Company History

PERLS was formed in 2011 through a collaboration between Bellamy and Hough, First in Business Solutions and Simple Cloud, to bring together the best of software reading and education expertise, software support, software design and product building respectively. While the PERLS itself is only a few years old, Bellamy & Hough have been in this business since 1976.

A Potted History of Bellamy & Hough

From March 1970 to August 1976, Brian was employed by Gallo-Fox, then the largest company in the audio-visual supply market in South Africa. Gallo-Fox was a joint venture between the largest recording companyin South Africa and 20th Century-Fox in the USA. The company represented many giants in the industry including: Bell & Howell, JVC, Technicolor, TOA, and DuKane. This was the pre-TV era in South Africa when 16mm projectors often provided home entertainment.

 

Brian was largely responsible for making South Africa the biggest overseas client Bell & Howell has ever had for amateur projection equipment. One of the many companies that Gallo-Fox represented was a McGraw-Hill subsidiary, Educational Development Laboratories (EDL), which had been incorporated in New York in 1954. EDL had developed programmes to improve English communication skills, especially vocabulary, reading comprehension & speed and study skills. EDL was not a “glory” product like Bell & Howell and was shunned by the sales staff. The learning curve for the product was steep and EDL provided Gallo-Fox with less than 1% of its annual turnover.

 

In 1975, when Brian was National Sales Manager, Gallo-Fox asked him to visit McGraw-Hill in New York before visiting Bell & Howell in Chicago. What was intended as a courtesy visit became a revelation for Brian. This was some time before the advent of computers in schools, but the technology, research and scope of EDL’s vision sparked an interest in Brian that was to continue for many years. Brian had first been introduced to the EDL range in 1970 when he was branch manager of Gallo-Fox’s Durban office. The market for EDL products was thought to be “special education”. This changed after 1975 when general schools were introduced to the new technology for improving reading skills. In 1976 Brian, then General Manager, left Gallo-Fox to form Bellamy & Hough (Pty) Ltd and so started the first (and so far only) company formed as reading specialists. The range of products now includes communication skills for special education, formal schooling from the first year to tertiary level, and adult education.

 

Material offered for English Mother Tongue (EMT), English Second Language (ESL), English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (EFSOL). Brian developed a new concept, Quantum Learning Centres (QLC), to meet the need for both corporate and private training. There are many privately owned QLCs in South Africa. He also spent some time studying ophthalmic devices for measuring eye-movements with Prof Joel Newman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, thus becomming one of the foremost experts locally and internationally in this field. Brian is the co-author of the Adult Literature Series for functionally illiterate adults and is the author of numerous articles on reading, literacy, small business skills, salesmanship, and motivation. One of his most successful books is “Soaring Above Vultures – Survival Skills for the Small Business in South Africa”. This handy book for entrepreneurs has launched the Vulture Academy, a hands-on modular workshop that teaches business skills to entrepreneurs. Besides being an published author, Brian was also a member of the International Reading Association for many years. Brian has visited the USA and Europe many times to attend conferences and training seminars and deliver papers on South Africa’s unique training needs and experiences. He has often been an after dinner speaker at Round Table and Rotary meetings. He writes a weekly jazz column titled ‘All That Jazz’ for the Independent Newspaper Group and writes articles on education and training for that the same group and he publishes South Africa’s only international jazz magazine, The Jassman, and is the editor of Master Link, the official magazine of the Classic Motor Cycle Club.

First In Business Solutions (FIBS)

First in Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd was founded in 1989. with offices in Gauteng, Durban and the Western Cape, they are a skills-based company where all the professionals’ have/can have a shareholding in First. We have skills in Internet, Microsoft, Networking, Storage, Telephony, Linux and Open Source environments. They supply brand name computer equipment and will design, build, test, install and support a complete installation including all the cabling and Network aspects. For Internet accesses we have developed our own Stargate Service. This is a combination of Hardware, and Linux Open Source Management Software to enable all users on a network to access the Internet in a simple, safe and economical way. To optimise our Internet and online support offerings we are a registered ICASA Internet Service Provider (ISP). We also offer a low cost Backup-over-the-Net service where your data is encrypted, compressed & stored offsite.


A major portion of our business is the provision of technical support and training to Educational and commercial businesses. Under a support contract we will manage an IT Installation including hardware and operating system support, backup and restore management, anti-virus management, installing the latest software patches, informal training for the staff to use the equipment and desktop applications, managing their overall environment plus their Internet activities. This includes email and firewall management, web page hosting, design and application hosting. Existing Clients include Astute Financial Services, Bishop Bavin School, Breast Cancer Cause Marketing, Cansa Association of SA, Dirkie Uys School (Durban), EIKOS Risk Management, Frances Vorwerg School, Frigoglass, Future Publishing, Glenanda Primary School, Glenvista High School, Henkel, Heron Bridge College, Jeppe Boys and Jeppe Girls High Schools, KFC, Morris Cranes, Motorola SA, Mindset Networks, MSC Colleges (EL, PE & PTA), Rhenish Girls High (Stellenbosch), SA Airlink, SA Communications Forum, Strand High School (Somerset West), Symantec South Africa, The Green Cartridge Company, Zenwill Lacob Attorneys and others.

 

Existing Clients include Astute Financial Services, Consulting Engineers of SA, EIKOS Risk Management (Durban), Edumap College, Epsilon Management Services, Esquare Engineering, Future Publishing, Jeppe Girls High Schools, Kenya Airways, Labchem, Lebone Engineering, Morris Cranes, MSC Colleges (12 x campus), Namibia College, North West University, Peugeot franchises, PinkDrive Breast Cancer Charity, SA Underwriters, Shosholoza Marketing, SSH Attorneys, The Green Cartridge Company, Topline Research Solutions, Torga Optical (6 Branches), University of Johannesburg and others.

Simple Cloud

Simple Cloud is a custom making web Design Company creating and hosting the best web solution suited to our client’s budget and needs rolled into one. We use programmers from all over the world with expertise from plain HTML to Java, whatever your needs we are competent to handle our client’s business needs.

The people involved in Simple Cloud are passionate about the web our clients have come to know and experience this. We have joined the Perls project – ironed out some issues in the system and continue to be first line of support for their users. We have also coded the Andoird version of Perls Reading which is a new product in the Perls line.