"DATI Group" Turns 30







"DATI Group" Turns 30

The idea for the company was realised over 15 months from 15 November 1991, when Komerccentrs began its operations as an A/S SWH Rīga structural unit, until 12 February 1993, when Komerccentrs was officially registered as a legally independent A/S SWH Rīga company.

Komerccentrs was initially created as a computer retailer, which prided itself with being the largest in the Baltic states, representing the world’s leading IT manufacturers. A particularly important role was given to SWH’s own products, such as Information System for Normative Acts, which later was known as NAIS, accounting software Grasis, WinLat and others.

The high-calibre specialists employed by SWH IS Komerccentrs provided both products and services. Among them were educational courses, warranty and post-warranty maintenance services across all of Latvia, as well as computer network design and implementation.

The first reorganisation of the company took place in 1996. A larger focus was put on the B2B market and providing critical IT infrastructure. The company name changed to SIA Komerccentrs DATI grupa.
During this time a unique project was carried out. Called Apollo Dators, it featured an offer to sell a computer on leasing and in a bundle with a broadband subscription for a price of 30 lats per month. This was a time when only a fortunate few could afford a personal computer, only a few companies had their own websites and the world had yet to see subsidised cell phones. No local financial institution offered computer leasing services. Apollo Dators changed the world, because it made computers and the internet significantly more accessible for many Latvian families.

No less significant at the time was the Datortehnikas Serviss project,
which was aimed at providing a nationwide high-quality maintenance service. To achieve this, 17 independent companies were involved in the project and their maintenance services were standardised. Several of the involved companies were later merged. This was the beginning of the development of this field in Latvia. To ensure service process management according to global best practice using ITIL, a public organisation itSMF Latvija was founded. Meanwhile, Pašvaldību kompetenču centri (municipality competency centres) were introduced across municipalities, among which was Ventspils digitālais centrs (Ventspils digital centre), which provides its services to a wide range of municipal and state clients to this day.

At the turn of the millennium, we experienced the successful internetisation in the regions. The municipalities were working hard at trying to connect all their institutions in a united network. When implementing such a project, Bauska municipality successfully created an initial corporate network, which connected 70 structures, and which was later transferred into concession. To this day it is still the only public and private sector partnership in Latvian ICT, which over the last 20 years has become a public network that provides data transmission services in non-urbanised territories.

As a result of lengthy preparations, the work on the first-level NATO project AGS was launched. Atypical even for an organisation of the size of NATO, participants from 14 member states and 16 of the world’s leading companies carried out the 3-billion euro project, which enables land surveillance.

With Latvia taking part in the European PNR directive pilot project, a risk profiling system was created and subsequently successfully implemented both here in Latvia and in Croatia. The opportunity of implementation in other countries is still being awaited.

By carrying out many national-level projects with the world’s leading companies, enough experience and maturity was gathered to enable us to work on projects that featured open source and open technologies.

The use of open-source code has gained global popularity. Many leading ICT companies use the power of the community to develop solutions that would otherwise be impossible for a single company. The successful use of open-source code requires sufficient competencies and knowledge in order to stabilise the operations of the product. In such competency-intensive projects, we take up the role of the integrator and build private and hybrid cloud solutions. We have successfully done so with the Latvian National Library, where we created a Latvian cultural heritage solution, or with Riga City Council, where we helped accumulate video surveillance data.

In 2017 we implemented the first petabyte-sized open-source cloud solution in the Baltic states. At the same time, we also became SIA DATI Group in order to expand into new international markets.

It is necessary to get actively involved in research and work on innovations, new product and service development to support and drive the company’s growth trajectory. Over the years we have built a strong cooperative relationship with Latvia’s leading universities and scientific institutes, together carrying out such research projects as MAFSS, ReCeToS, Big data analytics platform creation and others. Through interaction with academic institutes, we have helped create support infrastructure for such European-level projects as CERN and EURO CC. We expect interesting perspectives when taking part in European international scientific consortiums with such global institutes as VTT or SINTEF.

Even though there is a lot to look back on, the view towards the future is full of hope and many promising projects, therefore we wish to say:

A big thank you to all the employees that have worked in the SWH Rīga company, Komerccentrs, SWH IS Komerccentrs, Komerccentrs DATI grupa and DATI Group, and to those who continue to work in leading positions in other companies, the investment of which has enabled this company to achieve all that has been mentioned above.

A wholehearted thank you to our current team because it is thanks to the work you put in that we can look forward to the future. One filled with modern technologies, a digitised future, where we help our existing and new clients achieve their goals.

Thank you, partners.

Thank you, clients.

Thank you to all other market participants and competitors.

Aldis Gulbis,
DATI Group
Advisor of the Board