Our History

1995 | cyberlink systems

garage ISP: In 1995 architect Pedro Buccellato connected his garage BBS network to the Internet and founded an ISP startup. He called it Cyberlink Systems, left the architectural profession and became a full time Internet enterpreneur and web developer.

Over the following two decades Pedro developed multiple online applications and perfected the software systems and servers which today empower the company to design, build and maintain state of the art web assets.

Although semi-retired, he still keeps a keen eye on the running of the company and assists on key projects.

Founder Pedro Buccellato in his garage ISP operation in 1995

1999 | content is king

dot com pioneers: In 1998 architect Karen Eicker left the architectural profession to join Cyberlink Systems as head of the newly created Content Development division, in addition to furthering her studies in marketing and communications.

As an activist, Karen actively championed the software freedom movement, organising various events over the years including a tour of South Africa by Dr Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation, USA.

Karen is today a multiple award winning journalist, acclaimed author, influencer and CEO of Apex Communications, Southrand’s sister company.

Co-Founder Karen Eicker with Richard Stallman, circa 2000

2001 | freedom software advocacy

OS wars: In the early days of the Web, hosting a website was an expensive, secretive and restrictive undertaking, primarily due to exorbitant proprietary server software license fees.

In response, digital warriors the world over fell in behind visionary physicist Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation to create what is today taken for granted;  the GNU/Linux operating system (including Android) and the resultant Open Source community which became the backbone of today’s Internet.

Cyberlink’s early successful adoption of GNU/Linux web servers enabled it to break the cost to client price barrier and offer affordable web based solutions to an emerging market.

Today around 70% of the world’s Internet servers run on GNU/Linux.

Free Software activists at a Cyberlink sponsored event in 2001

2009 | adoption of the cms

super powers: The first nine or ten years of commercial engagement were tough for the company as web standards, programming languages and computer technology were evolving at lightning speeds and profitable projects were few.

The adoption of the Drupal Content Management System protocol in 2009 enabled the company to offer complex large scale web solutions and applications at very competitive prices.

2016 | restructure & growth

dual markets: As the technical and content development divisions of the company grew in size and scope it became necessary to fork operations into two autonomous but associated companies able to service its respective markets independently.

In restructuring, the name Cyberlink Systems was abandoned as it clashed with an international company of similar name.

Thus, Apex Communications & Southrand Digital were established as Apex Information Systems (Pty) Ltd subsidiaries, operating independently in a collaborative metasphere.

2021 | resilient & connected

we are open: Southrand Digital is today a well established and mature trusted network of connected collaborator nodes which span numerous continents and time zones controlled from our administrative head office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Over the last two Covid years we have discontinued working from central physical offices as much as possible and now operate remotely from numerous home office locations, seamlessly servicing a well established client base in Africa and Europe.

If you are looking for a trusted, efficient and resilient web development outfit consider talking to us. Contact Southrand Digital.