As the founder and CEO of The Inviqa Group, I am passionate about Open Source and want to build the best PHP Company in the world. Having been involved in the Hi-Tech industry for over 30 years, I have developed wealth of experience in helping customers achieve competitive advantage by leveraging innovative Open Source technological solutions to solve challenging business problems and allow them to stay one step ahead of their competitors.
In my career, I’ve launched new businesses, merged and acquired other companies, grown workforces, moved countries, set up new departments, forge partnerships and more. In this blog I’ll share my experiences and my advice so young entrepreneurs can do the same.
I came to the UK in 1986. Originally from Israel, I was sent here by my previous Hi tech company – Sapiens – A Software company whose focus was on Bespoke Application Development. I started as a developer, then consultant, Technical Director, Sales and Marketing Director and from 1999 became MD of the UK operation. I grew the company from 35 to 150 people with revenues of more than £20M.
In 2005 I decided to leave Sapiens and to start my own company – representing Israeli high tech companies in the UK in Sales, Marketing and Professional Services.
In 2006 I was introduced to Zend – the company behind PHP. This opened to me a whole new world of Open Source, global Communities, sharing and free software. As someone who came from the world of licensed software, I found Open Source fascinating and could see that it was “the future of software development”. That’s when I called Paul Wander, who was with me at Sapiens and who had a great eye in identifying new trends and emerging technologies. Paul also got hooked on Open Source and PHP and agreed to join me. Together we set out to take PHP and Open Source to the large enterprises.
In 2007 we teamed up with Ibuildings – a strong PHP company based in the Netherlands. Together we formed Ibuildings UK, who rapidly grew to become the largest Enterprise PHP Company in the UK. I was the group’s CEO.
Our next challenge was to find great PHP developers. I asked our CTO Ivo Jansch, who had a very high profile in the PHP community to find me the best PHP developers in the world and I would convince them to relocate to the UK. Within a few months we had some of the best PHP developers in the world, here in London, some of whom were also core contributors to PHP itself.
We doubled in size every year as the demand for PHP expertise grew exponentially. By the end of 2009 we had reached 30 developers and had a new office in Sheffield. We realised that ecommerce was a growing area and decided to expand into this massive market. We found that Magento, an ecommerce platform based on PHP was growing at a phenomenal pace and decided to choose them as our strategic ecommerce partner.
In February 2010 we acquired a small Magento partner called leftfield. We created Session Digital, who have since become the largest Magento Enterprise partner in the UK, developing some of the largest ecommerce platforms in the UK with customers such as Dreams, Kookai, Warner Music, Acne, Smythson and many more.
Towards the end of 2011, Paul and I decided that it was the right time to buy out our Dutch partners and to continue growing the UK companies on our own. In May 2012 Ibuildings was renamed Inviqa after a Management Buyout.
In June 2012 we decided to team up with Sensio Labs France – the creators of the Symfony framework and agreed to form Sensio Labs UK, a company that would promote and service Symfony in the UK.
As our brands were growing we decided to “go global” and in October 2014 got Jarlssen – a Magento partner from Munich, Germany, to join the Inviqa Group. We renamed them to Session Digital DE.
In February 2015, iKOS joined the Inviqa Group. We always wanted to be a big player in the Drupal world, but never quiet succeeded in making it happen. We came across iKOS, started discussions and within a few weeks they were on board.
In 2016 we unified all 4 UK companies into Inviqa UK. Read more
Our group today comprises of 3 companies:
Both companies are owned by The Inviqa Group.