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Erlang came out of the Computer Science Lab at Ellemtel headed by Bjarne Däcker, as the result of a project trying to find programming languages suitable for telecom applications.
The lab tried various languages available at that time, and found the need for a language that could handle massive concurrency and having good support for fault tolerance. Since no language could meet these constraints, a decision were taken to construct a new language borrowing ideas that were good.
After some initial work, a prototype project within Ericsson were located, and some real user response could be obtained.
The outcome of these experiments were very promising and development continued.
Today we are in a situation were we have a lot of experience from telecom applications, and Erlang certainly fills its place here.
1993 Erlang Systems were founded in order to handle consultancy services, training, support and marketing.