Able was started in Perth Western Australia in 1982 by Rick Kyle and Nick Taylor and moved to Papua New Guinea in 1984.
In 1985, Able Computing (PNG) was incorporated by Geoff Lazberger with Rick/Nick and several others became individual shareholders in the company. Geoff Lazberger ran the company as CEO until 1989 when he left to return to Australia. The initial list of clients around the country used either accounting software CBA or Arrow. The company was awarded national distributorship for both CBA and Arrow and I had also built up a dealership with companies having large clients bases who’d be a target for our software (Deloitte, Coopers & Lybrand, Daltron, etc,)
Clients were right throughout PNG including Kieta, North Solomons where Able built a log tracking system to integrate into the accounting software for a client.
Two key events in the life of the company worth noting in the early days -
First - Able won a national tender (beating IBM, NCR and others) to build from scratch a government accounting system for 19 provincial governments. Able partnered with ICL who had a large footprint into government and winning the tender was the impetus for getting Rick into the country as he was a developer as well as bringing on more personnel and scaling up.
Second – Able Computing, for the first time in PNG’s history, was asked to computerise the National Tally Room on election night in 1989 for the national elections (Michael Somare was PM at the time). Able built the system from scratch. On the night our system showed Michael Somare had lost office which conflicted with the tally boards around the room which showed he retained power. A week or so later, following a recount, our system was shown to be 100% correct and Somare lost office and there was a change of government.
Both these events were pivotal to the company
Able was sold in 1990 to Pacific Industries.
The current owners started a computer hardware business in Papua New Guinea in July 1993 known as Computer Spot Pty Ltd with $500 and a promise of a bank loan. They grew the business into a few small computer hardware stores and in 1996 purchased Able Computing (PNG). Able Computing remained focused on software development. In 2000 Able Computing and Computer Spot merged and commenced selling hardware and software solutions under that Able Computing name while continuing to develop software solutions. In 2013 Able Computing opened its first branch in Fiji.
As times have changed the focus of the business has seen the core move into mobile devices, white goods, brown goods, electronics and appliances. As of September 2017 Able will operate a total of 23 stores and employs 350 plus staff across 3 countries.
Few computers companies have been around as long as Able Computing. During the past 35 years Able has seen computers go from expensive and underpowered devices to hand held devices with 1000 times the computing power and a million times the storage in one low cost notebook. We have had to navigate change for as long as we can remember albeit the rate of change has become more pronounced of late. While many companies that have started only in the last few years have grown well beyond the size of Able far more have fallen by the way side . Able owes its survival to the thousand to the hard work of the many hundreds of workers that have give their all for the company. The internet has brought many changes to society and has made technology essential to our lives, it has threatened many of the traditional jobs, but has created many opportunities as well. None of us truly knows what the future holds for us but what ever it is we are in for a hell of ride. We hope that Able computing or Able home and office as it is better known today will continue for many years to come.