- Founders: Johan Van den Bulck and Pascal Kemps
- Founded in: 2017
- Employees: 14
- Money raised: Teroco deliberately avoids raising external capital for the sake of simplicity in terms of governance and to safeguard its long-term vision
- Ultimate goal: Teroco is the provider of choice for automation and integration through the use of databots.
The Belgian start-up and data robot pioneer Teroco was founded in 2017 by Johan Van den Bulck and Pascal Kemps. They’re mainly active in the field of so-called robotic process automation (RPA) and built and managed one of the largest corporate RPA Centers of Excellence in the Low Countries. More recently, the company started to offer testing facilities for computer systems. Pascal Kemps tells us more about it in this instalment of start-up of the day.
Your databots, what do they do exactly?
“The virtual assistants help customers to automate their processes (RPA), integrate systems or develop tailor-made applications in a fast and simple way. This is done without having to modify existing (IT) processes or change data. You do this by installing a databot – a piece of software that you can train to perform certain tasks – on your PC, server or in the cloud. A team of exclusively in-house experts looks for the best databot solution and tailors it to the individual profile of the customer and their specific business needs, without any time-consuming programming. Teroco works as a business partner by coming up with ideas together and providing long-lasting solutions that are technology-independent.”
What are the capabilities of robotic process automation?
“You can use RPA, i.e., robotic process automation, not only to automate and integrate systems, but also to map out the entire process. Using databots, a vast number of interactions with business platforms or applications can be simulated in order to preemptively detect malfunctions or capacity problems. In recent years, RPA has gained a foothold as an innovative technology for automating routine administrative business processes. The time that is freed up can be used by staff to handle more challenging and varied work. One application of RPA that has so far hardly been exploited is the ability to use databots to stress test digital infrastructures, such as apps or websites. They are fantastic for that.”
You also offer infrastructure testing. Why?
“As digital infrastructure becomes ever-more complex, the need for testing also continues to grow. The digital infrastructure of companies must be robust and able to handle a large number of interactions all at the same time. Deploying data bots to simulate those situations and preemptively test the infrastructure is the next step in the evolution of RPA technology. The great thing about this application is that everything is extremely fast and highly automated. We are now one of the first Belgian databot developers to offer data infrastructure testing facilities. Our current provision of advice, implementation services and training around everything related to robotic process automation is being further expanded as a result.”
Why is testing so important?
“Testing is still all too often wrongly considered to be an unnecessary luxury, because on the one hand, no immediate result is visible and on the other hand, it’s very labor-intensive. After all, there isn’t a single application that can be developed free of bugs. That’s why testing is so important. You can offer more guarantees on a stable and qualitative infrastructure because you check whether the software meets all the functional criteria. To determine whether testing is useful in a particular RPA case, a risk analysis is first performed. A testing strategy tailored to the client is then devised based on those results.”
Why do you primarily choose experienced people?
“When we started with the start-ups, we opted for a different approach. A lot of start-ups work with young, fresh-faced people in their twenties. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but we were in our forties when we set up this company. At that point, we were looking for people who already had a good track record. Our entire team is made up of extremely experienced people. That offers lots of advantages as experienced people work faster, and need less training. Moreover, they’re used to adapting to new situations and know how to deal with a customer. Our people understand how a project is run and when they need to raise the alarm. Customers and employees are very satisfied with this approach. Of course, we’ll hire younger workers, but we’ll do that very gradually. At our company, younger people are trained and coached by one permanent, experienced staff member.”
Do you have any international plans?
“We are located very central in the Netherlands, in Herentals. In the meantime, we also have customers in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. We are steadily branching out and right now, we are also eyeing Germany and the UK.”
Photo: Pascal Kemps (l) and Johan Van den Bulck.