Happy Birthday Finaps!
When looking back on the past ten years of Finaps, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. And proud. And thankful. In this article, I will – in short – share with you the journey of Finaps and the thoughts and feelings of some of my marvelous team members and co-owner Marlies van Sonsbeek.
I feel nostalgic, because Finaps – like many of the tech moguls that we admire – quite literally started out at my kitchen table. I had been working on the tech side of the financial world for a couple of years, and found that many projects were mismanaged due to miscommunication, but also that the scale of many projects was far too large to properly oversee and act on. Of course, this wasn’t to blame on the people who were working their bums off to deliver the best possible solutions to the clients, they just didn’t have the proper technologies to support their ambitions back then.
When these technologies finally came around about ten years ago, I jumped at the opportunity to do better. Not better than my former colleagues (nothing but love there), but better for the clients. So, I started asking myself all these questions, such as ‘Is it possible to create innovative business solutions that easily respond to changing requirements and new opportunities?’ and ‘Can we come up with solutions that are not limited by rigid systems and unnecessarily long development processes?’
Because of these new technologies, I quickly came to the conclusion that the short answer to these questions is a well-resounding YES! They made it possible to think big but act small and I couldn’t wait to get started with all the new possibilities that these new technological developments brought! The application of technology made projects highly manageable, but also more fun to work on. I firmly believed then – and have proven now – that the go-to-market time for new business applications can be significantly shorter and that this process can be more efficient.
Friso Nijboer, Senior Technical Business Engineer mentions that: “It still amazes me that after initially starting, ten years ago at the kitchen table, the company has grown to over fifty people. What remains the same is the original spirit and energy at Finaps.”
I wanted to create future-proof business solutions that work, and now, after 10 years, it feels great to hear from our clients this is exactly what we do.
Years of Innovation
This is where my sense of pride comes from. I was determined to deliver high-quality IT solutions and even though you never know how a business idea will work out when you start out, I can now quite confidently say that for our clients, we are their partner of choice. Not only because we are a bunch of passionate, high-energy professionals with a can-do attitude, but because we deliver the applications that enable them to do what they do best and that allow them to be more efficient.
Tim Pijl, Senior Data Analytics Engineer states that “our solutions always use the following principle: think big, act small. We quickly develop what adds the most value, while keeping the larger goal in mind. I think that’s the power of the solutions we deliver at Finaps.”
I am also proud of the fact that we fully, always and without compromise deliver business solutions that work. As such, we:
- respond to new opportunities and changing business requirements without being limited by legacy or technology;
- translate the ambition of the clients into impactful software-based solutions, developed together with both Business and IT;
- meet (and preferably exceed) the expectations of our clients in the solutions we deliver; and
- create future-proof solutions that drive change and are fully embedded in the organisation.
Guido Berretty, Business Engineer says: “Every day at Finaps we develop more and better user-friendly technologies and meet new challenging problems from working with different clients. Working at Finaps gives me the opportunity to be part of an ideal environment to solve these problems and produce awesome applications.”
Of course, it’s not only the engineers that get to rub elbows with the clients and make their IT dreams come true. We wouldn’t really even have clients to work for if it wasn’t for the dedicated sales team:
“Working in Sales, I love how we build a partnership with our clients whilst having their best interest in mind, working towards a common goal,” says Stefanie Repenning, Business Development Manager.
The same goes for our marketing and user experience team members: they play a big part in making our clients’ wishes come true.
“I am glad to see that the UX maturity level at Finaps has transformed from having no UX whatsoever to it being completely embedded in the organisation within just a year and a half,” says Huan Yang, Senior UX Designer.
Another thing that I am extremely proud of is that since its inception, Finaps has stayed true to its limitless and pioneering ways. There is no limit to our inquisitive spirit, our integrity or our drive for continuous improvement. As a frontrunner in applying new innovations, we know how to embrace challenges and how to transform them into new business opportunities and successes for our clients. We prefer to operate in the space where delivering quality and experimenting meet.
Because of this, Marlies van Sonsbeek, couldn’t be happier working here:
When I was approached to join the Advisory Board of Finaps at its birth, my response was an immediate ‘yes’! I considered it an honor to help and coach my former colleagues with the inspiring adventure that they had embarked on. A year later, when I was asked if I would like to join running Finaps, it was something I needed to think about, joining a startup, especially after having worked for large corporates for over 25 years. I believe that life gives you clues as to what you should be doing, and I also believe that you can’t go wrong with doing more of what you love. For me, the energy, the passion and the unknown were big clues to take the plunge into the deep waters of Finaps! An entirely different experience, taking on responsibilities ranging from deciding on big strategic steps to keeping the toilet paper stock on point. To date, it has been my most rewarding experience, being a co-owner of this great company. The opportunity to facilitate the ideas of our awesome and extremely talented team, as well as making the actual difference for our clients in the solutions that we deliver, gives me tremendous joy. That, and continuously exploring the unknown. The biggest clue about making the right choice back then is that I feel privileged working for Finaps!
Marlies van Sonsbeek – Managing Partner
I feel that too, that privilege. I am so thankful that weI were able to build a company that is both successful and a fun place to work at. Luckily, my colleagues feel the same way:
“Having joined as one of the first employees, it’s been amazing to be a part of the Finaps family. With a laid back culture and a common drive to deliver the best, after almost nine years, I still go to work everyday with a smile on my face,” says Rochus Meijer, Principal Business Engineer/ Teamlead, one of the first Finaps team members.
Senior Software Engineer/ Teamlead, Kevin Pennekamp, agrees: “In over 4 years, Finaps gave me many opportunities to grow and provide input on many different levels. I do not believe I could have found that anywhere else.”
Charlotte van Brakel, Business Engineer, chimes in: “From day one I have been given the opportunity to participate in cool projects for great clients which has resulted in a lot of personal and professional growth. Although I missed most of the first 10 years, I hope to be part of the next 10!”
You might not know this, but one of Finaps’ key words is ‘collaborative’. We collaborate with our clients to make sure that we understand their wishes and to deliver the best possible solutions.
We collaborate with our partners over at Mendix and SAS for the technology that is needed to create the innovative business solutions that our clients have come to expect from us. Most of all however, we collaborate with each other. Each day, we come to work, fully committed to work hard, be creative, create future-proof and super smart business solutions, and to have fun together.
I am fully aware that Finaps would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for our employees, our clients or our partners. So, a big thank you to you all, I couldn’t have done it without you! Here’s to the next decade!
Here you can read a little more about some of the great projects that we have done over the years.