Team Open Box branded riders compete in The Cape Argus Cycle Tour, now an annual occurrence.
|Projects completed during the year||81|
|Total projects completed||195|
Open Box Software (South Africa) moves to its current location – 240 Main Road, Tokai, Cape Town. It is a year of tremendous growth.
In 2006, Open Box contributes funds towards educational toys and bonuses to Masakhane Educare Centre.
Joe Rich, CIO of Tishman Speyer, visits the Cape Town office and the entire office is tricked into dressing up.
|Projects completed during the year||39|
|Total projects completed||114|
Our largest and most challenging project up to this point – Top of the Rock – launches in New York to great acclaim, using an innovative custom ticketing and attraction management system, conceived and built by us.
In 2005, Open Hearts funds the installation of a PlayPump® water system at a school selected by the PlayPump® organization.
Our servers (and, for a time, all machines) were named after Star Wars characters. The inspiration for this came from the prime parking space in our first office being named OB1 by our landlord at the time.
|Projects completed during the year||31|
|Total projects completed||75|
Open Box’s three centres of delivery – Cape Town, London and New York – are busy delivering solutions across the globe.
We found Open Hearts, our Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation. We start supporting Tears, Nazareth House, Tree and Baphumelele (all grass-root community initiatives around Cape Town).
In 2004, employees could choose between dual CRT monitors and a single flat screen as a perk once they had been with the company for two years.
|Projects completed during the year||17|
|Total projects completed||44|
We establish our first permanent outsourced custom development team for a client based in the United States. Open Box Software (United Kingdom) is incorporated and we achieve the distinction of being awarded High Growth status by the British Chamber of Commerce.
Co-founders Malcolm Hall and Richard Hartley (pictured here) have gone on to start two further businesses together.
|Projects completed during the year||22|
|Total projects completed||27|
Open Box Software is incorporated in South Africa and Malcolm is joined by co-founders Richard Hartley and Andrew Preston. We open our office in Cape Town, South Africa and deliver our first custom software project to a client in Germany.
The name ‘Open Box Software’ was conceived by Malcolm and Amanda Hall. The idea behind the name was that as a company, we demystify (Open) the complexity of technology (Box).
|Projects completed during the year||4|
|Total projects completed||5|
Open Box Software is founded by Malcolm Hall in the United Kingdom in September 2001 in, quite possibly, the worst economic climate for a technology start-up.
Our first client – Tishman Speyer – is still one of our clients.
|Projects completed during the year||1|