In the mid-1970s, geologist Bob Johnson opened a small bureau service above a row of shops in suburban Sydney, NSW, to computerise coal seam drafting.
That venture was the precursor to Maptek, which today develops, sells and supports innovative mining solutions to more than 20,000 users worldwide.
In 1981, Johnson then formed a company to allow customers to do their own computer work. That became Maptek, which today employs 350 staff in 18 offices to support a customer base including the world’s biggest mines across more than 90 countries.
‘The transformation from startup to global technology developer did not happen overnight,’ Maptek founder Johnson acknowledges, as he reflects on what defines Maptek today.
‘Innovation results from many small increments - it rarely happens from an epiphany’, Johnson says.
‘We started off by computerising the plotting of boreholes and mapping of coal deposits, which until then was a very tedious manual process. People were asking if it worked for all commodities, not just coal, and I realised we needed to put the software in the hands of the users. This was how Maptek came about.’
Johnson states that Maptek sets a high standard.
‘Early computing in the 1980s was the breeding ground for automating manual tasks and it was a challenge to convince some people to replace existing practices. Tradition dies hard!
‘Maptek integrated multiple steps in the computerisation of mining applications. In this way we were able to own the workflow and it’s probably key to why our first customer, BHP Coal, remains a customer today.
‘Do something different and stay in front is a guiding principle that remains a key business value for Maptek’, says Johnson.
Fast forward to 2021 where CEO Eduardo Coloma is enthusiastically embracing the vision, with a long-term technology development roadmap to deliver state-of-the-art solutions and exceptional customer experience.
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