[HaystackCRM] Happy birthday to us!

April is an exciting month for us. Our parent company was founded in April 2002 and HaystackCRM was founded in April 2017. There’s something about early spring that gets our creative juices flowing 🙂

HaystackCRM was born out of the need to help Xtern manage its rapidly growing customer base.

Our story

It became challenging to keep our sales pipeline full, while simultaneously doing our day jobs. We realized that we needed a centralized location to manage disparate customer data.

— Some of us kept spreadsheets

— Others of us jotted notes on paper

— A few of us just kept the information in our brains, perhaps never to be unearthed again!

This type of information all took a backseat to the actual work of building custom software. 

— Meetings we had with leads

— Events we attended to market our business

— Sales prospects we were cultivating

We couldn’t move nimbly from one project to the next, and we were leaving potential new business on the table. 

We searched for an existing CRM that would seamlessly integrate our sales workflow into our daily work. The products were:

— Too bulky to use gracefully 

— Too expensive for our small business 

We also wanted something that:

— Could be used on our phones, with an elegant design similar to apps we were using as consumers

— Could be used to jot (or voice-narrate) notes when we were running from meeting to meeting 

— Had a mapping feature so we could easily locate meetings while we were on the road 

What we did to fix it!

We couldn’t find what we wanted, so we took our wishlist and created something cost-effective and devoid of technological clutter. We now have a product for users that value a lean feature set and transparent pricing

Our users help us improve our product by sharing feedback, both positive and negative. Don’t be surprised if you get an email from us asking how things are going (with HaystackCRM that is!) Though, feel free to tell us how things are going in the rest of your life 🙂 

[Xtern Software] Happy 19th birthday to us!

Xtern Software is 19 years old! We are past the adolescent angst of our early teens and excited for our 20s 🙂

Our founder, Keir, started Xtern out of his townhouse in Northwest Greensboro in 2002. He soon found a demand for custom software within the Piedmont Triad and well beyond. We continued to grow consistently each year. And needed additional staff to support the growth of the business. Our team of 12 is currently composed of 8 software developers. 

We take pride in the fact that our company, at nearly two decades old, still retains its original president, employs developers local to the region, and puts customer service front and center. It’s important to us to run our business with a strong sense of integrity.

In addition to custom software, Xtern also creates products. In 2016, we launched HaystackCRM. It is a nimble, intuitive, and transparently priced alternative to other CRMs. And it was lauded as a Top 10 Startup to Watch by NCTech in 2018. In 2020, Xtern launched HarmonyB2B, a user-friendly database and content manager that seamlessly integrates with products a company may already be using.

A bright future

We are confident that our 19th year will be our best year yet. We’ve continued to partner with longtime customers, and have added some really exciting partnerships to our portfolio. In addition to partnering with affordable housing nonprofit, Community Housing Solutions, we are delighted to be partnering with historic civil rights landmark, Magnolia House. And in the coming months, we’ll share an incredible project that will expand our software development reach beyond what we ever thought possible. Stay tuned for what our 19th year will bring! 

[Xtern Software] Let’s go UNCG!

The UNC Greensboro men’s basketball team just qualified for the NCAA tournament and our team couldn’t be more excited. Our team of 12 is packed to the brim with UNCG grads and affiliates: 7 alumni, 2 university-affiliated spouses, and 2 instructors in the Department of Computer Science. 

Computer Science at UNCG 

The Department of Computer Science was created in 2006 when the Department of Mathematical Sciences was split into two units: the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Computer Science. While the department is relatively new as an administrative unit, the courses and degree programs are high quality and mature, with a B.S. program offered since 1991 and an M.S. degree program offered since 1998. Computer science courses existed for over a decade prior to that as part of a computer science concentration within the mathematics B.S. degree. Department faculty have been with UNCG for as many as 20 years, giving continuity to instructional and research activities. The department has over 500 students pursuing either a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science or a minor in the discipline. 

Xtern founder Keir Davis began teaching in the department in 2020 and teaches Programming Languages. He also is a part of the department’s Industry Advisory Board. Our Senior Web Developer, Ike Quigley, has been teaching in the department since 2016 and currently teaches Software Engineering. 

For both, teaching has been the perfect complement to their day-to-day work. Says Keir, “I love getting back to basics and reconnecting with why I love software development.”

Our team is so proud of our UNCG ties and we are looking forward to cheering the basketball team on to victory!