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Software Company CSDC Turns 30, Rebrands Itself as Calytera

The rebranding follows a change of headquarters in 2017, leadership changes in 2018, a few new software tools and a transition away from professional services and toward full-time software development.

Turning 30 this year and anticipating expansion, the company long known as CSDC is rebranding itself as Calytera.

According to a news release today, the new name derives from the Greek word “kalytera,” which means “better,” and underscores the company’s aim to expand and improve its software. The news release pointed out that Greece was the birthplace of modern democracy and community organization, and spelling “kalytera” with a “c” is a reference to the company’s areas of focus: communities, citizens, connections and collaboration.

Since its inception in 1989, the company formerly known as CSDC has sold software to help the public sector automate or manage critical aspects of business. The current, seventh iteration of its flagship product, the Amanda platform, handles more than 50 regulatory functions across departments including land and building management, public health, permitting, inspections, compliance, licensing and freedom of information services.

Reflecting on the company’s three decades in the gov tech market, Calytera Chief Growth Officer Christian Foster said its focus has evolved alongside its geography and client needs. He said the acronym CSDC once stood for Canadian Systems Development Company, when it was based out of Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. That name was phased out after BuildGroup, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas, acquired CSDC in early 2017, at which point the company relocated to Austin. Foster said BuildGroup brought on a new chief executive officer, Erin Nelson, who had been a chief marketing officer for Bazaarvoice, SunPower Corporation and Dell. She in turn appointed a new leadership team to shepherd the company through a strategic transformation away from professional services and toward full-time software development.

“We really needed to double down on being a software company, with 100 percent focus on software, as opposed to wrestling between both software and the services that go alongside of it,” Foster said. “In mid-2018, we made that strategic transformation … We brought on new leadership for our product teams and developed new methodologies — in particular, agile, which helped us take on a more modern approach to how we develop our software moving forward.”

More specifically, Calytera’s press materials cited three recent moves to coincide with its new name: expansion of the company’s partner network; the adoption of agile development methods — meaning the use of market research, beta testing and responding over time to user feedback and issues — to allow the company to release better upgrades at a faster pace; and a new Amanda Freedom of Information Solution to help governments respond to FOIA requests.

Foster said the latter replaces an older FOIA product called AccessPro. He said the Amanda FOIA tool will be an “industry leading” product for the scale of its redaction and OCR (optical character recognition) capabilities, and the way it combines case management with redaction tools and automated end-of-year reporting.

The Amanda platform is in use at hundreds of governments in several U.S. states, every Canadian province and the Canadian federal government, and it added an environmental health tool for California customers in January.

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.