Peter Watson is founder of Berkeley Computer Services Limited (BCS), one of the oldest continuously operating software houses in Scotland. The company was established in 1978, and is based in Glasgow. BCS’s first customer was Kangolwear. The company moved into healthcare solutions in the 1980s. In 1991 the company launched the integrated software package Masterlab, first implemented at Neville Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, Wales. In 2002 BCS was one of the largest providers of laboratory information systems in the United Kingdom, supplying its Masterlab integrated software package to approximately 40 National Health Service Trusts. The company has recently been acquired by Torex Laboratory Systems Ltd.
In this oral history Watson describes his early life and education, his work as an actuary for Standard Life Assurance, and as a programmer at Honeywell Controls. He describes his role in the development and troubleshooting of several innovative programs and systems. Watson also recounts early efforts to establish financing and a customer base for BCS, including the development of complete information systems for textile manufacturing, whiskey distillery, building contracting, and many other business sectors. He also discusses many of the unique aspects of Scotland’s software industry.