Obsidian started as a dream of 3 graduate students at RAU. We believed we wanted to work for ourselves, we loved technology and had just encountered the incredible idea of Open Source Software. This was 1995. The Internet had just started becoming an option for business, the web was young and linux was unknown by anyone except geeks.
We started by installing samba for small businesses, email and proxy gateways for schools and pushing the boundaries of what could be done with linux in the university setting where we started out. In 1997 we moved from our original home at RAU into our own offices. We were discovered by a company that wanted to see if their SCO-based application would be able to run on linux (which it did) and so became involved with our first large client: Nando's Chickenland.
Our clients soon started to ask for services beyond our initial support and hardware offering. We started developing many small applications for our clients and added Linux training to the list of things we did. As almost no ISPs offered the linux based services we were getting our clients excited about, we added some ISP services to the fold.
Through the Linux Professionals Association, we helped bring the young open source companies together and together we staged stalls at the Computer Faire that significantly raised the profile of Linux in the South African business world. In order to establish international grade linux training we accepted some venture capital and brought the excellent Red Hat Certified Engineer certification to South Africa. At the same time established a presence in Cape Town. By constantly advocating the use of open source software we gave input in governments endorsement of the OSS strategy.
As more initiatives to bring OSS to the people unfolded, we could be part of the HP i-community efforts in Limpopo province. Obsidian strives to bring three legs to the South African market. The first being vendor certified training and certification, the second being vendor certified products and the third being local skills providing consulting and support. With these three elements, any organisation can trust the enterprise open source solution provided.