Corporate name confusion

In 1993, I started to work for Videoconferencing Systems, Inc., which was commonly known by its initials VSI.

Videoconferencing Systems, Inc. was apparently formerly Environmental Systems, Inc. (known as ESI), a spin-off of Sprint (formerly US Sprint), and many of the inventory stickers on equipment and so forth used this former name.

Videoconferencing Systems, Inc. was a subidiary of another company called "VSI Enterprises, Inc." As you see, by their name, their main concern was with our company. VSI Enterprises, Inc., had formerly been known as Fi-Tek Funding III, Inc. VSI Enterprises, Inc. was a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ small-cap market with the ticker symbol VSIN. It also traded on the Boston market with the ticker symbol VSI.

VSI Enterprises, Inc. bought a Belgian company named Cybervision, n.v. (the n.v. is a Dutch abbreviation for naamloze vennootschap which means "nameless venture" in English). Cybervision, n.v., was renamed Videoconfernecing Systems, n.v. and was known as "VSI nv" or "VSI Europe" (even though there wasn't really anything for the I to stand for). Videoconferencing Systems, n.v. had a couple of subsidiaries itself, namely Videoconferencing Systems, Ltd. of England and Videoconferencing Systems, S.A. of France.

We had a chief financial officer (CFO) who seemed to buy companies just as a hobby so he could put the transactions on his résumé. He bought cR Solutions (renamed to VSI Solutions, Inc.), Eastern Telecom, Inc. (renamed to VSI Network Services, Inc.), and I believe a few other companies, but I cannot recall them all.

Most of the companies folded soon after we bought them. No one I know ever understood why we bought the companies. The one survivor was Videoconferencing Systems, n.v. (except for its Videoconferencing Systems, S.A. subsidiary). The European guys bought themselves out from VSI Enterprises, Inc., and became independent. They are around to this day as Glovicom, n.v.

Our internet domain was, to match our ticker symbol. I never especially liked in since it had "sin" in it. We couldn't have, since it was in use by some fax company.

VSI Enterprises, Inc. renamed itself to Simtrol, Inc. At the same time, the press release making the announcement said that VSI Enterprises, Inc. already had a subsidiary named Simtrol, Inc. which was being changed to Simtrol Software, Inc., but I don't know anything else about that company. At the same time, the NASDAQ ticker symbol changed to SMOL (somewhere along the line, we had quit the Boston exchange and no longer had the VSI ticker). We took on the new Internet domain of

In 2003, our ticker symbol changed from SMOL to SMOLE to reflect some delinquent filings. It eventually changed back to SMOL when we got booted off the NASDAQ small-cap board and became traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin-Board system (OTCBB).

In 2004, in conjunction with a 1 for 10 reverse stock split, our ticker symbol changed to SMRL.

In 2006, Simtrol, Inc., entered into a joint venture with IDS a company from Michigan and created a company Justice Digital Solutions, LLC (limited liability company). I have no idea what IDS stands for. They refer to Justice Digital Solutions, LLC, as "JDS". I finally resigned from Videoconferencing Systems, Inc. in June.

Simtrol, Inc., now has complete ownership of Justice Digital Solutions, LLC. In 2007, their stock ticker changed for a few days from SMRL to SMRLE due to delinquent filings with the Security & Exchange Commission (SEC), but now it is back at SMRL.

Go back tomiscellany menu
Go back toCurtis's home page