It all started on a hot summer day in 1992. At a time when people still called from payphones because they didn't have a phone at home, and the newest car from Mladá Boleslav was a Škoda Favorit. And a group of dreamers from the Brno University of Technology decided to teach "computers to see". They founded CCV (Centre of Computer Vision) and today is exactly 30 years since that happened. Since then, a lot has changed and there have been several corporate turnarounds, but we have never deviated from the original intent of the founding fathers.
However, quite soon after the founding of the company, it became clear that the vision of "teaching computers to see", i.e. to recognize documents and other objects, was too timeless for the companies of that time. They were not ready for it at all, so our actions led to the resale of enterprise systems and their custom development. At this time, we are onboarding customers mainly from the field of construction - some of them are still with us.
"We are talking about a time when computers were a revelation for many companies, not to mention some digitization of processes. The whole idea was too visionary, so in the end we switched to the development and sale of ERP", comments our CEO Lubomír Veselý on the situation at the time.
A fundamental change came at the turn of the millennium, when we started the first EDI projects.
In 2000, a proposal was created to create the first Czech cloud-based tool for the electronic document interchange (EDI). We believed that the flexibility and low cost of the cloud system was exactly what would push companies to start exchanging documents in bulk electronically and thus reap all the benefits that come from it.
We started programming our currently most successful service in February 2001. “It was a very wild time for me. Before midnight on February 28, I brought computers from Brno to Opava and unloaded them in the office. At 2 o'clock in the morning the next day, my daughter was born, and on the same day the colleague who was supposed to do EDI with me quit his job. I was sitting alone in the office with new computers and a head full of emotions. I would never have said that this is how the history of ORiON would begin," recalls the then product manager David Reichel with a smile about the beginnings of ORiON.
Our assumptions were confirmed. Gradually, companies began to realize the benefits of cloud-based electronic data exchange, and we engaged one client after another. Today we are number one on the EDI market with customers such as Alza, Rohlik, Henkel, Plzeňský Prazdroj, PRO-DOMA and others. Last year ORiON celebrated 20 years, read its full story.
In 2003, we carried out the first implementation of our own warehouse solution (WMS) in the customer's warehouse and thus began the era of developing solutions for warehouses. This resulted in 2017, when we launched one of the first cloud storage systems on the market LOKiA. It was awarded IT product of the year 2019 for its operation and possibilities during implementation.
In the same year, we went through a big bang as a company. We realized that we had long since outgrown ourselves and that it was time for a change. And so came GRiT. A new name for our tenacity. And in addition to the name and logo, we also changed the company's strategy - we completely abandoned the resale of third-party solutions and are now fully dedicated only to the development of our own solutions.
There was also a change in the company structure. "Before, we operated in completely separate departments. Now the employees are connected across the entire company structure and several new positions have been created whose task is to maintain and further develop this symbiosis," adds CEO Lubomír Veselý to the changes.
In those 30 years, we have developed into the leader of EDI on the Czech market and a leading provider of cloud services. We currently manage IT projects for 3,000 customers across various fields. And not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also in Austria, Germany, Hungary and recently in Italy and Spain.
We have never deviated from the original idea - "teaching computers to see". Our iNVOiCE FLOW service automatically extracts data from received invoices, LOKiA manages warehouse processes and ORiON helps with the electronic transfer of documents. Together, our solutions form a network around companies in which documents and goods automatically flow and money falls into the account.
We are opening new markets, recruiting new clients and partners. And we also educate. There are still a lot of companies that spend a lot of time on routine work and it costs them a lot of money; and at the same time they do not realize that it can often be done differently and better.
"Our main task for the next period is to complete the already ongoing change of the company, which was started by the rebranding from CCV to GRiT - that is, to make GRiT a customer-oriented company and to continue developing our own cloud tools for automating the supply-customer chain. And offer them in new markets," adds Lubomír Veselý.