Ten Years of Innovation. How About Many More Years of The Same?

I never thought I’d be saying this – but we are ten years old!

SynApps Solutions is celebrating our first successful decade.

November 2013 marked ten years of us providing powerful content management integration solutions that have been transforming the way our customers work.

One of the foundations to this ten years of success is the fact that our business never seems to stand still. Continuous innovation, in a range of fields, from Documentum and Alfresco support services to our work with Electronic Health Records and development of our ConX range of applications – all of which wrap up to provide ‘scalable content and records management solutions that exceed our customers expectations’ – that’s become our ‘brand.’ And that’s something we are incredibly proud of.

The demand for constant innovation was in our DNA from the start. To offer our customers the maximum benefit, all our solutions and services had to be relevant and fit-for-purpose – addressing their current and emerging business challenges, too.

Let me remind you of the SynApps’ ‘garage story’ – how all this came about. Jim Whitelaw and Richard Wiffin, formerly members of the north European professional services senior management team at ECM (electronic content management) leader Documentum, found out they shared the same vision: to innovate and take solutions to areas that were limited by COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) products.

A delay that led to a long journey

In the spring of 2003, Jim and Richard had ended up stuck at Heathrow Airport by a delayed flight. While usefully passing the time networking, with some relaxation time in the bar thrown in, the seeds of SynApps were sown. 

That initial conversation was built on with a series of other convivial chats with soon-to-be co-founders Jason Scholes, Paul Edwards, James Paton and Neil Johnson at that well-known hangout of tech entrepreneurs – the Spaghetti House restaurant near Victoria Station in London.

In such salubrious surroundings, the shape of an exciting new business was soon visible, and SynApps was founded on November 10th, 2013.

Drawing on the founders’ project delivery skills, we began by focusing on ECM consultancy and implementation services for large, blue-chip organisations. We soon had customers not just in the UK, but in Benelux and beyond – one of our very first assignments was to design and implement a loans processing system for a major bank based in Australia, for example.

Solidifying our heritage with Documentum, we became that supplier’s first premier level European partner. That relationship matters to us, albeit (because Documentum became part of the EMC family) now under EMC’s C3P partner programme.

In practical terms, that means in addition to content strategy development and consulting services, the resale and implementation of the market-leading Documentum ECM platform, as well as hosting and support services, is part of the portfolio of services we jointly offer.


Some key milestones over ten years of hard work:

  • 2003 SynApps founded
  • 2004 Mark Winstone joins as Sales & Marketing Director. ECM portfolio expands to include specialist software and hosting services, as well as consultancy and implementation
  • 2006 Development and release of ConXLoader, a bulk content migration tool
  • 2009 Development and release of ConXSys, an integration framework to connect content from line-of-business applications to an enterprise content management platform
  • 2010 SynApps becomes a Gold Partner of Alfresco
  • 2011 We released ConXMail and ConXOffice, tools that allowing content from Microsoft email and office systems to be incorporated in ECM
  • 2011 We were proud to be awarded EMC’s prestigious IIG Partner Innovation Award for the ConXApps suite of ECM solutions
  • 2012 A very big year for us as we partnered with both EMC and J4Care to design and deliver healthcare-specific content management solutions, particularly in the area of vendor neutral archives (VNAs). We are now an established leader in this field, helping a growing number of NHS Trusts migrate towards more open content-sharing environments (especially where medical image records are involved)
  • 2012 – 2013 We’ve developed and then launched a comprehensive set of SaaS offerings through the UK government’s G-Cloud in the areas of case management, document and records management and content capture
  • 2013 Last but not least (and have you visited us yet?) we moved into our new home – a dedicated, high-security support office in Hemel Hempstead.The things Jim and Richard talked about when they were stuck at Heathrow helped accelerate our growth in the past ten years, despite a tough market, creating an organisation which now has a headcount of 40.

    And as a team we have continued to extend, hone and develop our offerings, formed some strong partnerships and we have become an acknowledged leader in the ECM market. In addition to our long-standing EMC relationship, we are now an Alfresco Gold Partner, plus we have forged strong partnerships with major systems integrators like CapGemini, CGI, CSC, QinetiQ and Computacenter, all of whom we support with specialist ECM solutions and services.

    Thank you!

    We are very proud of what SynApps has achieved in the last 10 years and are looking forward to continued growth and success over the next few years,

    It goes without saying that we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for our creative and immensely hardworking people – nor our ambitious customers and the visions which they have asked us to help make real. I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have shared in our journey. Here’s to the next ten years!