“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories, told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.” -Robert McKeeCherwell Software is named after the River Cherwell, which flows through the central part of England and joins the River Thames in Oxford, England. It was down Addison’s Walk, alongside the River Cherwell, that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis once strolled and began sharing the stories for The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. Both of these are classic stories, better stories, bold stories that have survived the test of time. These are stories about men and women engaged in noble causes and battling against what, at times, appear to be insurmountable odds.When we founders began writing the first chapter of the story that became Cherwell, we really wanted to do and be a different kind of company. The idea that the Cherwell story would be all about making a lot of money for the shareholders and then dashing for a quick exit felt empty—certainly not a noble story; not a story that would survive the test of time; not a story we would want to tell our children about or one that would “dazzle the world.” Of course the lure of money seems important, but we wanted to find the courage to have a better and more meaningful story.
Upon reflection, we realized that what mattered most were the people we served and the lasting friendships that formed. Our founding group at Cherwell had worked long enough in this industry to understand the bold challenges involved in building a world-class Help Desk or Service Desk. Such an undertaking often feels burdensome, even overwhelming at times. For IT professionals to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction with such limited resources is a story that seems impossible to achieve.
Better technology, hopefully even revolutionary technology, is an essential thread of our Cherwell story. It is naive, not courageous, to take on overwhelming challenges without the right tools, the right strategic weapons. Accordingly, the key factor that guides our technology strategy is to assume that no company will implement their processes exactly like any other company. We have learned that change is inevitable—and at times heroic.
People are innovative and need the ability to implement their ideas. So instead of locking our customers into a box, we built an IT Service Management platform, a system that is easily and infinitely configurable without ever writing a single line of code or script. Yet it truly is a development environment that can be used for creating additional fully-integrated business applications. We now are expanding this platform in ways that we believe will indeed change the world.
Additionally, because money is hard to come by in these difficult economic times, offering an affordable system that is easy to administer is paramount. Even though our modern technology is scalable and serves small as well as large enterprise customers, from what we learned in our many years serving the mid-market, we believe in the key ingredients of affordability and ease-of-use.
Equally important, we desire to build a better culture so that we can make a real difference in the lives of the people we encounter. So, at Cherwell, we hire people who genuinely care about serving the needs of others. Of course at times we disappoint those we serve, but what matters most is how we respond to and “make right” our mistakes.
From the beginning of Cherwell, we set forth a mission to come along-side IT professionals to assist them in overcoming their daunting challenges—to offer innovative technology built upon yesterday’s values.
How do we define “yesterday’s values”? We want to build real relationships with those we serve. We originally had a vision to help our customers, employees, and partners write their own better stories, and this vision has become a reality. By utilizing this better technology and by building trusting relationships through a better culture, the possibilities in our Cherwell community are endless.
The central characters in the next chapters of the noble Cherwell story now come from this community, of which you are an important part. We all have better stories to tell, stories that we would be proud to tell our kids about—bold stories that might one day even “dazzle the world.”