Last Saturday, our team celebrated our 10th anniversary! What a ride we had those years. It makes us wonder where AppSaloon will be in another decade.
Ten years ago, you did not check the Internet on your phone for 1001 things all day. And brick-and-mortar shops still were the norm. But things were already changing fast at the time we, Toon Nelissen and Koen Huybrechts, founded AppSaloon in October 2011. We knew each other as collaborating freelance developers on a diverse range of web projects. Toon focused more on the design and front-end of the website and apps, while Koen took care of back-end development and database management. After bundling our expertise in the creation of AppSaloon bvba, we worked for interesting clients, like VRT, PLOT and Van Zon. From the start, our goal was to build a small company with a stimulating team of enthusiastic web developers to work on diverse, cool and challenging projects. Looking back, our company indeed contributed to the changes in daily life we see around us today.
In the early years, we offered both design and development services for really small businesses. As time passed, we saw we could add more value by making dedicated applications for small and medium businesses who were replacing paper forms and spreadsheets by web and mobile applications, leading to increased efficiency. Following the market demand and the expertise of our growing team, we decided to focus solely on the technical side of website development: code and database. Doing so, WordPress proved to be a great tool, which really fitted our way of working. We were able to make use of already existing code and extend it with our own library. We published a few home-made plug-ins for free, and informed the user community on how they work. Creating unique WordPress plug-ins for our customers is now one of our fortes here at AppSaloon; from development to maintenance and security.
Even now, our customer-base keeps shifting; we see a growing demand for a broader service-offer in PHP-development. PHP powers everything, from your blog to the most popular websites in the world. We handle lots of data and improve processes by connecting the clients' website to its CRM, ERP, mailing system and social media channels. There are many situations in which data from different sources need to be collected in order to adequately deliver all information to the user. A customised application makes this possible. This optimisation results in immediate gains for our clients. Combining these elements, focusing on the inner workings of websites, makes us the technical partners for our clients who label our USP as 'sharing'.
To make all this possible, we are lucky to have a fantastic, stable team of ten young men and women. They vary in education and experience to be able to go with the client's flows in needs and possibilities. What drove us in 2011 was the ambition to excel in software development. And yes, we wanted to grow as a company, to be able to handle larger customers and projects. But we still want to run a business where the relation with our team members and our customers stays personal, and informal. Aiming for a 'flat' organisation, we believe our optimum staff number is 15. People who feel comfortable in an open environment, to share knowledge and keep learning. That also goes for our clients; we dare to be selective in both ways. Not every type of client is a fit for AppSaloon, and, obviously, the other way round.
'Predicting is hard, especially when it concerns the future'. We don't know what kind of processes our clients need automated in 2031. User experience, work flow optimisation, planning tools, sales follow-up, work order tools and all those other lines of business we excel in, will change. We only know for sure, AppSaloon will be there to help them optimise!