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From Development Team to Software Solutions: Our 20th Anniversary Story

August 15, 2023
<h3 class="wp-block-heading">Early Days: Founding of the Company</h3> <p>In 2001, the first evolution of our company was founded after the Dotcom Bubble and used the fuel of the thriving developer industry. In 2003, the name <strong>Highway Three</strong> <strong>Solutions</strong> was established. It came from the Crows Nest Pass highway which runs through the Kootenays, and the hometown of our founder. <strong>Karen Fishwick </strong>started growing a small team of passionate individuals, driven by a desire to create innovative custom applications. </p> <p>We provided Java/Oracle expertise and created several custom applications including the first GitHub/open source product for the public sector – Open Data. We have always had a passion for open-source contributions and were contributors to the CKAN source code. It was an exciting and challenging time, but we persevered and laid the groundwork for the two industries we specialized in: <strong>Public Sector and adtech/media.</strong></p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="557" height="1024" src="" alt="Highway Three sign outside Kamloops" class="wp-image-2078" style="width:174px;height:320px" srcset=" 557w, 163w, 654w" sizes="(max-width: 557px) 100vw, 557px"><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">A Highway 3 sign in real life!</figcaption></figure></div> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Struggles and Successes in the Changing Industry</h3> <p>Highway Three Solutions often works with local <strong>public sector organizations in Victoria. </strong>Over time, we began to notice a shift in the industry; the market started favouring large consulting organizations, which made it increasingly challenging for small businesses like ours to compete.<br>We realized that there was strength in <a href="">collaboration,</a> and we started seeking opportunities to <strong>partner</strong> with other small businesses that were facing similar struggles. By joining forces, we were able to pool our resources, share expertise, and tackle larger projects together. This shift in our approach not only allowed us to stay competitive in the changing industry, but it also opened up new avenues for <strong>growth and success.</strong></p> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Acquisition and Merger: Expanding Services and Clientele</h3> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-medium"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="300" height="117" src="" alt="Magnetic Lunch Software Logo" class="wp-image-2085" srcset=" 300w, 1024w, 768w, 1536w, 1680w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px"></figure></div> <p>During a pivotal time in our company’s history, we made the strategic decision to expand our services and clientele through a <strong>merger with Magnetic Lunch</strong> in 2013. This move allowed us to broaden our product offerings and tap into new markets, ultimately propelling our growth and solidifying our knowledge in the public sector.</p> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">The Consulting Shift: Pivoting to Software Solutions</h3> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="701" height="233" src="" alt="Altassian Gold Solution Partner" class="wp-image-2079" style="width:335px;height:112px" srcset=" 701w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 701px) 100vw, 701px"></figure></div> <p>Highway Three recognized the need to adapt &amp; diversify our software services and<strong> joined the Atlassian Partners Program </strong>in 2018. This transition marked an innovative spark, as we embraced the opportunities and challenges of the wide market of Atlassian users. We dedicated ourselves to learning<a href=""> cutting-edge services </a>to offer alongside products that revolutionize the way businesses operate with this digital toolbox. Previously, H3 had been strong advocates of the Atlassian products, installing instances for clients and creating custom plug-ins <strong>back in 2010. </strong>Shifting into the Atlassian space has been a natural progression; it allowed us to stay at the forefront of the industry, grow &amp; excite our team, and provide product recommendations, solutions, and <a href="">support</a> for our customers in a variety of <strong>new ways.</strong></p> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Building a Reputation for Quality and Innovation</h3> <p>As our company &amp; client base grew, so did our reputation for delivering qualified and in-depth services. Through the Atlassian Partner program, we have achieved <strong>Gold Level status </strong>and was named the<strong> Rising Star Partner of the Year in 2020.</strong> We became known for our ability to offer software support that was not only reliable and efficient but also assisted our clients in their most complex Atlassian instances. This commitment to excellence sets us apart from our competitors and establishes us as a <a href=";lid=a4n3X000000naCAQAY">trusted partner </a>in the industry.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="539" height="539" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2080" style="width:213px;height:213px" srcset=" 539w, 300w, 150w" sizes="(max-width: 539px) 100vw, 539px"><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Awarded by Atlassian in 2020</figcaption></figure></div> <p></p> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Future Goals &amp; Aspirations for H3</h3> <p>Looking ahead,<a href=""> our company</a> has big ambitions for the future. We are committed to continuously pursuing <strong>expert knowledge</strong> with the tools we use, including Cloud specialization, Platinum Partner status, and ITSM specialization. We also want to <strong>develop our team,</strong> investing in our education as IT professionals, and adding new members for innovation and growth. Our goal is to expand our reach and serve even more companies around the world, helping them thrive in a competitive industry.</p> <h3 class="wp-block-heading">Thankful for our Clients and Supporters</h3> <p>A special thank you goes out to our <strong>public sector clients</strong>, who have entrusted us with their projects and allowed us to make a positive impact on their organizations. Your partnership has enabled us to develop custom applications and software solutions that have transformed the way you serve your communities.<br>We would also like to express our gratitude to the <strong>local Victoria tech community, </strong>which has been a constant source of inspiration and collaboration. The support and camaraderie we have received from our fellow tech companies and professionals have allowed us to thrive and continue pushing the boundaries of innovation.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="1024" height="576" src="" alt="Our clients logo cloud" class="wp-image-2081" style="width:323px;height:182px" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1536w, 1920w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px"></figure></div> <p>We want to extend our appreciation to all our<strong> clients and supporters,</strong> both old and new. Your feedback, loyalty, and referrals have been invaluable in driving our growth and shaping our services. Thank you for being a part of our journey, and we look forward to continuing to serve you and contribute to your success in the years to come.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="1024" height="1024" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2083" style="width:324px;height:324px" srcset=" 1024w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px"></figure></div> <p><br>Lastly, we could not have written a single line of code without our amazing team members. Your hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence have never gone unnoticed. As we reflect on the past 20 years, we are filled with pride and gratitude, knowing that our achievements are a testament to your passion and perseverance. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of our journey and for all that you do. We look forward to many more years of growth and success together!</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="1063" height="1063" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2086" style="width:328px;height:328px" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 150w, 768w, 1063w" sizes="(max-width: 1063px) 100vw, 1063px"><figcaption class="wp-element-caption">Cheers to 20 years!</figcaption></figure></div>