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Peloton Celebrates 30th Anniversary!

The History of Peloton

How it all began

In the late eighties, Glen Gray was working for Babcock & Wilcox as a testing engineer in Ontario. His brother Stuart had just graduated from university with a computer science degree but had not found employment yet. With the release of Windows 3.0 and the invention of Visual Basic (VB), the Gray brothers were in a very unique position.

“It was such an interesting time,” remembers Gray. “We saw a huge opportunity with the transition from DOS to Windows and knew we had to capitalize on it. So, I quit my job at Babcock & Wilcox and drove back to Calgary to start a new company. We weren’t sure if it would be a computer hardware or software company, but we knew the time was right to start something.”

They began brainstorming names and struggled to come up with one they felt represented their company.

“We started down the path of using our own names and played with Gray Soft or Gray Corp, but we really didn’t want our names in the company name,” said Gray. “I think it was Stu who suggested we just call the company Peloton since we were both avid cyclists at the time and loved watching the Tour de France. At the time it was unique and had a global ring to it.”

And, that was the start of Peloton.

 

The early days

On November 5, 1991, Peloton was officially founded. The Gray brothers started the company in their parents' basement with no money.

“Honestly, for the first month, we didn’t know what our focus was going to be. We weren’t sure if we should start with hardware or software,” explains Gray. “Initially we began creating and selling desktop backgrounds. I am pretty sure this wasn’t completely legal, but we would scan pictures of famous golf holes from a calendar and then sell disks with these pirated images to computer stores.”

This strategy proved to be highly unsuccessful. By December of that same year, another brother, Don, who was working as a petroleum engineer in Calgary, drew up a sketch and faxed it to Glen and Stu.

“Don had drawn up a wellbore schematic with the relevant data all in one application and on one screen,” Gray said. “Nobody does this, he told us. Enter the downhole configuration data and draw a schematic from that data.”

That was the day WellView was born, and the day Peloton would begin defining their vision. What started out as company in a basement with little direction had now become a “fearless group” committed to building drilling and well data software that would improve oil and gas operations worldwide.

 

Peloton’s first product paves the way

After launching the initial idea in early 1992, WellView immediately began to take off.

“We placed a small ad in a trade journal and a guy named Earl Hickok saw it and invited us to demo it to his friend who happened to be the president of Exxon Production Research Corp out of Houston,” remembers Gray. “It is crazy to think that our first significant demo was to Exxon when we were still just two guys!”

The deal took a couple of years due to Exxon's requirements, but it was a great start for Peloton and would be the impetus for several new deals to come.

In the early years, several software products were introduced including WellView, WinLabel for label printing and PetroForm which was an oil and gas regulatory form-filling software.

“WinLabel took on a life of its own and was eventually converted into several pieces of software,” said Gray. “We ended up licensing that software to a giant global firm out of Germany who put it in stores around the world.”

At this point, the brothers had come to a fork in the road and had to make some decisions about the future of the company. They decided to sell all the other applications and focus solely on upstream oil and gas software. This decision to focus their attention turned out to be great for the company.

“Peloton has gone through lots of growth phases, and it has been amazing to see how far we have all come since we started it in 1991. Through the years, we have carefully managed our growth while refusing to compromise the quality standards of our software and service,” said Gray. “This is fundamental to both Peloton’s future and to our clients. It’s a guiding principle we take very seriously.”

Today, Peloton has over 160 employees and subsidiaries in all regions of the world. The platform is energizing oil and gas digital transformation through mobility, automation, and data integration by providing fully integrated well data lifecycle, production data lifecycle and land data management solutions.

Peloton Development is still managed by Glen Gray, and the experience of the development team cannot be matched by any other company focused on data management. Peloton believes no other company is investing more in R&D funding or quality of resources to provide their clients with the best technology for well, production and land data management. Not only is Peloton spending more on R&D, but they also have a more experienced team than any of their competitors.

“It’s unbelievable to think we went from one customer (Exxon) in 1992 to now over 600 oil and gas clients worldwide,” said Gray. “The customers rely on our technology to equip them with the tools and information necessary to manage, simplify and optimize their operations and we look forward to working with them in the future to bring them even more solutions.”

Together, Pelotonians around the world will continue to tackle exciting challenges for years to come with their powerful history and clear direction. For a more in-depth peek at Peloton’s history, visit History | Peloton.

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