In the minds of school kids…
Like many great IT companies Applogix was born, almost 20 years ago, in a garage as a hobby. The web bug bit in 1997 when Geocities, HotDog Pro and CoffeeCup HTML Editor were the names of the game. We landed our first serious project: to build a website for Routledges, a local law firm which has since become one of the largest firms in the world.
We bought all the right books, lost some sleep and began building simple, effective websites.
Less = more + better …
We originally incorporated as ‘SolutionWorx’ - a catchy name that had to be undone thanks to a CIPRO (Now CIPC) hiccup; a quick restart later and Applogix was born. With our tricky new name we endeavoured tried to do things better - and so we begin to pursue a new way of working.
We focused on fewer projects and retaining our valued customers. Our fascination with websites evolved into a fascination with web apps and innovative ideas too, so we dreamed up and built a way for the University of Pretoria to send Free SMSs to their students (it’s a good story! Ask us about it).
Location location location …
Between 2006 and 2009, in a characteristically adventurous fashion, we opened an office in London; we were reminded that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side when we incorporated just in time for the recession in 2008. Against the odds managed to secure great clients including Shell, PetroPlus and Content and Code, we continue to work with some of them today.
Meanwhile in Johannesburg we graduated to new offices in the heart of Sandton, South Africa’s economic hub.
We secured some very exciting projects and retainers with the likes of: EAS Sports Nutrition, Orion Telecom, Leaf Wireless and even MTN Loaded - it's long forgotten today, but MTN Loaded was cool at the time.
SMS solutions, integration projects and e-commerce became our forte (We still come across our SMS software at large corporates).
Lessons in online enterprise
After MTN Loaded we went on to manage and build a number of properties for MTN over the next 3 years including: mtn.co.za, mtnsp.co.za, mtnloaded.co.za and mtnbusiness.co.za. Working with the business team at MTN and leading agencies like Aqua Online really took our understanding of enterprise portals to the next level.
As the need for convergence emerged and focus shifted to smaller mobile devices, our clients wanted to be accessible from the palms of their customer's hands. Our playful experiments with mobile sites turned into serious business. In 2008, we developed the Ericsson Mobile Survey Tool – an award-winning, global Ericsson offering recognised for innovation. This tool allows users to design and submit surveys via WAP, Web, SMS and MMS. Learning, growing and perfecting our art.
2010: Getting the UX factor…
UX, UCD, The Year Of The App, Responsive Websites, LESS, SASS, Bootstrap... technologically there was a lot to keep up with in the last 4 years, but at the end of the day it’s not about how much technology you know, it’s about what you do with it that counts.
So we started doing more thinking about businesses, what they need from technology and how to run our projects in an effective and measurable way. We recruited Usability experts, an MBA and an extra project manager to help create more valuable products.