Press Release - Versis Global UK
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Release - Versis Global UK
File-shrinking brings its own huge rewards
MARK SMITH, Deputy Business Editor
Monday 5 November 2007
A Scottish software developer who rejected an offer from Microsoft and went on to co-found his
own company in the East End of Glasgow, is poised to strike a million-pound-plus deal with
another US technology giant and retain his independence.
A Scottish software developer who rejected an offer from Microsoft and went on to co-found his own
company in the East End of Glasgow, is poised to strike a million-pound-plus deal with another US
technology giant and retain his independence.
Greg Stobie, a self-confessed computer nerd, developed a revolutionary tech- nology that dramatically
reduces the size of computer files without jeopardising quality, and 12 months ago he joined forces with
scanning specialist Lorne Campbell to form Bridgeton-based Crisp Documents.
Following a £250,000 investment - which the pair sourced by cashing in their pensions and remortgaging
their homes - the entrepreneurs have no regrets about turning down an offer from the technology
"When Microsoft expressed an interest, it became clear that I might be on to something quite big," said
"The way Microsoft wanted it to happen was for me to go to America and set up a new company so they
could then buy it. I took some advice, and in the end I was afraid of being stung.
"I was afraid they would take the technology, pay me a small fee, and then just shelve it. Or maybe they
would make a fortune out of it, and still pay me a small fee.
"But I'm convinced that we have a revolutionary product, and you could say that rather than Bill Gates in
Seattle, I chose Lorne Campbell in Glasgow instead."
In Crisp Documents' inaugural 12 months, Campbell and Stobie say their company has already turned
over £800,000 and made a pre-tax profit of more than £200,000 on the back of a string of lucrative
contracts that includes archiving 100 years of documents from Weir Pumps, now part of Jim McColl's
Clyde Pumps business.
Their technology, called vPDF, cuts the size of colour PDF files to the size of black and white files without
losing quality, and the company insists it has the capability to reach 500 million existing Adobe Acrobat
and Reader users.
Stobie said the technology can also cut the size of any file, which he believes ensures the product's
position among the most sought-after in the marketplace.
Moreover, it allows companies to reduce vastly their storage costs by cutting down on server space, as
the world's businesses continue to create mountain of e-mails, documents, spreadsheets, music, video
files, and so on, driven by the growth of broadband, computer ownership, consumer devices and
Later this month, Crisp, which has a staff of 15 at its Bridgeton headquarters, expects to sign a deal worth
"at least £1.5m" with an unnamed "major US technology company".
Campbell said: "We can't say which company it is at this stage, but I'm fairly certain it is going to result in
Crisp Documents opening a US office in the very near future."
Enigmatically, he added: "I also suspect it's going to attract a considerable amount of funding, but it's too
early to talk about that.
"So far we've been funded only by our sales and the quarter-million we've raised by cashing in our
pensions and remortgaging our homes."
As well as completing a five-million-page indexed digital library for Clyde Pumps, Crisp has also provided
solutions for First ScotRail and the British Library, and is also in talks with defence, aviation and
It also recently struck a major deal with Amec Oil & Gas, allowing them to compress huge amounts of
PDF files, scanned images, CAD drawings and high resolution photos into vPDF files, which they could
then easily e-mail to clients around the world.
The firm's nine-month contract with Clyde Pumps solved a three-year issue for the company, which had
failed to find a solution despite a painstaking international search for a way to easily archive and access
documents which date back between 70 and 100 years.
Crisp also recently com-pleted successful trials using marine satellites, and the company is now looking
to the US and abroad in a bid to build up its client base in the engineering, oil, building and financial
Stobie added: "Our product saves money by cutting download charges for remote users while making
global office connections faster, and e-mail limits on file sizes are now no longer an issue. "We have
completed successful trials to allow super-compressed marine manuals that were needed urgently on
board a ship.
"We shrunk the files five times with no loss of quality and ensured it complied with the download limit the
"We estimate this saved the crew weeks of waiting for guidance from shore."