NEW FORMS OF INTELLIGENCE
USING TECHNOLOGY TO CATCH CRIMINALS
NASA, the FBI, the US government and Visa are just some of the illustrious names on the order book of Fookes Software. So, how did this company, which can count its employees on one hand, do it? “Through the magic of digitization!” exclaims Eric Fookes who founded the business in 1996. Since then, Fookes Software has forged a world-class reputation largely thanks to the Aid4Mail program it first started to develop back in 2003. “It is an expert solution for small- and large-scale mail migration and analysis. The lion’s share of our turnover is generated by a highly specific forensics and eDiscovery license”, explains the Charmey-based software developer. Aid4Mail boasts a wide range of features, including the extraction of data suitable for use by law enforcement agencies. It can detect criminal activity and verify whether employees are disclosing confidential information. According to Mr Fookes: “Our customers pledge to abide by local laws governing the use of these data.”
A prestigious accolade
At the renowned European IT and Software Excellence Awards in 2016, Aid4Mail, a computer program developed by Fribourg company Fookes Software, was crowned “Software Innovation Solution of the Year”. The small firm based in Charmey was one of 86 finalists from some 21 countries. Yet, founder Eric Fookes is no stranger to the winner’s podium. The first commercial software he developed, NoteTab Pro, won the 1998 PC Magazine award. “It was an improved version of a small text editor that I created for my own private use while I was writing my thesis at Geneva University.” The internet may have been in its infancy then, but this IT fanatic already sensed the opportunities that the web could offer. “I published my software online and free of charge; it was a major success.” This turn of events led him to abandon his thesis so as to invest all his time and energy into his single-member company, which first appeared in the Companies’ Register back in 1996. More than 20 years later, Fookes Software – which became a limited company in 2008 – “still operates like a start-up”, explains the Managing Director with great pride.