ICE Support Ltd to theICEway via eTestware
ICE Support Ltd was established in May 2007 as an MSP and IT consultancy. In 3 months’ time, ICE – as most people now know it – turns 15. Together with eTestware and CRIBB Cyber Security, we all make up theICEway ecosystem. We therefore decided to look back ICE’s origins to see how it affected our own history.
In conversation with Ian Richardson and Conor Byrne
At the tail end of 2019, this writer spent some time with Ian Richardson and Conor Byrne to discuss their initial meeting. The conversation that took place was partly documented in a blog entitled ‘theICEway Ecosystem (Q&A)’. As is so often the case, much of what we covered did not make it into that blog. Today then, with ICE’s upcoming birthday in mind, we have decided to revisit that landmark Q&A session.
It was the first time the pair themselves had reflected back on their initial meeting. That milestone event was covered brilliantly by Ian in his own blog on the history of theICEway. We have listened to the recording again this week and are delighted to reveal some (hopefully!) interesting words. In the pursuit of relevance, here are the most pertinent of those to eTestware.
Key milestones in the journey towards theICEway
- It is circa 1995 and Val Kilmer is donning the ‘Bat suit’ for the first, and as it turns out only, time. As Val’s Batman Forever was rejuvenating the franchise, Ian and Conor were also about to celebrate a first. A first meeting, that is.
- Having then worked together for the next 12 years, the pair established ICE Support Ltd. This was in 2007, when Christopher Nolan was shooting The Dark Knight.
- The next milestone year was 2014, when eTestware was added to ‘beef up’ ICE’s software testing offering. Incidentally, February of that year also saw the start of shooting on Batman V Superman.
- In 2016, Batman V Superman was released and CRIBB Cyber Security was then also added to the ICE ‘ecosystem’.
- 2017 saw this ecosystem given an official name: theICEway. (That year also saw Ben Affleck stepping down from The Batman).
- In 2020, theICEway was officially revealed at Seatrade Cruise Virtual, a digital event that is a big part of our year. (Principal photography also began on The Batman that year, now set to star Robert Pattinson).
- 2022 and beyond holds much cause for excitement for us all at theICEway. For starters, we’re nominated for a Travel Weekly Globe Travel Award for innovation! Oh, and The Batman comes out next month, too…
eTestware, key to the establishment of our ecosystem
Ian Richardson (IR): Conor and I set up ICE Support in 2007 and we both worked really hard to build a strong team. We have always held people as a core value and so we knew that was key to us achieving any level of success. Once we had that team in place, it was then a question of aiming for growth whilst providing the best levels of IT support possible. Growth was always going to mean expansion into other areas.
Conor Byrne (CB): Cyber security was definitely one such area, so we were looking to set up a UK IT security company.
IR: Another area was software testing because QA is vital when you’re rolling out new systems. We were well aware that there were many outsourced software testing companies out there. We wanted to be the best though, so we decided to look at Estonia for ours. That’s how eTestware was brought into the ecosystem.
eTestware – powered by Estonian efficiency
CB: Estonia is an amazing country, so technologically advanced. The eTestware HQ is based in Tallinn and we’re lucky to have some very talented software testers there. Their IT knowledge is second-to-none and their work ethic is something business owners dream about!
IR: It’s true! Estonia is known by many as being the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’, so it was a real coup for us to set up there. When eTestware was added alongside ICE, it was a big step forwards for the ecosystem as a whole. We could then start to think about delivering complete digital solutions because now we had much more about ourselves.
CB: Adding CRIBB was the final big step I think.
IR: Agreed but with lots more smaller steps still left to take. Even today we are still striving to develop and grow. The world is constantly changing and so is IT, so you have to keep learning.
So there you have it; from ICE Support Ltd to theICEway, via eTestware. Quite the journey and we hope that you enjoyed this brief glimpse into it. It has been a very interesting endeavour for this writer at least! (Plus, at least some of you must be Batman fans – no??)