Published December 16, 2008
Volume 16, Number 12

Long-Time Hacienda Tenant SDI Settles into New Home

Jeni McKewon and Jill Fabyan run SDI’s new PC-oriented
computer lab. 

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

One of Hacienda’s oldest tenants made a big move a few months ago, but its 15 employees did not go very far.

Software Development Inc. (SDI) traded its home of the past 20 years, Suite 100 at 3875 Hopyard Road, for the freshly refurbished Suite 106 in 3825 Hopyard, its next door neighbor within the Hacienda West complex. In the process, the company turned the page on a chapter in history, not just of its life in the business park but of the early years of the computer industry as well.

When the company first moved into Hacienda, it was the time of big mainframe computers, raised access floors for cabling, and heavy-duty air-conditioning, recalls director of sales and marketing Tony Miller. While SDI has done an excellent job staying one step ahead in its core business, Point-of-Sale retail software, its original office layout, with its large computer rooms, was aging. “Our space was no longer well suited to PC technology and the other equipment in use today,” says Miller. “We were the first occupant of the building at 3875 Hopyard, and we wanted to stay in the complex. So when our lease was up, it was a good time to re-architect our space.”

The move took place over a weekend in May.The new location has allowed SDI to consolidate all its testing and development work in a centralized computer lab. “We have a lot of equipment that we maintain for customer testing programs,” Miller explains. “Now, instead of being scattered among various cubicles, it is all housed in one spot, which makes it much more efficient and productive, especially for our validation team.”

Since its inception in 1979, SDI has maintained a tight focus on the highly refined market niche of retail chains. Orchard Supply Hardware and Home Depot Mexico are among its major customers. It is an area that is constantly touched by innovation, from gift cards and customer loyalty programs to new peripherals and wireless systems. “There is a lot going on ‘under the covers,’ in retail,” advances like smaller printers and new signature devices, Miller relates. Data security is an especially hot topic, and retailers are under constant pressure to meet several government mandates. This steady stream of changes consistently keeps SDI busy supporting customer systems, making sure they are up-to-date and compliant with all regulatory requirements.

Operating from a perspective that has always emphasized efficiency, Miller finds a silver lining in the cloud of today’s retail slowdown. Where productivity is at stake, customers are very receptive to implementing new processes that reduce overhead and other costs. SDI’s “mix-and-match” hardware strategy enables the retail chains to make only necessary hardware replacements and upgrade the rest. “Customers rely heavily on us for creating the changes that help them stay competitive,” says Miller. “We provide highly team-oriented support so they can do that.”

For more information, visit www.sdiretail.com.


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