GraVoc’s history starts in 1994 when GraVoc began operations under the name MBA Associates. After a long career as a CFO/COO with Selecterm, Inc., Dave Gravel and his wife Cathy ventured into the consulting world looking for customers who wanted help solving business problems. With premise of leveraging Dave’s knowledge of Operations, Finance, Information Systems, and Human Resources to solve these problems, the company was launched. Our first customer, Reid Land Surveyors, had asked for assistance with a small accounting system, taxes, and locating a CAD program to draw plot plans and, thus, the company had its first revenue. Our operation was soon relocated from Peabody to Lynn housed at Reid Land Surveyor’s office location on Chatham Street.
Soon after moving to Lynn, we acquired our second customer, CP Berry Construction Company, where we were asked to find and implement an accounting program specific to the construction industry. We conducted an analysis of the customer’s needs, and recommended a product called Timberline. Our recommendations were accepted and the customer asked us to manage all aspects of the implementation: from application configuration, to data conversion, to network design, to report customization and training. With the help of contractors and a newly acquired partner, the implementation began in January of 1994 and was finished that summer. Meanwhile, the company was renamed GraVoc Associates, Inc. (representing the first three letters in each partner’s last name) and incorporated in the State of Massachusetts. Our tag line—“ Our Business is Your Success!”—was also born at this time.
GraVoc’s early days were full of new adventures and challenges, as customers referred us to other customers, which sometimes introduced us to an entirely new line of work. One day we were installing a network and the next we were helping to design a warehouse. The day after that we would be in a manufacturing plant, all the while taking on any projects that came our way. Our referral base grew as we succeeded in completing projects. At the same time, we partnered with a regional accounting firm, which introduced us to an even larger variety of companies and projects.
The diversity of our customer relationships, partnerships, and engagements in these early years formed an identity that we continue to fulfill: one company with many solutions. At the time, our customers turned to us for assistance with the planning and implementation of prevalent accounting systems like Real World Accounting and Macola, as well as the ongoing support of those systems on Novell-based networks. From these assignments, our Business Solutions and Information Technology practices took root. In 1997, we hired our first 3 full-time employees and, all at once, the company grew.
As GraVoc continued to grow through the late 90’s, we eventually needed more space. We moved the company back to Peabody and established an office at 49 Lowell Street. At the same time, the world was preparing for Y2K. Our accounting firm partner asked us to participate in a series IT audits to help their customers prepare for the potential of a Y2K disaster. As a result, we began drafting disaster recovery and business continuity plans for financial institutions throughout New England. The heightening demand for contingency planning combined with sweeping data security regulations like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act led to the formation of our Information Security practice.
As our company matured in years, so too did our skills. Our Information Technology practice began designing more expansive and intricate local and wide area networks, many of which required ongoing support and led to managed service relationships. Our Information Security practice kept pace with a new wave of risk management regulations and guidelines, and the rapidly evolving trends of IT and data security.The scope of assignments expanded for our Business Solutions practice in particular, as applications and customer requirements became more sophisticated and complex. We saw a continuous request for integrating solutions and exchanging data between systems. Our customers wanted to automate workflow, process, and data capture. They wanted more advanced reporting and business intelligence. Now, instead of simple accounting systems, our customers were seeking enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with fully integrated accounting, manufacturing, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM) modules. In response to their petitions, we added members to our team who specialized in customization and software development. We began building custom applications and solutions and integrating them into existing systems to improve overall functionality and meet customer requirements.
Finally, as more and more businesses began looking to the Internet for content and service delivery, our Media Production practice was born. GraVoc acquired DivergingSoul Media Production in 2010 to offer customers yet another avenue for improving their operation. Shortly thereafter, our customers began to leverage our Media Production team to carry out their web development, digital design, and digital marketing initiatives.
Our 25th Year
As we enter our 25th year from our very humble beginnings, our company has grown to over 45 full-time employees offering a complete suite of solutions through 4 integrated practices. We are truly a full-service company, capable of designing and implementing both custom and turnkey solutions for our customers. We have moved to a state-of-the-art facility that will allow our employees to expand their knowledge more than they already have. We firmly believe that our best years are in front of us, remaining agile in our ability to move with the market and evolve with our customers. We will continue our commitment to developing and expanding our skills to address the needs of our customers, and our philosophy will remain the same – “Our Business is Your Success!”