Partner Spotlight: Q&A with Two-Time FD Golden Gazelle Winner CAPE Groep
Mendix partner CAPE Groep recently won the FD Golden Gazelle Award for the second straight year. These awards recognize fast-growing Dutch companies that are making significant contributions to the country’s economy. We caught up with Rob ter Brugge, CEO of CAPE Groep, to learn more about the company and its strong growth, as well as how partnering with Mendix has contributed to its success.
1. Can you tell us who CAPE Groep is? Do you have a specific focus/specialty?
CAPE Groep was founded in 2000 as a consultancy firm focused on IT strategy, software selection, process optimization, and project management. In 2006, we shifted to systems integration in response to growing market demand for software integration and add-ons for rigid ERP/TMS/WMS applications. We’ve had a vertical approach from day one, focusing on construction, shipyards, horizontal and vertical transportation, logistics, and supply chain management.
After reading an article by Mendix CEO Derek Roos, we became one of Mendix’s earliest partners, launching with three customers: HST Groep, Kuehne + Nagel, and Mammoet Road Cargo. In 2009, we started developing eMagiz iPaaS, an integration platform for business engineers that wraps open source integration projects with architected model-driven development, using Mendix as the main presentation layer. Since then, we’ve launched a number of vertically-focused app templates and turn-key solutions using the Mendix App Platform.
2. Congratulations on winning the FD Golden Gazelle Award. Why is this so significant?
Thank you! We were number 29 in the FD Gazelle Top 100 thanks to our 277% growth over the period 2010-2012. Last year, we were ranked 28th with 270% growth over the period 2009-2011. We are very proud of this feat!
This is an achievement because only three companies from each Dutch province are named FD Golden Gazelles. Moreover, four years of strong and profitable growth amid an economic recession is significant proof of a sustainable and successful business model.
3. What have been the keys to your continued growth and success?
One of the biggest keys to our success has been our customer intimacy strategy. We’re focused on delivering rapid ROI—using an agile approach—while at the same time, creating long-term, value-adding relationships. Other factors contributing include our vertical focus and easily repeatable market solutions, as well as our continuous investments in innovation (we have joint tenders with Universities for R&D) and our people.
4. What has been your experience like as a Mendix partner? In what ways has Mendix contributed to your growth?
Mendix has consistently provided an app platform that facilitates the ability of our business consultants to deliver software in an agile environment and create significant business value for customers. Without a doubt, Mendix has played an important role in our growth and success to date. The platform is incredibly powerful, yet easy to use. It delivers the right combination of speed, flexibility, and seamless integration with existing systems. Our business consultants are real Mendix evangelists and are very proud of their solutions.
5. Who are some of your joint clients with Mendix? Is there a common vein running through these companies/projects?
Our joint clients include Achmea, PostNL, TNT, Stichting VbV, and others. The common thread running through these companies is a complex organization, technology or business environment. Often, they turn to us to aggregate data in real-time environments and make it meaningful to end users. This means multiple integrations with other (legacy) systems, complex business rules, multiple apps, and large databases with 24/7 maintenance.
6. What trends do you see as having the biggest impact on application development?
With technology evolving more rapidly than ever, application lifecycles have been dramatically shortened. Businesses today need speed, ease of use, and agility more than ever.
In addition, the need for integration is increasing exponentially with the proliferation of applications, technologies, and devices. This is being driven by trends like the internet of things, big data, social media, mobile apps, cloud computing, and BYOD.
7. Is there anything special on the horizon for 2014 that you’re able to discuss?
After pioneering the first Google Drive App Service for Mendix 5 with Mendix CTO Johan den Haan, we’re planning to release an SAP App Service at Mendix World 2014. Stay tuned for details!