The Premier Story

Premier International was founded in 1985 by Jim and Dune Hempleman. Having started his consulting career at Touche Ross & Co., the predecessor to Deloitte & Touche (now known as Deloitte Consulting), Jim was one of the early visionaries for the important role rapid application development and the PC would play in the future of information technology solutions. Jim’s vision was honed over the four decades of consulting, resulting in the exponential growth and success of Premier, now one of the leading data migration consulting firms in the U.S.

Through their example and passion for values, Jim and Dune instilled a spirit of selflessness with which we serve our clients, a source of power that transcends all business relationships and serves as a driving force for the way that we serve and support each other.

Jim passed away unexpectedly in May 2018, leaving a legacy of innovation and industry leadership that still inspires Premier staff on a daily basis. Premier continues to honor Jim’s legacy and impact with our innovative technology and consulting services. Under our current leadership and passion, the firm is well-positioned for continued success and poised to grow into the global leader for data migration.

Our History

We're proud of the storied history of Premier International, from our small software firm beginnings to our current position as a leading IT consulting firm. And it all started with the purchase of an IBM personal computer ...

The Very Beginning

The genesis of Premier International was started during Jim Hempleman’s early consulting career, both with Touche Ross & Co., as well as International Consulting Enterprises (ICE), the predecessor of Premier.

In the early years, Jim designed four different rapid application development (RAD) tools for clients. In 1982, he began designing a new RAD software tool that would eventually become Applaud®.

In 1983, Jim purchased IBM’s first PC with a hard disk, essentially on the first day it was released by IBM, and developed a prototype of Applaud. That PC had 128k in memory, a 10 MB hard drive and required an investment of over $10,000 (in 1983 dollars!). That computer is on display at Premier’s office in Chicago, serving as a daily reminder of Jim’s vision for what was possible.

The head of IT for a New York consulting firm heard that Jim had developed this prototype software, saw a demo and was so impressed with the software that he asked Jim to use the platform to build products for them. That led to the official forming of Premier International Enterprises, Inc. in August 1985, becoming one of the first IT firms to bet their future on the personal computer.

The Early Years

From 1985 through 1988, Premier continued building software products for the New York consulting firm and their subsidiary firms. The PC was still in its infancy, but we were successfully using it to replace mainframe software for many prestigious companies.

The company was profitable in the early years, enabling Jim to re-invest in the business and fund the development of Applaud. The initial version of Applaud was launched in August 1988.

Going into the 1990s, Premier was achieving modest success selling Applaud licenses. In 1993, a client asked us to build an Applaud system for them and also provide professional services consulting surrounding our Applaud software. That engagement launched our services-first business model, which has enabled Premier to grow and expand substantially over the last 25 years. 

... Which Brings Us to Now.

Today, we focus exclusively on data migration, helping our clients reduce the risk associated with a large-scale technology implementation. 

Using Applaud, we can migrate from any legacy system to any target system. Our experience in the industry, coupled with our proprietary technology platform, allow us to do our work faster, better, and in many cases, less expensively than you could do it yourselves or with another partner.

Our clients tell us we are the best in the world in data migration – let us show you what they mean!

Our Team