Our story began in 1981 when José Zirah went to the EDF agency (French electricity provider) in Montpellier to increase the power of his electricity meter. What seemed like a harmless process turned into a successful entrepreneurial story. As often, a large crowd gathered in the small agency of the French energy supplier. Despite a rudimentary system to manage the order, the wait was long. So long that an idea sprung up in his mind, became obvious: it was necessary to offer professionals more advanced queue management systems. A wait so long that this evidence turned into a deep, irrevocable conviction that by working in this direction everyone would come out a winner: professionals, customers and of course the young entrepreneur from Montpellier. A wait so long that José laid the theoretical basis of his future system during this visit.
After a quick training in business creation, José started to approach different stores with a prototype of a revolutionary system for the wait. It allowed to manage 8 queues of customers and to call them in the order of arrival. The need was real because several prospects showed interest. So much so that the bet proved to be a winner when the France Telecom store placed an order even before the legal deposit of the company. It arrived during the year 1982, the year that started a successful adventure.
A first employee joined the company to carry out the installations at the various customers while José prospected further and further: first Montpellier, then Béziers, then Nîmes, Marseille, Paris… The story tells that this employee is still in the company, 40 years later. The workforce also grew with the arrival of Jean-Pierre Richard, a friend of José when they were studying together. This friendship was the driving force behind the development of new solutions and the conquest of new industries and geographical markets.
20 years have passed, more than 800 customers have been equipped with ESII solutions, including some internationally. In 2002, the company was about to take a major turn with the launch of the eSirius™ solution, the first full web IT solution able to manage a multitude of queues on a multitude of locations. Success was here, leading to the addition of ever more advanced functionalities: online appointments, purchases pickup, the Cameo™ interactive kiosk, etc.
Over the years, ESII established itself as the French market leader with the opening of 2 offices, in Vitré and Créteil, thus nourishing the ambitions of this regional company to challenge the major players worlwide. In 2014, 35% of the revenue came from customers based elsewhere in Europe, Africa and America. That year saw the acceleration of the international strategy with the creation of ESII Inc., a subsidiary based in Laval in the province of Quebec in Canada. The company became an international group eager to conquer the North American market thanks to its experience and innovative technologies. This creation was followed in 2016 by the takeover of the Belgian company, Management Systems, a long-time partner, to become a new office called ESII Belgium. This was followed by the creation of one more office based in Spain, ESII Ibérica, in 2020.
2018 also marked a key point about the evolution of the solutions offered by ESII with the launch of the Orion suite in full SaaS mode. Queue management, after many technological developments, was beginning to shift to the cloud.