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Stef Ceyssens

09 September 2019

As one of the most recent start-ups within the Cronos Group, Cloudway has gained a strong brand name for itself as a provider of cloud-native solutions, since its official launch in June 2018. About time to let the founders Michael Willemse and Stef Ceyssens explain their innovative and groundbreaking company.

Originating from XTi and grown within Xplore Group

"We have founded Cloudway within XTi and Xplore Group as we saw the market demanding specific cloud-native solutions," Stef explains. "From several reference cases on web services, we were able to make a name for ourselves in this area and therefore had the opportunity to create a new team."

"With Cloudway we first and foremost want to deliver high-quality software to our customers. Practically, we focus on our expertise in cloud architecture and development. We share a common, straightforward Cronos corporate culture in which everyone can openly communicate with each other and in which no one likes to be called a 'boss'."

"Our main goal," says Michael, "is to keep delivering quality projects for both small and large companies by using the latest cloud technologies, and by using our technical expertise to align the business of customers. Based on our experience with Internet of Things and off-the-shelf machine learning solutions such as text recognition and image recognition, we are able to provide an instant solution for their innovation processes.

Customized cloud-native software development

Both founders of Cloudway have a very customer-oriented approach: "We always customize our cloud-native software applications. After a first exploratory talk, we create a proof-of-concept on behalf of the customer through which they can become familiar with our way of development and production. Afterwards, we often organize a workshop for their in-house developers in order to introduce them to our technology. The aim is to make them enthusiastic about our cloud-native software, so that they can promote it to their colleagues and management as well."

"A good example of our cloud-based software solutions is the serverless platform we built for Philips. Philips has an enormous amount of product information in its in-house systems that should be quickly and easily adaptable on its website, product pages and via Amazon.com. This is why Cloudway has developed an intermediate cloud system for this particular customer, which enables all data to be updated intuitively within a very short time".

This customer case also illustrates the benefits of Cloudway's cloud solutions. Stef summarizes the advantages for us: "The biggest advantage is that they are scalable and can be expanded or reduced as the use of the solution requires it. For Philips, it was also very easy for marketers to make online product changes and instantly see the progress of their work on the website. Their time-to-market has been reduced dramatically and they are able to switch more quickly to publish new marketing content through all of Philips' output channels.

Flexible team with a wide range of expertise

In the meantime, Cloudway has expanded into a team of eighteen employees who are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and who are learning from each other. "We think it's important to encourage this mutual sharing of expertise," says Michael with conviction, "so that everyone can stay as up-to-date as possible when it comes to fast-changing cloud software. Only by mixing and matching these different profiles you will get a very interesting group of people who have mastered a wide range of innovative technologies. "We are happy to strengthen the relationship among all our colleagues by organizing both relaxing and job-related events on a regularly. For example, each Friday everyone is invited to come and have a drink and catch up at the office. During work-related events, we also improve our professional relationships with other companies within the Cronos Xplore Group. We strongly believe in this partnership, as each company within this group has its expertise to provide better and more comprehensive software solutions to our customers as a team".

Future plans

In the years to come, Michael and Stef want to become 'incontournable' in the cloud-native development market: "For every pitch, a customer or prospect should immediately think of Cloudway as soon as they need a platform in the cloud. We also want to expand our range of cloud technologies. We want to enhance our partnerships with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud in addition to our extensive experience with Amazon Web Services." "Our biggest challenge ahead will be the constant pressure to keep up with the high-tech developments across the market. Though this is not a simple matter since three major cloud providers already receive more than 3000 updates per year! Therefore, we are working alongside other companies within the Cronos Group to accommodate this continuous stream of innovations and make them our own."

The heart of Cloudway

Both founders are determined that their cloud-native solutions can add value to their customers: "At Cloudway, we put a lot of effort into the qualitative development of our cloud platforms and the expertise we can offer in these cutting-edge technologies. Both internally and externally, we share this experience with colleagues, other Cronos companies and our end customers, in such a way we can make their lives and business simpler and more fluent. In times when business IT functionalities are becoming increasingly complex, we dispose of the tools and know-how to make all current technological benefits available to our customers."

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