Article

Chesapeake Technology, Inc.

Customer feedback and special requests

Chesapeake Technology, Inc. was formed as a sole proprietorship in 1990 in response to the needs of a former employer; Meridian Ocean Systems needed a software engineer to conduct a mine-countermeasures software demonstration for the German Navy. John Gann, founder of Chesapeake, travelled to Germany, conducted the technical demonstration aboard a German Navy vessel and concluded the first paid contract for Chesapeake Technology. He continued to work part-time for the company, adding more small consulting contracts each year.

By 1996 the business had grown substantial enough to employ a full-time engineer and one to two part-time contract software developers. John’s wife, Eileen, began working to grow the business, and it was incorporated in 1997. This provided a business structure that would allow the development of software products and the securing of larger business contracts from clients that preferred to work with corporations. As technological advancements occurred worldwide, Chesapeake Technology identified many areas in which the marine industry would benefit. In particular, the company saw the need for an easy- to-use low-cost, high-value sonar data acquisition system and this resulted in the development of SonarWiz.

Entering the Industry
Chesapeake Technology, Inc. introduced its first software product in 1998. This was internally designed and developed and marketed directly and via two other business partners to the marine industry. Product sales were initially disappointing but the vision was adjusted and a second product introduced in 1999. Market research and growing expertise resulted in much greater market response and sales of the second product far surpassed those of the first. Chesapeake has continued to introduce a new product each year for a total of four products since incorporating the business in 1997. The performance of each product has exceeded its predecessor as Chesapeake learned and refined the skills required to craft the software product to fit the market. Customer feedback and special requests are utilised to better meet market demands.

Current Profile
Chesapeake Technology, Inc. specialises in sonar data acquisition, processing and mapping software and systems. The newest product, SonarWiz.MAP, provides both real-time mosaics and navigation services and may also be used to rapidly post-process sonar data offline. These systems have been delivered for the Klein 3000 and 595, Edgetech 272 and DF-1000, Benthos 1600, Marine Sonic Technology Sea Scan and the Imagenex SportScan system. Other products in the family include SonarWiz.SSS for basic real-time sidescan sonar surveying and SonarWiz.SBP for real-time sub-bottom data acquisition. SonarWeb is an advanced web-based sonar mosaic and post processing application that generates sonar and sub-bottom mosaics and reports. We also provide GIS, sonar mosaic production and custom software development and IT services for the marine surveying industry.

Philosophy and Strategy
The strength of product sales is only one measure of the CTI success story. Chesapeake aims to deliver complete customer service and care at a great level of responsiveness through a ‘24x7’ pager service, human telephone support, online support documents and other web resources that enable problems to be quickly remedied. Chesapeake Technology attributes its sustained growth to the success of its customer support programme. Product and consulting customers are always happily surprised to find that the company goes the extra mile to insure that their needs are met. Customers are given complete access to the CTI staff able to address problems of system integration and provide expertise across multiple platforms. CTI core competencies include software implementation, software and database conversion, high-end customised programming, and database and web applications. CTI works independently as a high-level technical resource providing external and internal consulting services. It also provides guidance and direction for all levels of technical and managerial staff.
The current CTI business plan forecasts continued expansion into the marine technology sector and further penetration into the commercial and government IT sectors, leading to continued growth of the corporation. Our worldwide network of sales representatives makes us confident of meeting these goals.

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