From DataFlex Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search


Unicorn InterGlobal logo

Unicorn InterGlobal Limited is a software development, services and sales company based in England, UK. Its primary fields of expertise are in DataFlex (both in DOS and Unix/Linux), Visual DataFlex, Web Applications, Ajax, Web Services and various Databases (DataFlex, Pervasive, Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL).

Historically Unicorn generically includes Unicorn Business Solutions Limited (UBS), Unicorn Financial Solutions Limited (UFS) and the current Unicorn InterGlobal Limited (UIG) [1] - see below for the whole story.

UIG is a Data Access Partner. Its current Managing Director is Mike Peat.


Unicorn InterGlobal Limited
Priory Court
Wood Lane
Beech Hill

Tel: +44 (0)118 988 8709
Fax: +44 (0)118 988 9074
E-Mail: mailto:info@unicorninterglobal.com
Web: https://www.unicorninterglobal.com
Location: at PinInTheMap


Unicorn started in 1989 when Mike Peat set up a company that was originally called Neocourt (a horrid off-the-shelf name provided through an accountant) to work in the field of bespoke software development.

After a little over a year, Mike realised that he needed more people to service the increasing workload, but that he wasn't really competent to be anybody's employer, so he involved Carol Laskin as well. Carol initially worked as a software developer, but was also a 50% shareholder in the company and was its Managing Director.

Now on a sounder footing, the company was renamed Unicorn Business Solutions (UBS): both Carol and Mike had previously worked for a (DataFlex using) company called Phoenix Microsystems (later Phoenix Business Solutions) and had thus had come to believe that all software companies should be named after mythical creatures... at least that was the conclusion of one jolly good night in a restaurant in central London. Carol had recently bought a cottage in Bloxham, near Banbury, called "Unicorn Cottage" in "Unicorn Lane", so the logic of the situation - at least by the second bottle of wine - was clearly inescapable!

Unicorn prospered and grew from 1990 to 1998, with offices in Chiswick, London, becoming first a DataFlex reseller, then, after the collapse of DIIMS (the UK distributor at the time), the provider of technical support to the UK DataFlex market, then, following the closure of Data Access UK, one of four - later two - UK Data Access distributors, by which time it had a turnover of around £1M and a workforce of around 20 - the majority of whom were software developers.

Then, in 1998, the company split, with Carol retaining the original company, while Mike established Unicorn Financial Solutions (UFS) to service UBS's biggest and oldest customer - a City of London Stockbroker with an investment administration business based in Farnham, UK, for whom Mike had designed and written a comprehensive system (in DataFlex, first on CDOS, then Unix) which was the core of their business.

For her part, Carol, tired of herding cats (this problem had been a major factor in Mike's reasons for splitting/leaving as well), down-sized the development arm of the business, switching from employed developers to an independent-consultant business model for servicing those needs, and rebranding the company as Unicorn InterGlobal (UIG), moving from London to Maidenhead - about 40km to the west.

In 2005 however UFS's single significant client closed down (for complicated corporate reasons, involving their parent company's regulatory and governance woes) and all the staff had to be laid off (without too much pain: there had been over a year's warning), leaving Mike to try and make an honest living, which he did, in part by acting as one UIG's consultants.

30 years of Unicorn

In 2006 Carol, for various personal reasons, decided that she would, bizarrely, prefer to live a life of luxury in the Caribbean than continue to run UIG, and so sold UIG back to Mike. The office was again moved, this time to just south of Reading, about 60km west of London, where the company is to be found today.

(PS: Tanned, but bored, Carol eventually returned to the UK... but is no longer working in the DataFlex community.)

In 2019 Unicorn celebrated its 30th anniversary!