,"Our vision here is to enable clients to digitise business by themselves." --- Ellice Ng
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WHEN Ellice Ng, 38, quit her studies in software engineering, she didn’t think that she’d come back to it in any way. The jargon was a challenge for her and she just wasn’t very into it.
Instead, Ng went on to chart a path in communications and founded her own public relations company. She found considerable success in the industry despite starting off broke.
“I didn’t have many friends and I only had RM500 in my account. But I wanted to give it a try. I got through the six months trial. It was tough, but it eventually got better.”
But as fate would have it, she was drawn back into the technology field about five years ago following an encounter with Tim Hendricks – her future business partner and now husband – who was in Malaysia to train people in Mendix Low-Code.
Mendix is a low-code application development platform.
Low-code is a software development approach that requires little to no coding to build applications and processes. Instead, it uses visual interfaces with basic logic and drag-and-drop capabilities.
This time, her interest piqued.
“I got interested in low-code and did my own research. I found out that it was quite big in the US and in Europe but not in Asia. But it was also because Mendix did not focus specifically on Asia. So I thought of the opportunities that were available here.
“It’s a growing industry worth about US$20bil (RM83.4bil) in the US and Europe. And China started using low-code in 2014,” she shares with a degree of enthusiasm.
She took some time researching the potential market for a low-code platform in Malaysia and the region and in 2017, with funds taken out from her wedding budget, they kickstarted Orangeleaf Consulting.
The company offers digital innovation services, specialising in Mendix Low-Code, to firms looking to digitalise their systems.
Ng recalls that there was hardly any conversation in the market around low-code at the time and it was a challenge educating local tech talents on its application. They were also frequently turned away as companies were generally unsure about the concept of automating their operations then.
However, Ng was convinced that low-code is the way to go to help companies with their digitalisation process.
And given that it requires little coding, it was possible to build a system 10 times faster and with seven times fewer resources. For example, Orangeleaf built 15 applications for a local client with only two people on the project last year.
“In a company, different departments will be using different software and they usually need to manually consolidate the data across. I believe Mendix can help them close that gap. And because we are a consulting firm, not a software house, we start off by helping clients build a digitalisation strategy before selling them the idea of using low-code.”