We simply can’t believe it’s a decade since we launched AVAMAE Software Solutions. We’ve achieved so much since 2011 but we still feel as fresh and energised now as we did when we were a start-up. But how and where did the AVAMAE story start and how did we get to where we are now?
Oliver Pluckrose founded AVAMAE, back in April 2011 and has built the team and business into what it is today. He gained a BSc in Physics and Computer Science from King’s College, London and went on to become a C++ and java developer and co-found his first software engineering company before eventually setting up AVAMAE in the Truman Brewery, London. To this day, Oliver and AVAMAE’s aim has always been to solve complex business problems by creating custom-built reliable, secure and scalable software solutions. That’s where our belief in “Simplifying Complicated Things” comes from.
Oliver, as Solution Architect, started with a team of five developers and designers – three of them are still key members of the AVAMAE team.
In the very early days of AVAMAE, we added the ability to start building responsive websites. Although this is the industry standard now, back then website design and development that responded to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation was cutting edge.
Whilst we are based in London, we have a strong portfolio of clients from overseas. Our first one was one of the largest companies in the world – Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas producer. We not only created a multi-lingual software solution, we had to integrate the system and travel to Saudi to install the software, run training workshops and a presentation to the senior management team.
To accommodate our growing team, in April 2014, we moved office from the Truman Brewery a mile east to The Pill Box in Bethnal Green. Minutes from Brick Lane, the industrial-style, stripped-back studio space with exposed brickwork, huge windows and lab tile floors fitted our no-nonsense approach to software development.
In 2015, we looked at our engagement model – the framework that defines collaboration between us and our clients. Developing software for web, mobile and desktop applications isn’t like buying a can of baked beans. We build scalable software which can be developed over time to offer new functionality, so it requires ongoing development and support. Also, many clients simply don’t have the resources, space or desire to maintain their own in-house design and engineering team. That’s why we developed our Monthly Managed Services Contracts which provide guaranteed access to our dedicated team of experts for a simple fixed monthly cost.
Our team got our heads down and worked hard over the first five years building our reputation for solving complex challenges with simple, secure and reliable software solutions. As project after project was delivered, more clients were seeing the benefits of our expertise and approach to software design and development. As our momentum built and we became more in demand, we grew, doubling our headcount in just over 5 years.
2017 was a busy year, not least in terms of developing our tech stack. Over the year, we moved away from a monolithic Model View Controller (MVC) structure to a service-driven architecture. We started using React for our frontend user interfaces and a completely API driven back end. We became far more Cloud focussed and started to build serverless environments where the projects allowed.
We kicked off 2017 with our first ISO certification – ISO9001 – the world’s most popular international standard for creating a Quality Management System. This essential and influential standard has enabled us to create a system to ensure customer satisfaction and improvement. Many clients require this certification from their suppliers and it is something we continually review and improve. To achieve this, we created a Quality Management Manual and System which we use on all projects to manage the quality of our work. It gives our clients complete reassurance of our process.
After six years of intensive project development, we carved out some valuable time to look at the bigger picture and set out exactly what we stand for. It’s important to define who we are and put our values into words. This gave birth in July 2017 to “Our Values” – the DNA of AVAMAE as a company. The team got together and discussed what we believe in professionally. We created seven values that we live and breathe every day. From keeping things simple and getting things done to being innovative and loving what we do – you can see Our Values.
Having always been dedicated to the Microsoft stack, and Azure Cloud architecture, we believed it was important that we were able to prove and demonstrate our experience and expertise in developing software applications in this area. We worked hard to achieve this and in February 2018, we obtained Microsoft Silver Partner status to demonstrate our consistent capability and commitment to delivering quality software solutions using Microsoft technologies.
In August, we went even further by achieving a coveted Microsoft Gold Partner competency which proved we offer best-in-class capability within a Microsoft solution area. This became a key milestone and a catalyst in the growth of AVAMAE.
Finally, in November, we achieved ISO 27001 Certification – an international standard on how to manage information security. This was an important step for us in order to certify our total commitment to information security that has been one of the backbones to our business since 2011. ISO 27001 proves to our clients and partners that we are qualified to responsibly safeguard their data.
By now, AVAMAE had tripled in size in terms of our team. We needed a more spacious home with room to expand further as our success continued. Fortunately, we’d moved to the Pill Box with expansion in mind and didn’t have to relocate too far as we managed to secure the perfect space a few floors up. The office has all the space we needed to work, play and grow – it also has great views over London. Fifteen-strong now, we had an even bigger buzz about us.
We’ve always been acutely aware of the impact our business has on the environment and have tried to do our bit in terms of energy efficiency and recycling around the office. Being a paperless office has also helped. But we always felt we could be doing more to reduce or offset our carbon footprint as an organisation. In November 2019, we joined other forward-thinking, environmentally concerned companies by registering with Ecologi.
We signed up to Ecologi to offset our carbon footprint by funding climate projects. We set our own eco goals and the progress we’re making is published on our online profile. Everyone, including our clients and employees can see the actual difference we’re making. So far, our subscription has paid to plant over 5,000 trees in Madagascar, Mozambique and Nicaragua and made a carbon reduction of around 440 tonnes of CO2. That’s the equivalent of 340 long haul flights, over 1 million miles driven in a car or saving over 1,300 metres of sea ice.
In January 2020, AVAMAE was made a Clutch Top UK Developer, selected from over 7,000 UK agencies. It’s important to us as it’s the UK’s data-driven field guide for B2B buying and hiring decisions. You can’t argue with data.
Everything is based on genuine feedback from actual clients and all reviews are unbiased, verified and conducted by Clutch analysts. You can check out our Clutch profile and reviews.
January was a busy month as we not only received our Clutch award, we also made some very important structural changes to the business.
One of the biggest developments was the setup of a formal R&D team. This has ensured that we are constantly investing in the best, most forward-thinking technology and tools.
Having a team completely dedicated to developing strategies for the technological development of AVAMAE was essential. The team carries out production modernisation, mastering new areas of knowledge to keep our offering at the forefront of any technological advancements as they emerge.
Our team has grown exponentially, especially in recent years. We felt the time was right to introduce a new layer of management. Having created new Team Leader roles across both our App and Cloud Engineering departments, we now are able to offer additional mentoring and expert guidance to further develop team members and maximise their potential. Team Leads have also improved the level of quality control for all software projects across every stage of their development.
Additionally, we split Cloud software and App software engineering teams into stand alone departments. Segmenting our team was always part of our growth strategy and by moderating team sizes we are able to run and manage them better. Making this division also meant that dedicated experts in specific fields can work more closely together, with Team Leads to guide in each.
The AVAMAE team has now swelled in numbers to 30 and despite many of us working from home during the pandemic, team spirit has been incredibly high. We’ve several fascinating and challenging new software projects scheduled in to tackle in 2021 and lots of exciting development work for existing clients.
Looking back on the decade, it’s incredible to think how far we’ve come. Looking forward to the next 10 years, who knows how much we will have grown and what our expert team will have achieved.
Whether you’re a client wanting an innovative software solution or a talented software engineer we could do great things together in 2021 and beyond. Simply call +44 (0) 20 7509 6992 or email Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat.