Robert and Magpie head West!

Timeline

In 1998, a man and his dog drove from Mississippi to Silicon Valley with some servers and big dreams.  Debate still rages as to which of them had the idea first.

PlanetMagpie grew out of Interware, Inc., an electronic billing service used by major tech companies in the 1990s.  When the Web started to take off, Robert loaded his servers, developers, and co-pilot into his Defender—not everyone fit—and drove to California.

Fast-forward 18 years.  Today, PlanetMagpie has grown into a comprehensive IT services provider with its own datacenter and a list of household-name Silicon Valley customers. 

Here’s the timeline of how PlanetMagpie came to its present-day success.

Location

Robert Douglas, along with his black lab Magpie, founded Magpie Internet Communications, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. They build a datacenter to host customers’ databases safely offsite. Unfortunately, customers do not embrace the concept of hosting their databases offsite. In a single year, the Cloud is born and dies.

1998
Location

Plan B. With plenty of servers, Robert employs a web design team to build websites that he could host in his datacenter. The new division, “W3”, is named for web design, web marketing, web hosting. The first magpie-internet.com website is launched.

1999
Location

The Dotcom Crash.

2000
Location

Customers begin asking Robert for desktop support during his visits. Magpie Internet’s Network Support division is born!

2002
Location

Robert’s customers begin asking for help with expanding their IT capabilities, including adding new Microsoft servers and building up their networks. Magpie Internet’s IT Consulting division is born! Robert inks a contract with IBM to become a partner.

2004
Location

To reflect its growth into three divisions (W3 Services, Network Support, and IT Consulting), the company undergoes a rebranding. With its namesake taking center stage, PlanetMagpie is born. PlanetMagpie.com launches under its new brand! PlanetMagpie achieves Microsoft Gold Partner status, a level only 1% of partners achieve.

2005
Location

PlanetMagpie is named to the “Fast 50,” the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s award for Fastest Growing Private Companies in Silicon Valley.

2006

PlanetMagpie’s techs are all over the Silicon Valley making support visits and they need quick, reliable wheels! The first Magpie Mini support vehicle hits the road.

2007
Location

The first edition of “WOOF!”, PlanetMagpie’s monthly e-newsletter, rolls off the mail server. It continues publication to 4,000+ subscribers in all 50 states to this day.

2008
Location

“The Cloud” gains prominence as the world is finally ready for Robert’s vision (see 1998). PlanetMagpie hosts a customer’s entire IT infrastructure on a Private Cloud! PlanetMagpie deploys Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS) internally. OCS, the precursor to Lync/Skype for Business, is the definition of bleeding edge. Despite its issues, Robert sees the future in the solution and decides to stick with it. PlanetMagpie.com is redesigned and rebuilt in Sitefinity CMS. Eating our own dogfood, and liking it, we start building customer websites in Sitefinity CMS. Wins its first WebAwards for the ConductorMAX and Pruneyard Shopping Center websites. The LyncInsider.com blog (now known as the Skype for Business Insider Blog) launches, reaching 45,000 monthly visitors. After 11 wonderful years, PlanetMagpie loses Magpie, its namesake and loyal companion. There are no words.

2009
Location

Outgrowing its office space, PlanetMagpie buys a 5,000-square foot building in Fremont and builds out its new headquarters, complete with state-of-the-art datacenter. Wins WebAward for PlanetMagpie.com built in Sitefinity CMS.

2010
Location

The year begins helping customers migrate to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based Office system. Two more WebAwards for BreadBaskets.com and Conductormax.mobi. Partners with Juniper Networks and begins specialization in network security. Launches the Sitefinity CMS Insider blog aimed at helping customers with Sitefinity websites leverage the extensive features of their CMS. Robert returns to Mississippi, to the very same breeder that gave him Magpie, and comes back with new mascot “Pie.”

2011
Location

The New York Times quotes Robert on Mobile Trends. PlanetMagpie achieves Sitefinity Platinum Partner status. Adds two more WebAwards for Comyns, Smith, McCleary & Deaver and Improved Piping Products websites. Publishes the white paper, “Open Source v. Proprietary CMS: Which is Stronger.” Partners with Extreme Networks and expands its network security services. Publishes, “The Argument for ReShoring American IT: The Risks of Oursourcing Offshore and Why ReShoring IT is Growing.” This white paper defines the company’s stance on & support for hiring American IT employees.

2012
Location

Deploys Lync Server 2013, Microsoft’s Unified Communications voiceover IP platform internally. The product is deemed ready for prime time and PlanetMagpie deploys it for customers. Two more WebAwards for Giorgi Bros. Furniture and Cromer Material Handling websites.

2013
Location

Microsoft asks for Robert’s help writing a new Lync Server 2013 certification exam (taken by 1000s of IT professionals worldwide). Partners with eFolder to deploy Anchor (cloud file sharing & backups) within its Cloud Datacenter, giving Silicon Valley businesses a secure, local alternative to public clouds. Wins its 10th WebAward for Diablo Precision website. PlanetMagpie starts offering free Reshore Your IT bumper stickers. By the end of 2015, over 1,000 bumper stickers were mailed to supporters in 48 of the 50 United States.

2014
Location

CNN Money and Fast Company quote Robert on email privacy in light of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Implements Skype for Business Server 2015 internally. Skype for Business adds full integration with Skype, simpler VoIP, and a stronger Online Meeting tool. Customers start demanding Skype for Business almost immediately. Wins its 11th WebAward for AisForAppleinc.com. Demonstrating its commitment to the American IT workforce, PlanetMagpie begins the Engineer-in-Training program, where local computer science grads get the opportunity to fast track their IT careers with mentoring from some of the best Microsoft engineers in the Valley.

2015
Location

Deploys new hosted cloud backup solution for customers. Customers now have secure backups made automatically from their office to the PlanetMagpie datacenter. Deploys network monitoring service to customer sites. Skype for Business deployments are happening on a monthly basis. Robert’s 7-year investment in the technology (OCS/Lync/Skype) pays off and PlanetMagpie is one of the most experienced Skype deployment firms in the U.S. Launches the fourth version of PlanetMagpie.com, fully responsive, using Sitefinity CMS. PlanetMagpie wins coveted W3 Awards for its work on planetmagpie.com in three categories—Visual Appeal, User Experience, and Home Page.

2016