A lot has changed ...A short impression of what it was like in 1999 when we started our company.
Sofco was established in July 1999. Since then, a lot has changed in our field. At that time, mobile telephony hardly existed. In fact, there was no need for a mobile phone that could be reached continuously. There was always a phone booth or a farmer somewhere where one could ring the doorbell to make a call if necessary.
The internet had only just started and the first conversations we had with companies about developing a website for their company were very different at the time than they are today. We saw early on that the internet had a lot to offer for companies in the future. Many companies were very skeptical at the time and worried that the internet might be turned off or abolished the next day.
In America, however, the internet had been around for a long time and was widely used because of the long distances. The possibilities and the convenience that the internet had to offer made it clear to us then that the internet would also be available in the Netherlands and that it would never be impossible to imagine it again.
Nowadays, 20 years later, everyone has a computer, a laptop and / or a mobile. Today's children grow up with it and cannot even imagine a world without computers. Times have therefore changed enormously with the advent of the internet, Sofco has experienced this evolution from the beginning and has acquired an enormous amount of knowledge and experience during this period. Knowledge that she likes to share with her customers.
Innovation is in our blood
Over the past 20 years, Sofco has developed various technological products for its customers, which were sometimes put on the market too early for that time. Already in 1999 Sofco started developing a CMS for its customers, under the name 'Building Blocks'. This content management system has been further developed from that moment in collaboration with the customers who used it. The CMS was user-friendly and has served almost 20 years for more than 200 companies in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
In 2004, Sofco developed a digital magazine that could present a brochure, magazine or even a newspaper within a website in a traditional and surprising way. This digital magazine is still a product offered by Sofco to this day. The technology behind it is of course much better and further expanded than the version that was launched by Sofco in 2004. The latest version (from 2019) is even based on WebGL which makes it possible to display 3D computer graphics without the need for a special plug-in within the web browser. This makes the current version look even more natural, with a glossy effect as is known from magazines that are provided with a gloss print.
Sofco developed a digital assistant in 2006. The digital assistant was a virtual character, linked to a text-to-speech engine. Visitors to a website could ask questions to this virtual assistant and get certain information faster. The technology that Sofco developed was a CMS with which one could 'program' the brain of this virtual assistant. In fact, this was a precursor to artificial intelligent. Depending on questions asked by visitors, the assistant could also ask questions back to the visitor, so that information about visitors could also be collected. With the virtual assistant a website got a more personal touch. For many, it seemed as if they were directly conversing with a real person who was behind the assistant and asked their questions. Unfortunately, the demand for this product was too small in 2006, so Sofco decided to put the product in the refrigerator for a certain period of time. Sofco was therefore unfortunately too early with this product. The current time would be more suitable for such a product than at the time. So who knows, you will find our digital assistant back on our website in a while.
Sofco has put many more innovative products on the market, from an accounting system, invoicing system to back-office systems that have been specially developed for companies active in different branches. Sofco has a lot of experience in developing tailor-made systems that always allow their customers to work in their own way, but then easier, time and cost-saving.