With OutSystems as a machete.
It is early 2022 when Maarten van Veen comes up with his idea for The Compliance Department: a platform to help SMEs become or remain compliant by taking them through all the steps they need to take to achieve this. No complex language, lots of visual explanation and an underlying system that immediately indicates what is required to get a grip on your business risks and comply with applicable laws and regulations. He builds that platform with LINKIT in OutSystems. So, for example, the startup is set up for growth, and Maarten’s employee Lutfi is immediately included in the development to build the future on all fronts. And so he helps them through a jungle of regulations.
Searching for knowledge through a forum
Maarten knows that a well-functioning platform is essential for implementing his idea. So before he ends up at LINKIT, he extensively researches options. “I was looking for a programmer but also had to look at the costs. That is why I ended up with low-code at a certain point,” says Maarten. “OutSystems stood out because it is a strong platform. In terms of privacy and security, everything is fine, and they are very transparent.” The next step was to find someone with a lot of experience implementing it to develop the compliance tool. “I, therefore, searched the OutSystems forum for someone active in the Netherlands and with the necessary knowledge. That is how I ended up with Remco Dekkinga of LINKIT, who introduced me to Dion and Barend.”
Developer and sparring partner
Dion and Barend work at LINKIT and its account manager (Dion Drost) and Outsystems developer (Barend Coetzer). Both are very enthusiastic about the assignment. Barend: “Together, we build the core of the company. There is a lot of freedom, but you have to be very resourceful and constantly question everything.” Therefore, Dion and Barend are concerned with more than just the functionalities. “We look at where we see quick wins and also like to think about how Maarten can get more customers,” says Dion. In addition, Barend spends one day a week with Lutfi, the nearly-graduated software engineer employed by the Compliance Department as an OutSystems developer. With his experience, Barend is responsible for the architecture and the most complex functionalities. At the same time, he also guides Lutfi in, among other things, best practices, data modelling and reusability of components. “It is important that Maarten retains his flexibility,” explains Barend. “That is why we share our knowledge. In addition, OutSystems is accessible. Those two things together provide grip, not only for the role of Lutfi but also for attracting future staff.”
“In terms of privacy and security, everything is in order, and they are very transparent.”
Conditions for success
Maarten agrees. “The role of LINKIT will, therefore, not always be the same because depending on the project phases and Lutfi’s knowledge, we need them more or less. It’s nice to be able to do that.” The Compliance Department is working hard on the risk analysis, the platform’s core functionality. It is crucial because it determines what an entrepreneur has in mind, which ISO and NEN standards or regulations they want to comply with, and the chance the company will not comply. “As an entrepreneur, you can decide for yourself each year how much risk you want to run,” explains Maarten. “The Compliance Department provides scope for this and ensures with a clear step-by-step plan that you are and remain in control. Depending on what you need or want to meet, the platform assigns tasks to different people within the organization.” Therefore, Barend has to link Maarten’s risk scenarios to the various optional and mandatory measures in OutSystems. Those actions must reach the right people at the right time. In addition, customers must be able to see their progress in their environment, and the tool must be workable for both small and slightly larger companies to be scalable. One of the most critical conditions is that it remains effortless. Both in terms of communication and platform. “Everything we build must meet seven principles,” says Maarten. “For example, it should be simple, not contain any legal language, not have a steep learning curve, and so on. It can only be built if it meets these requirements.”
The basis of the platform is now in place, and the next steps are clear; the first version of the platform should be presented in the summer. Barend: “Not many startups work in OutSystems, even though it has many advantages. One of them is the fact that many functionalities are already there. So you can switch quickly and shorten your ‘time to market’. Moreover, it is very future-proof, and the prediction is that it will only be used more often.” Maarten is also happy with his choice in terms of low-code and the partnership. “It was essential for me to find an organization that has extensive experience with OutSystems, that is a safety net and a sparring partner, and that thinks ahead so that no long-term problems arise. In addition, you must have someone who also dares to contradict. That’s fine with LINKIT”, Maarten laughs. He emphasizes the good dynamics between Lutfi and Barend. “They never just do something; it’s always about ‘why are you doing it that way’.” The Compliance Department and LINKIT are committed to growing together and are keen to make The Compliance Department a success. The first signs are favourable: the number of customers for the first year has been achieved. Dion and Barend also have complete confidence in Maarten’s idea!
ABOUT THE COMPLIANCE DEPARTMENT
Compliance made easy. No complicated language, but clear visual explanations and support to get a grip on your company’s risks and comply with laws and regulations. The Compliance Department also helps companies obtain ISO certifications and conduct a RI&E.
4 FAST FACTS ABOUT COMPLIANCE
• Compliance is about complying with laws, regulations, internal guidelines, and policies.
• Integrity, environment, corruption prevention, export control, fraud prevention, human rights, IT security and privacy compliance are subjects.
• As a company, you must intervene when there is bullying and sexual harassment.
• Your company becomes more attractive to new employees, business partners and investors when compliance is in order.