As I look back on 2018, I have to say it was a year filled with triumphs and failures. Since nothing in the world of business is steady or easy, this is a merely a reflection of the lessons I picked up along the way with the hopes of helping others on a similar path.
I believe it’s my calling to work with traditional industries: transportation, logistics, workforce management, manufacturing and other blue collar related enterprises. My clients in this sector have created interesting products that present the reinvention of how the normal day to day transactions are done. Products like Ezer, WurkNow and Relay are efforts to reimagine logistics and workforce management in the 21st century. Why is this important? To me, it’s relevant for a number of reasons, but for the most importantly, it answers a bigger question: Why start a business?
Working on software projects in our region serves as the catalyst for finding our existence. Our region, has in its own backyard, the largest logistics hub (Ontario) and contingent labor uses in the country (Inland empire). Building software relative to these industries has helped reveal why we exist. We are more than company that builds software, we are accelerating the transformation of traditional enterprises through technology.
When I first moved to Southern California, I researched the available assets in the region, and decided on the opportunities my company would approach. I partnered with local organizations like the Corona Chamber Commerce and the City of Corona’s economic development team to spark innovation projects and fill in areas that made sense. We started with a simple meetup called Tech-O-Tuesday which led to several initiatives in the region such as innovation month (April). We were featured on local radio shows, created pitch competitions, sponsored hackathons, and now working toward an launching an innovation center.
How does it drive business? We are known in the region as the “go to” development shop because of our participation in purposeful and intentional activities; activities that serve our community first. Think about it for a second. Would you trust a provider on a product that had no vested interest in your success? How do you determine the value of a development agency that is mostly concerned in taking your dollars rather than building the region? Our success at AppCore Labs is a success for Southern California. That is why we use the hashtag #longsocal.
We recently have become a Cloud Service Provider offering cloud infrastructure management on Azure and AWS to host our clients applications for scalability. We analyzed the market place and found a partner to help us onboard and troubleshoot new customers in Software One. This partnership was the only provider that encompassed both Azure and AWS capabilities in a meaningful way. Their security capabilities, as well as management portal, make the cloud much easier to deploy and manage for our customers. For example, with our enterprise product WurkNow, we need to ensure maximum uptime to help our client scale the Saas model. Our new partnership aligns with our core values and what we stand for as a company. In addition, it has allowed for the hybridization of our infrastructure, a capability we wouldn’t be able to achieve on our own.
As previously mentioned, we continue to maintain our strong relationships with our City and local Chamber because of their shared belief in our vision for the City of Corona and Inland Empire region. These partnerships have resulted in lasting friendships and recognition through numerous awards. They have also led to opportunities in providing mentorships that were previously unavailable in the area. In addition, we participated in a few speaking engagements during the year. One of my most notable was my visit to Norco High school to speak in front of a group of enthusiastic, forward thinking students.
It may seem dubious to spend so much time and energy on these partnerships outside of our pure software initiatives, but I believe this is how business should be done.
The truth is, what we do as a software company is not be easily understood by the people outside of our community of tech heads and nerds. For this reason, we believe we need to make inroads with people beyond the technology space to educate, establish trust and openness and build acceptance. We can do better together by partnering with the right people.
If you found value in these lessons, and share in our beliefs, we want to invite you to get plugged in and join our community. Following us on social or come to our monthly meetup (Tech-O-Tuesday) if you are in the Corona area.