Harman Patil (Editor)

Foundation Systems

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Type  VAR and ISV
Motto  Solutions for success
Parent organizations  Infor, Systems Union
Number of employees  50-120
Founded  1982
Headquarters  UK, Norwich and London, United Kingdom
Key people  Ray Townsend, Rob Johnson, Len Palmer, Peter Dryer, David Singh, Hugh Scantlebury
Products  Financial and business solutions
Website  Foundation Systems home page

Foundation Systems Limited is a British software company that provides accounting and business solutions to corporate clients. It was founded in 1982 in Norwich and is part of American company Infor Global Solutions. Foundation Systems provides a software portfolio based around their core offering of SunSystems, to mid-market organisations, predominantly in the United Kingdom.


The business was created in 1982 as Office Automation (Norwich) Ltd by a team of experienced ex-Olivetti employees based in Norwich, Norfolk, England, led by Terry Davies, Ray Townsend and Rob Johnson. The business grew successfully during the 1980s providing turnkey PC network solutions initially based around the Multisoft range of accounting and business products. They were pioneers with the development of Oracle-based bespoke software solutions and in Xenix and subsequently Unix platforms.

Terry Davies sold his interest in 1988 and Peter Dryer later joined the management. Subsequent acquisitions of businesses including Spartex added Tetra and SunSystems to the portfolio of products carried; introduced a London base of operations (located in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and a number of other key personnel including Len Palmer and David Singh.

During the 1990s the business focused more and more on SunSystems whose success eventually led to the disposal of the Multisoft and Tetra Chameleon divisions. At the same time Foundation Systems increased its investment in the development of its own in-house products which culminated in the release of SharpOWL, a highly sophisticated project accounting and resource management solution in 1999.

Following a management buyout in 1989 backed by 3i, the business demerged in 2001 into three core businesses:

  • Foundation Systems Limited - the core systems integration business (SunSystems)
  • SharpOWL Software International Limited - the ISV developing the product of the same name. This business was acquired by AIM Group in 2003, who subsequently became part of Computer Software Group in 2005.
  • Foundation Software Solutions Limited - a specialist provider of solutions of the UK educational sector. This business was acquired by - Tribal Group in 2003.
  • In December 2003, Foundation Systems was acquired by Systems Union Group plc, following which it ran as a free standing system systems integrator until the whole group was subsequently acquired by Infor Global Solutions in July 2006. Over this period Foundation Systems specialised in providing solutions to the following key market sectors:

  • Professional services
  • Social housing
  • Not-for-profit, charities & education
  • Financial services
  • Leisure
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Media
  • References

    Foundation Systems Wikipedia

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