We Are Unique!
Unique provides telephony software and unusually awesome support to a global community.
The Beginnings of C.A.I.R.S.
Before CAIRS was born, Leonard Vanderhoven was working as a telephone installer for Mountain Bell in Denver, CO. Richard Motzkus, retired co-founder of Unique Communications, was a Regional Vice President for AT&T, overseeing a sizable portion of Federal Accounts.
After a few adventures together Len and Dick decided to return to their roots and write a cable management application for a few needy Air Force customers. They called it the Cable Assignment Information Retrieval System or C.A.I.R.S for short.
They needed a company to sell the product; thus, Unique Communications was founded! For a long time, Unique remained a small band of Vanderhoven and Motzkus family members. Cathy Vanderhoven, Len’s wife, came on to help with training and wrote the first few software manuals while raising her three sons.
Over the first 17 years, a few family members and friends rolled in and out of the family business, but Unique remained a 3-4 person team.
The Team was Born!
The turn of the century marked a good time for Dick to retire from Unique, leaving the business to Len. By that time, Len’s sons had grown old enough to join the team.
First came the oldest, Lennie, followed by Jason, and Shawn. Like most boys, they all had a friend or two who fit perfectly in the family gig: Mark Wood, Jon Kim, Brett Burbidge, and a good family friend Sharlene Arthur. With Len, Cathy, the boys, and their friends, Unique was set to grow.
Today Unique has a wonderful team of family and friends, who spread Unique’s vision and products worldwide. Check out the awesome team here!
Most of our first customers from 1985 still use CAIRS today. Over 25 years and 4 major version updates later.
There and back again…
Since we released our first version of C.A.I.R.S., it has progressed through 4 major releases.
Our first version was written in Interpretive Basic and lived for 5 years. It was replaced by C.A.I.R.S for DOS, a compiled language, which hung around for about 9 years.
With the advent of the mouse, evolution occurred; we released CAIRS 32 in 1999, and believe it or not a few of our customers still use CAIRS 32 today.
In 2008, we released cairs.net which is a web services based app. Next evolution will probably be cairs 6. Come back soon to find out!
(Len & Cathy)