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25 Years of Curveball Solutions

This year, Curveball Solutions celebrates 25 years in business. In this article, Founder and Managing Director Dave Brown talks about how it all began and the journey taken to reach a quarter of a century in business.


The Curveball origin story

Founded by Dave Brown in 1998 as Northern Telecommunications, Curveball Solutions was born from a passion for technology and a vision for the potential of a new product just beginning to enter the mainstream consciousness: the mobile phone.

Dave explains, “When I decided to set up the business in 1998, it was a big risk. I’d left my job and had enough money to operate for one month, so the pressure was really on. I knew though, that mobile phones could revolutionise the way we do business. We took out a lease in an old bank building in Walton, and with a few phone lines and the Yellow Pages, the business was born.”

Dave continues, “Back then, business was very different. Instead of the internet, we had phone books. The guys would be battling with A-Z maps when visiting clients, as sat navs weren’t mainstream. And contracts would take weeks to process, we didn’t have the benefit of eSign – it was Royal Mail!”

Initially, our early products included brick-like Alcatel mobile phones and later, early versions of the infamous Blackberry. However, the challenge in those days was convincing people how a mobile phone would benefit their business! We’d often hear, “Why do I need a mobile? I have a landline and answer machine.” But people were soon convinced. Before long, we were supplying mobiles across Liverpool and beyond.

Dave said, “We started out providing mobile phones, allowing people to do business while on the move. And we found that by listening to our clients, the problems they’re having and their pain points, it guided the direction of the business.”

“Just as mobile phones supported productivity, we realised how many client issues were related to productivity. From this, we began providing vehicle tracking and became a preferred supplier for the Road Haulage Association. Our clients needed business-specific phone solutions like call routing, so we became an NEC business partner.”

In 2013, we changed the business’s name from Northern Telecommunications to Curveball Solutions as we began the journey to become a Managed Service Provider.

Today, Curveball is an award-winning company providing Managed IT, Communications and Business Utilities services to our clients all over the UK.


The family at the heart of Curveball

The Brown family has been the heart of the business from the very beginning. When Dave Brown started the company aged just 25, his family were there to support him. Dave says, “We started out with a small team, including my brother Steve and his wife Paula, and their son Neil (my nephew) would help out in the school holidays.”

L-R: Neil Brown, Steve Brown, Dave Brown, Paula Brown, Dan Brown.


“My brother Graham and his wife helped out in the early days too. Graham worked in dispatch while Donna ran the office for us. And then we had my mum, Eileen Brown – known as the best salesperson in the business! Mum ran the canteen, serving breakfast and lunch, making sure everyone was well fed!“

Fifteen years later, in 2013, Neil’s brother, Daniel Brown, joined the business. After completing an MBA, Dan went on to take the position of Operations Director and continues to work alongside his Uncle Dave, managing the business today.

Dave continues, “At the very beginning, I knew I needed a great sales team to help explain the benefits of mobiles – luckily, my good friend Lisa Conley took a leap of faith with me. Peter Quinton and Colin Uittermark joined the sales team in those very early days too – and they’re all still part of the business today, 25 years on.”

L-R: Colin Uittermark, Steve Brown, Paula Brown, Dave Brown, Lisa Conley, Peter Quinton.


The Curveball Solutions Timeline

1998      Northern Telecommunications is born, specialising in mobile communications

2000      Fixed line telecoms are added to our portfolio

2006      Preferred telecoms provider for the Road Haulage Association providing Vehicle Tracking

2009      Partnered with NEC Business to provide advanced business phone systems

2010      Awarded the prestigious title of ‘O2 Centre of Excellence’

2010      Managed business utility services are launched, as we begin to review clients’ utility bills for potential savings

2010      As the business and team grow, we make our first office move to Moorgate Road in Kirkby

2012      As our portfolio grows, Northern Telecommunications is rebranded as Curveball Solutions

2012      Our Engineers become NEC Certified

2013      Office 365 and Mobile Device Management are added to our portfolio

2013      Dan Brown joins the business

2013      Another relocation just down the road to a larger new office on Moorgate Road

2014      Curveball Mobile is launched

2015      New jobs are created with a Company Trainer, Support Administrators and Apprentices hired to support the team

2018      Curveball Solutions launches Managed IT Services, including IT Support

2019      Double award success! Announced as winners of both the O2 Customer Excellence Award and the O2 Digital Excellence Award

2021      We move a little further down Moorgate Road to our new office in Moorgate Point

2021      The pandemic and lockdown hits and very quickly, most of our team are set up to work from home. During this time, we helped many clients, old and new, to set up their employees to work remotely whilst continuing to operate

2022      Curveball Solutions wins the Virgin Media O2 Engage Partner of the Year Award

2023      We celebrate 25 Years in business


Curveball at 25

Curveball Solutions and the team behind the business have come a long way in 25 years. Today, Curveball is an established, award-winning company providing a ‘one-stop shop’ of business solutions covering Managed IT, Communications and Utilities.

Dave comments, “Our evolution into a Managed Service Provider has been such an exciting journey. We now have an IT team with a full range of expertise and a Service Desk that quickly directs and prioritises client support requests. And the technology that we now use at 25 definitely helps us stay ahead. Our CRM system, ticketing system, IT security and monitoring tools – and of course, Teams!”

2023: Team Curveball celebrating 25 Years


Dave concludes, “We’ve always been experts in business communications and always will be, however today, our portfolio of products and services is based purely on client feedback. Our client focus has directly impacted the company based on what their needs are – and this is what we continue to do today.”

At Curveball, we’re honoured to enjoy long-term relationships with our team members, clients, and partners. As we enter our 26th year, we’ll continue to listen to our client base and work with our team and partners to develop new ways to support our customers in simplifying and improving their organisations.


What is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data centre (hosting), or in a third-party data centre. Gartner


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