About perseverance Interview with Marcus

Written by Rob Ittmann
Frontrunner

Twelve storeys above Delftseplein, overlooking the city centre, a successful new company is striving to build a digital future. Ciphix is the company, and Marcus Groeneveld (26) is one of its three co-founders.

He believes in the perfectibility of life and that perseverance and resolve take you far. With this winning mentality, Groeneveld and his team are working to widen the impact of robotization.

Marcus knows all about perseverance. As a small kid he set up his own neighbourhood IT business and as a student he was most drawn to projects that built something from nothing. Three years ago, while finishing his degree, Marcus realized that the corporate lifestyle was not for him. He got to talking with his uni friend Matthijs and mate Bas and a shared idea was born: to start a business in IT.

“All of us had worked on RPA [robotic process automation] at our prior employers”, Marcus says. “We discussed that, but felt there was a better way. We got started in my student basement before even graduating. All three of us threw ourselves into it and from day one we knew there was nothing else we’d rather do.”

Digital workforce

From the outset, the mission of Ciphix has been to take the robot out of the human. Having observed that many large companies are taking little 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 onto a software robot. We simulate the human process and then add a layer over the application. I’m talking about tedious, repetitive, high-volume work that requires no human thought, so things like entering invoice data in another program or literally copying standard information.”

What started with RPA software branched out into chat and IA technologies. “You often see people’s workloads are too much for them to really handle. The responses so far have been incredibly positive, because we offload the work people don’t like doing and that frees them up to tackle more complicated or challenging projects."

‘The responses so far have been incredibly positive, because we offload the work people don’t like doing and that frees them up to tackle more complicated or challenging projects.’
Marcus Groeneveld

Impact

The firm already has clients in Iceland, Sweden and Australia, but its sights are set on a future in which Ciphix is the digital workforce expert in the Benelux.

“As a service company, Ciphix is looking to double its revenues, client base and team, because we simply need more volume to have more impact. We also have plans for a Ciphix Group in which all our ideas will be developed. And we’re looking into options to do 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.”

Winning mentality

The Ciphix team is young and driven. In their office, the mood is open and encourages giving and asking for feedback. Marcus credits his love of sport for this.

“I really believe in simplifying and approaching ideas from their essence. Every day I screw up in all kinds of ways, but then the next time I do better. We’ve grown tremendously in a very short time by sharing all our ideas. Don’t leave things knocking around in your head. Everything gets documented, then improved. We’re all ambitious and working hard, because that’s how we’ll help each other get to where we want to be.”

‘We’re all ambitious and working hard, because that’s how we’ll help each other get to where we want to be.’
Marcus Groeneveld
Written by Rob Ittmann
Frontrunner
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