Bluebird Auto Rental Systems: How It All Started
How the global value leader in car rental software came to be
Bluebird Systems, based in Carlsbad, CA, first started selling car rental software, then named AutoMate, in 1982 to run on “SuperDOS”, their own proprietary operating system. SuperDOS was a platform for resellers around the world, and Bluebird Systems had several transportation-related software divisions. In 1985, the first major account was signed: Thrifty Car Rental.
Phil Jones began working for Bluebird Systems in 1987 as the Manager of Support, and Angela Margolit started in 1988 as the Northeast Account Manager. Anticipating that Windows was going to be a popular operating system, Angela tried to persuade then owner, Hal Tilbury, to re-write AutoMate in Windows. Choosing to pursue other ventures, Hal instead worked with Angela to engineer an employee-leveraged buy out the auto rental division. She brought on three limited partners along with Phil Jones (to head up Support and Development) and her brother, Gordon Rozek (to head up Sales and Marketing). Hence Bluebird “Auto Rental” Systems was founded in November of 1993. Over one weekend, the operations were moved from California to New Jersey with a total of 11 employees to support 200 customers.
The global growth of Bluebird Auto Rental System’s car rental software
The new company immediately partnered with Progress Software to create a Windows-based version, dubbed AutoMate2. No longer relying on SuperDOS, Bluebird was able to deploy their software outside the U.S. Reynolds & Reynolds endorsed them in 1995, followed shortly by ADP, which rapidly grew the dealership market. The flagship product was then renamed “RentWorks”.
In 2006, Bluebird bought out competitor Orion Systems, who supported a Data Bridge for Budget licensees. Avis Budget Group then worked with Bluebird to provide a back office solution for their licensees who use the global Wizard counter system. Since Bluebird Auto Rental Systems was formed, we have been committed to keeping pace with technology. As our staff has expanded, our staff has gained a wealth of knowledge in new ways of assisting businesses. Our staff is filled with members coming from a background in the auto rental industry and therefore, are fully understanding of customers’ needs. We understand the needs of car rental businesses of all sizes and are committed to updating our software to reflect changing needs in the industry.
In 2018, Valsoft Corp., a Montreal-based company specializing in the acquisition and development of vertical market software businesses acquired Bluebird Auto Rental Systems. The goal from there was to carry on Bluebird’s proud tradition. Bluebird, under the Valsoft umbrella, will continue to develop, enhance, service, and support our industry-leading RentWorks and NetRent solutions in providing a competitive edge to customers.