Twelve storeys above Delftseplein, overlooking the city centre, a successful new company strives to build a digital future. Ciphix is the result of three young entrepreneurs, and Marcus Groeneveld (26) is one of the cofounders. He believes in the adaptability of society, and that perseverance and resolve can take us far. With this enterprising mentality, Groeneveld and his team are working to widen the impact of robotization.
Marcus knows all about perseverance. As a young child, he set up his own neighborhood IT business. As a student, he co-founded one of the most successful IT boutiques in the country. Three years ago, while finishing his degree, Marcus realized that the corporate lifestyle was not for him. He got to talking with his university friend Matthijs and mate Bas, and a shared vision was born: to start a new business. “All of us had worked in RPA [robotic process automation] at our previous employers”, Marcus says. “We discussed that, but felt there was a better way. We started out in my student basement before we even graduated. All three of us threw ourselves into it, and from day one we knew there was nothing else we’d rather do.”
From the outset, Ciphix’s mission has been to ‘take the robot out of the human’. Having observed that many large companies find it challenging to take advantage of technological innovations, the trio decided to focus on helping these companies automate. “What we do, is replicate human work on a computer and graft that into a software robot. We simulate the human process through the application of sophisticated technologies. I’m talking about the simulation of tedious, repetitive, high-volume work that requires little human thought. For example, entering invoice data into an application and other such administrative tasks.” What started with RPA software, branched out into chat and intelligent automation (IA) technologies. “You often see people’s workloads are too much for them to handle. The responses so far have been incredibly enthusiastic, because we can offload the work people don’t always enjoy doing; freeing up their time to tackle more complicated or challenging projects.”
The firm already has won clients in Iceland, Sweden and Australia, and its sights are currently set on a future where Ciphix becomes the ‘digital workforce’ expert in the Benelux. “As a service company, Ciphix is looking to expand. Essentially, we need more volume to have more impact. We also have plans for a ‘Ciphix Group’, in which all our ideas will be developed. In addition, we’re looking into options to conduct training so we can share our knowledge. That way, instead of deploying our own team to clients, we can actually equip them for a technological future.”
The Ciphix team is young and driven. It has an open atmosphere and encourages giving and receiving feedback. Marcus credits this to his love of sports. “I really believe in simplifying and approaching ideas from their essence. Every day I face all kinds of setbacks, but then the next time I do better. We’ve grown tremendously in a very short period of time by collaborating on all of our ideas. Don’t leave ideas unacknowledged in your mind. Everything is being documented, and continuously improved. We’re all ambitious and hard-working, because that’s how we believe we can collectively get to where we want to be.”