VISAV was originally developed by Robin Hood Limited as a practical and straight forward way of updating their large company website. Robin Hood Limited was established in 1998 with a clear objective of encouraging business and tourism in England and Nottinghamshire.
Originally formed as an Internet business, the Robin Hood website www.RobinHood.Info proved to be very difficult to maintain and administer. They tried many web design companies and experienced all the problems that just about every business faces when trying to manage a website.
Having become tired of technical jargon and web design "techies" trying to make the process unduly complicated to inflate their own costs, they decided to build their own site. This revealed many other problems, not least of which was the time-consuming effect of training new staff to understand, manage, and update a rapidly growing site.
In May 2000, Robin Hood Limited decided to create a web-engine that would enable their staff to update their own website without the need for extensive training, or understanding HTML and FTP'ing, databases or stats packages; this product was called VISAV (Virtual Internet Solution that Adds Value).
As the product was being developed for the company's own use, they included vital, practical tools that they wanted and left out all the usual rubbish (adverts/banners/pop-ups etc). They developed a database tool that would allow visitors to the website to join a mailing list and a back-office facility was created so they could add their existing data to this. They removed the need to use a File Transfer Protocol program (F.T.P.) to upload the site and thus removed the possibility of two users wiping out each other's data. They added a simple and accurate stats package, that counts page-visits to every page of the site and automatically includes new pages as soon as they are added. A secure web-shop was built that allowed them to sell online and manage carriage, vat and user discounts. The back-office to the web-shop was designed to help manage the orders as they came through and track what had been paid for and what had been despatched. Basically, Robin Hood Limited provided themselves with all the main requirements of a large website, but built the admin so a child could use it and saved themselves a fortune in time and money that they had been losing to web builders.
Through discussions with friends' businesses and members of various chambers and business links, it became apparent that just about every business they talked to wanted a similar product.
The provision of Internet hosting, email, computers and technical support was not the objective of Robin Hood Limited but the clear demand for this proven and valuable product was evident.
In September 2002, VISAV Limited was formed and four technical staff recruited to concentrate on developing and supporting the VISAV product. By this time, the system had been tried and tested for over two years and over one hundred separate customers had VISAV accounts. The system, hardware and infrastructure had been tested under every conceivable circumstance and VISAV launched three modified and improved packages as commercially available products in 2002.