Always up to date: IT applications will never age again

Interview with Mark Knill, CCO of Thinkwise Software BV

Thinkwise Software Title
Everything in view: Thinkwise can be flexibly adapted to the requirements of the customers

A platform that frees systems from legacy software, enabling flexible and customer-specific IT landscapes? What seems like a vision has long become reality with the solutions from Thinkwise Software BV. The innovative company based in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, with an excellent partner network, is revolutionizing the IT world and replacing outdated core software of its clients within a year at the latest.

"Our product is very stable," says Mark Knill, CCO of Thinkwise Software, as one of the reasons why so many customers choose the Dutch provider.

"And that's really something special because the entire IT landscape of a company is based on our platform. That kind of thing gets around because everyone knows how much can go wrong with IT projects. Our task and challenge are to tell our story so that people know that our product exists at all and what possibilities it offers. With our software, the customer hardly needs to do any programming," the CCO explains. "In Thinkwise, a business process is designed with all the customer's requirements in mind, which are then reflected. From this, an application is generated. Subsequently, fine-tuning takes place and at the end of the process, which is 10 to 15 times faster than conventional programming, there is a stable and flexible platform that offers the customer numerous advantages and saves a lot of work.

Mark Knill, CCO of Thinkwise Software BV
Mark Knill, CCO of Thinkwise Software BV

As far as the reimplementation of Thinkwise is concerned, once the platform is installed and a new version of a third-party software, such as React, is released, the customer doesn't need to do anything, they are always up to date. With the Thinkwise Upcycler, our customers can convert the metadata of existing (outdated) applications into a low-code model. This allows our customers to reuse the important core elements of their existing software on the Thinkwise platform and leverage the latest technologies.

Founded in 2002

In 2002, Robert van der Linden and Victor Klaren founded Thinkwise in Apeldoorn with the goal of establishing a technology platform that would never become a legacy burden. Thanks to their approach, large legacy systems along with most of the peripheral applications and the so-called shadow IT could be completely replaced.

Thinkwise Community Portal
Forum for Exchange: Thinkwise Community Portal
Thinkwise Community Portal
No room for aging IT applications: Thanks to Thinkwise, the IT landscape is always up to date

In the following years, the platform was continuously developed further and implemented for an increasing number of customers, for example at the Dutch family-owned company VDL Groep in over 40 factories. In 2015, new offices were opened in Eindhoven and Rotterdam, and Thinkwise is also present in the USA as well as in Mannheim, Germany, with its own branches. Currently, Thinkwise employs a total of 130 staff members.

Transparent IT Landscape

"Some companies can no longer grow because their old software no longer meets the new requirements," says Mark Knill. "In such cases, we are often called upon to adjust the IT accordingly. One of our special skills lies in large, mission-critical systems with millions of data. We have updated many family businesses with old software to the latest standard. With Thinkwise, one can also discuss the operational processes. We make the IT landscape transparent, and changes, for example in the acquisition of a company, can all be configured on our platform. This applies to all processes and any software – and it is completely industry-independent. We mostly operate in the size range of companies with 100 to 1,000 employees."

Another important aspect is the security of outdated systems, which are often vulnerable to external attacks. "Anyone working with our platform already has all the security solutions included," emphasizes the CCO. "Nothing additional needs to be programmed. Everything comes out of the box."

Thinkwise headquarters in Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Founded just over 20 years ago: Headquarters in Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Many Partnerships

Most of Thinkwise's customers come from the retail, transportation and logistics, as well as finance sectors. In addition, the company supports customers from the manufacturing industry, the service sector, or public administration. Customers include, among others, the retail chain Xenos, the shipping company Royal Wagenborg, the technical service provider Van Dorp, and the fruit and vegetable wholesaler Aartsen.

In addition to its own branches, the Dutch company also works with partners worldwide, for example with system integrators, independent software vendors, and internal software developers. To attract new customers, Thinkwise utilizes its networks, presents itself at trade fairs such as the Greener Manufacturing Show in Cologne, or offers its own webinars and discussion forums.

Continue to Grow

"We celebrate successes," describes Mark Knill the approach to strengthen the cohesion and team spirit within Thinkwise. "Because many of us work from home, we see each other too rarely, and therefore these gatherings are so important." In the next five to six years, Thinkwise aims to become the market leader in its segment. "Furthermore, we are aiming for a staff number of about 500," says the CCO. "The motto 'Free the world of legacy' is always at the forefront for us, as well as the joint joy in what can be achieved and what has already been achieved."