Digital workplace
3 min read
12 December 2023

A vision, an adventure, and a remarkable result

Carmen Velilla
co founders

In 2009, Hans de Graaf was a Programmer at the software company X-Solutions. His colleague Erik Nicolai was working as a Product Marketer in the same company. They were different in character and had differing skills but shared many values and perspectives. They were both excited by the creativity and dynamics within software companies. They liked the culture of ownership and authenticity. Both thrived in an environment where people were trusted and given a chance.

But Hans had an awareness of something not quite so positive – the huge growth in software applications had led to spiralling complexity that was impacting both businesses and their people. He had a vision of a simpler, integrated system.

He talked to Erik about this. Erik understood immediately. Together, in the fishing village of Spakenburg, they concluded that simplifying software wasn’t just desirable. It was a necessity. Because employees weren’t able to focus. Productivity was suffering. Collaboration was difficult.

That’s how the Workspace 365 adventure began.

The adventure

In 2010, Erik and Hans came together to create New Day at Work, a company that perfectly captured their vision. Their aim was simple: to find new and innovative ways of doing things differently every single day. This vision and culture still resonate within Workspace 365 today. The move was ambitious, but Erik knew where he stood with Hans and believed that their differences would enrich the partnership. He trusted that their shared belief that every day there’s a chance to do things differently would deliver results.

The startup was modest. Hans’ uncle offered three men some space in an office in Spakenburg, four developers set up in Ukraine, and the work began. The software New Day at Work developed offered the integration Hans knew was needed – including all the diverse software companies were using – and incorporated ideas at the forefront of development like a handy drag-and-drop editor.

A true collaboration

In 2012, everything changed, when Erik and Hans realised they couldn’t rebuild Microsoft’s solutions and that their digital workplace had to integrate fully with Microsoft. For some, the task would have been daunting, but Erik and Hans had developed what they called a Spakenburg mindset based on hard work and lots of energy. They took on the challenge and named their new solution Workspace 365.

The original version of Workspace 365 started as a portal with tiles. It was a web application with the potential to make documents from SharePoint and email from Exchange Online simpler. As more partners saw the benefits and came on board, they called it the “Web Workspace”. Since that moment, reach has grown. Workspace 365 has shown the benefits of their solution in various industries and expanded to countries like the UK. As the world’s working practices keep changing, they remained committed to enhancing the digital work experience.

The remarkable result

2023 marks the launch of the New Workspace 365.

The platform is better, smarter and delivers on the promise of 'Everything simplified'. It incorporates the latest technology and embraces the best of AI to deliver digital simplicity and efficiency at its best.

The vision, however, remains the same: To make the digital workplace simpler every day so that employees can truly focus on their work. And the core values Erik and Hans shared back in 2009 remain the core values of Workspace 365:

  • You Learn
  • You Own
  • You Improve.
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