About Us

Our Journey: from School-links to Beep

Living through the devastating Christchurch earthquake, Andrew Balfour experienced first-hand how important no-fail methods of communication are to schools and early childhood centres. With constant improvement, development and innovation, School-links, their communication solution for schools, became a leading platform in the New Zealand education sector, and the team have become a recognised authority in the field of Emergency Response and Attendance Management. “Over time interest from outside the education sector grew,” recalls Andrew. “And in the face of further disasters such as Kaikoura earthquakes, the Christchurch shootings, numerous lockdowns and weather events plus the changes to health and safety legislation, we decided to develop a sister product, called Beep, tailored specifically for businesses, associations, organisations, churches, not-for-profits and clubs.”

Stay safe, be kind – a ‘koha’ option for Beep

Beep4Business was due for release just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, “During the lockdown the mantra ‘stay safe, be kind’ really struck a chord with our organisation. We have always been about helping people stay safe, and we feel in these difficult times that we have an opportunity to support all those agencies who support all of us.” Andrew has launched Beep with a koha option for charities, not-for-profits, churches, social enterprises, clubs, and associations, “We are asking organisations to set their own monthly fee for the software and support in the form of a donation or gift to what they feel that they can comfortably afford.” They already have a working men’s club, tele-communication business and a community-focused collaborative working space on board. As a business owner, we want to support start-ups, organisations and businesses too, “We are thinking about companies and organisations who would benefit from Beep but are currently experiencing financial pressure. We just ask that they contact us and we will do whatever we can to help.

Andrew Balfour
Executive Director and CEO

Our Team

Beep is brought to you by Solvam Corporation Limited. We are a small company based in Christchurch, New Zealand, who have been providing innovative communication solutions to schools and organisations since we were founded in 2003.

Andrew Balfour – Executive Director & CEO

Andrew sits on the board as an Executive Director. Andrew has over 30 years’ experience in the retail, wholesale, importing, marketing and design sectors. He is the CEO and Sales Director of Solvam. His attention to detail for all facets of business operations helps make School-links a world-class software application.

Robyn Balfour

Robyn has over 30 years teaching experience and has been involved in the company since the initial startup period through to the current day. Robyn works in a sales and support role in School-links, developing close relationships with our schools.

Keith Humm

Keith Humm is our lead software engineer based in Christchurch. He is responsible for the development and maintenance of the School-links and Beep product. Keith has a background in Computer Science, with a first-class honours’ degree from the University of Canterbury, specialising in Human-Computer Interaction. Keith also has a keen interest in design and user experience.

Keith Mockett

Keith Mockett is our technical support go-to based in Wellington. Keith has a background in many aspects of ICT including programming, software support and sales. Keith is almost certainly the most knowledgeable person in New Zealand when it comes to Early Notification software and support.

Kim Hetherington

Kim has many years of experience in the education and tech sector providing frontline support and training for our customers. Her experience in the school ICT environment is second-to-none and Kim will always go the extra mile to help.

Mary-Anne Colenbrander

Mary-Anne is a key member of our School-links and Beep team providing expertise and support for our sales and advertising channels - and always with a smile.

Board of Directors

For a small company, as Solvam is, our directors and boardroom run with the best. Our board of trustees includes:

Graham Shaw – Director / Chairman

Graham is a professional director with involvement in several public and private companies as well as not-forprofit boards and has extensive SaaS governance experience from being on the board of Xero for eight years and more recently Gentrack and Chairman of PushPay.

Andrew Balfour – Executive Director and CEO

Andrew has over 35 years’ experience in retail, wholesale, importing, marketing technology and design sectors. He is the General Manager and Sales Director of Solvam. His attention to detail for all facets of business operations has helped make School-links the leader in communication software for the education sector.

Graham Brown & Peter Glassford – Directors

Graham and Peter are the founders of Brown Glassford & Co Ltd., a Christchurch based Chartered Accountancy and business advisory company specialising in the farming sector. Both spent time with the Big 4 firms before establishing Brown Glassford.