Insum 15 years and thanks
By: Michel St-Amour On: February 21, 2018 In: Insum Life Comments: 0

Funny to say it now, in the middle of February 2018, but happy anniversary Insum!

It had actually been 15 years in 2017. Happy belated birthday? No, not really, since we had the anniversary cake and all, but I’ve only just now had some time to myself to sit down and reflect on this road we’ve sped down for the last 15 years.

Let me tell you the story about where we came from, who we’ve become and where we’re going.

15 years ago, four like-minded guys


15 years - well done insum

Back in 2002, four like-minded guys, Francis Mignault, Patrick Bonneville, Paul Farley (later replaced by Roger Leblanc) and myself were Oracle specialists working in the service industry. All four of us were members of the Quebec Independent IT Workers Association (AQIII in French). All four of us were steeped in community culture and had all participated in various associations. We decided to get together and seek out bigger contracts as a team. From the beginning, the idea of community was the strong common theme in our association.  From the very start, we favored flexible collaboration as we went from contract to contract.

Then we discovered APEX

Already in 2004, we’d seen the limits of the then current Oracle Forms technology we were working with. We were looking for a better development tool to handle what was to become omnipresent browser-based technology. That’s when we discovered HTML DB, later to be renamed Oracle APEX. We knew right then and there that we had hit on something very special.

If you can imagine, back in 2004, thanks to our explorations in APEX, we were already talking to our customers about the Cloud, and some of them were already enjoying (and paying for!) some SaaS solutions we’d developed. And this was with HTML DB 1.5!

The early APEX community was tight and collaborative (pretty much like it is now) and it was around that time that we started getting out and experiencing it up close, notably starting with KScope 2006 in Washington, DC.

The Oracle community takes notice

That’s when we realized that the Oracle community and some fairly large customers gravitating around it were siting up and taking notice of what we were doing at Insum.

By 2010, we’d put together the first version of our unique APEX development methodology, which has grown, just as new features have been added to APEX. We started getting calls from people saying, “can you help us with our APEX work”? Clients started showing up at our door asking us to help them develop their applications, or asking us to show them best practices

The community supports us

I think what had gotten us to that point is that from our beginnings, we constantly sought out and found skilled and highly collaborative people to work with. When the feel was right, we would bring them on board and thus add to our collective pool of knowledge. And keep solving bigger and bigger challenges with teamwork and fun.

We (experimental-collaborative-Frenchmen that we are) had reached out to the Community initially because we were excited to show stuff we’d discovered and in turn, the community (and Oracle!) recognized our work and supported our growth.

And for that we are thankful.

When you think about it, Oracle Application Express is a niche development tool, but paradoxically, one that opens the door to a huge field of applications, services and interesting people. Simply put, if it is Oracle-based, it can be improved upon with Oracle APEX.

Where we are now, and where we are going

So, for the past 5 or 6 years now, we’ve been putting into action our strategic plan to take over the world. I’m only half-kidding. We’ve found some extraordinary, like-minded APEX collaborators in the USA and in South America. Insum has established a development center in Plattsburgh New York at SUNY as part of the State’s Start-up New York Program. We’ve also opened a development center in Peru, to help clients across South-America. We’ve signed agreements of collaboration with two French firms on the cutting edge of software development to spearhead our entry into the European market. And, most recently (and this is Actually the reason I didn’t have time to write this blog until now) we acquired a top-notch Oracle consulting firm out of Boston called Concept 2 Completion (C2).

15 years - insum starting out in peru

Why in so many countries at once? Because it plays to our strengths. You see, one of the dimensions of our work has always been to allow for multiple languages. It’s basically a pre-requisite in Canada, where English and French are both official languages. And we’ve become pretty good at supporting these in all our development work, so why not go global?

What’s coming up for Insum? All I’ll say is that the next two years will be very interesting so I invite you to stay tuned.

Some other anniversary highlights

And because 2017 was the company’s 15th anniversary I must highlight a few other particularly proud moments from that year

  • Insum included in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500TM, recognizing the fastest growing tech companies in North America
  • Insum a finalist for the Quebec Technologies Association’s Spotlight on SMEs Award
  • Several of the Insum team recognized at KScope17 in San Antonio, Texas:
    • Adrian Png receives the ODTUG Volunteer Award;
    • Vincent Morneau receives the ODTUG Innovation Award;
    • Martin D’Souza named Best APEX Speaker and Overall Best Speaker.
    • Vincent Morneau named Oracle ACE, and Francis Mignault, Oracle ACE Director, two prestigious recognitions given by Oracle.
  • Two of our colleagues (Francis Mignault and Patrick Cimolini) also published books about APEX development and management.
  • We now have more than 80 people onboard. And the team will continue to grow this year as well!

15 years insum - join us for 15 more

15 years, and thank you

You’ve probably guessed by now that the core of this on-going and ever more exciting adventure is the nature and the quality of the people we’ve been privileged to build our success with over the years.

To all my beloved team of passionate and dedicated people at Insum, I once again wish happy 15th anniversary and invite you to join me for 15 more years of extraordinary adventure together.


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