Quop has started its activity in the capital of the European Union - Brussels. We, as a software development agency, design and develop digital platforms and applications. In which areas do we specialize? Why Brussels? What type of organisation and way of collaboration have we chosen and why? What are the values that allow us to evolve on a daily basis while working with our different partners?
A year ago, Brussels was our choice
A year ago, we started Quop. On that occasion we asked ourselves the question of the location. Which were the best European capitals with real technological and human commitments and positive impacts?
We had the choice between Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and finally Brussels.
We analysed the different potentials of each city, but also the partners with whom we could work, exchange knowledge and mutually support each other. Paris was on top of our list, obviously due to the attractiveness of the French capital and all the work related opportunities it offers. But it is also one of the world’s most expensive cities and lacking accessibility for new players to enter the market. Also, London and Berlin were two capitals we considered for our base. Both have a very strong potential but Brexit for one and Berlin not being directly in the center of Western Europe on the other hand made us turn down this idea. So we thought about Amsterdam and Brussels.
Our medium- and long-term objective at the time was to facilitate modern technologies and know-how in digital marketing, product management and design to social players, close to the European institutions, who were or are still in the early stages of their digital transformation.
The geographical location of Brussels and the opportunities it offers us to express and showcase our know-how has naturally directed us towards this European tech hub. Throughout Belgium, we have seen a great potential in Digital Social Innovation: in Flanders in Antwerp, as well as in Wallonia in Liège and Namur.
To set up our company in Brussels was therefore a natural step. Back then, we set ourselves two missions:
- Focus our expertise in developing technological solutions for organizations with a positive impact.
- Become remote-first. This is one reason why we wanted to be at the technological heart of Europe. We wanted to give ourselves the ability to work remotely as well as in different European cities. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that working remotely is the future.
Today, we work with different partners located in some of the largest European cities like Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
This accessibility allows us to be reactive when setting up workshops and design sprints while working with companies no matter where they are located. Our frequent travels allow us to take advantage of the best of the big European cities, especially in the digital and tech environment. We regularly meet actors and start-ups with the same visions, the same ambitions and who are determined to make an impact with while promoting sustainable growth.
Brussels is our headquarter
We developed our DNA. As we progressed during our first year, our DNA and our values were taking shape.
- "Quality-first": In a world where everything depends on time and budget, we focus on cutting-edge design and development, favouring quality over quantity. Our 2 to 4 week sprints allow us to deliver neat and tested features.
- "No bullshit": We truly believe that long-term partnerships work well when being transparent and giving the attention to our partners, that they deserve. We share our certainties and doubts, so that our projects are built based on mutual trust
- "Result-oriented": We give our best to ensure flexibility and meet the needs of our partners. This translates into workshops and regular meetings or consultations - in person or remotely - in order to evaluate the directions we take when designing the product.
This DNA is expressed in the organisation we have set up with our employees: we form complete European product teams that can be modulated according to the client's needs. The remote-first approach gives us the freedom we need in order to develop and create outstanding results. Remote work allows us to avoid being a commuter and having to travel everyday to and from work. This gives us more time to concentrate on our work progress but also occasional meetings for workshops and sprint designs at the clients office when needed.
We create modern, tailor-made applications and platforms. We propose different packages according to the customer's needs: time basis, fixed price contracts or licence.
Developing tailor-made applications or platforms can easily increase the budget considerably. The teams involved and the level of complexity related to the processing of customer data might make a product inaccessible for start-ups looking for funding or after a first round of investments. The same is also true for SMEs. For this reason, a thorough analysis is shared with our partners: in what timeframe should the product be developed? Does the client have the internal resources we can work with? Does the client have clear specifications? Measurable and achievable objectives?
These are among the very first questions. The objective is to identify which approach, between Waterfall or Agile, could be the most satisfactory for the design and development of the application or platform.
We provide support along the way. Our objective, beyond the development of a technological solution, is to accompany our partner in its growth.
From the simple prototype, which is sufficient to prove a concept, to the first release of a completely scalable SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), it can take several months or even a year. From the beginning until the release of a product, we accompany and evolve with our partner. This evolution is constantly documented: we provide a handbook, which can be consulted at any time and for each product, with the results of our preliminary research, functional specifications, technical documentation, results of our user tests and interviews as well as the history of our meetings and various conversations.
This transparency is a basis for mutual and lasting trust and underlines the "quality-first" approach.
We manage the evolution of the products we develop. This assistance is reflected in the constant evolution of the products that we develop - in complete autonomy. In regard to the customer priorities on developments and maintenance, our roadmap is regularly updated: "no bullshit", we deliver when we are satisfied with our sprint.
We work with partners and not for customers. Last but not least, the point is repeated during the first meetings with a future partner: we don't work for customers, but with them. This difference in language is particularly important when our primary mission is to conceptualize a product that delivers strong, sustainable growth for our partners. We take care of the products as if they were one of the products we could have marketed. From then on, the product vision is no longer limited to a supplier-customer relationship, but extends to a form of ownership that leaves no room for neglect.
Based in Brussels, we have experienced that this upcoming European hub is ready to accelerate its appetite for technology. We have affirmed our ideals, summed up in one sentence: freeing our work from obligations unsuited to our professions giving convincing and high quality results that are not dulled by any "bullshit". Our partners are successfully experimenting with these new ways of working together and the next recruitments will undoubtedly be made throughout Europe.