The Jelastic Spotlight: Jean-Michel and RestoPad
This week’s Jelastic Spotlight comes to you from you Belgium. We are talking with one of our users that is doing some pretty cool stuff as part of his work with his clients. His company, Accelior Consulting, is small shop that designs and implements custom business process based platforms that serve business automation.
If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff and is using Jelastic, let us know! We would love to chat with them and showcase their work, here on the blog. If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff but has not tried Jelastic out, tell them about us!
Jean-Michel and RestoPad
Hey, Jean-Michel. Thanks for chatting with us. So, you’re from Belgium. Any particular part?
I grew up in Brussels. It’s a fantastic city. Despite not being that big, it is very diverse. You can have friends from all around the world in small city. It really is pretty awesome.
So, are you based full time in Brussels?
Right now, I spend my time between Brussels and Luxembourg.
That’s pretty cool. Both of those are fantastic cities. Tell us a little about your background: what did you study?
I always interested in science, but I wanted it to be practical, so I studied Commercial Engineering along with an MBA in Brussels.
Is that when you got into programming?
Actually, that happened way earlier. I grew up with computers. My dad bought my first computer in 1978, an Apple II with 48kb of memory. I was eight years old. I spent all of my time in front of that thing. I was hooked. I started learning basic and some of my first software then.
That’s pretty cool that your dad was involved.
Yeah. I started learning BASIC on that Apple and because of my dad, I was able to follow along with the microcomputer revolution. My dad was a radiologist, so he was always into hi-tech stuff, and it rubbed off on me. My “toys” were my Macintoshes and Commodores.
From there, you studied for your engineering degree. You had mentioned something about teaching?
While I was in university I was always working on IT stuff. If I wasn’t working on my own stuff, I was teaching others. I actually taught a few classes. During my time in university I actually started working for JP Morgan. I was part of the research team that worked on their cash accounts. It was a small team. We had a team leader from NY. It was a pretty exciting time. It was there that I really started working on my own projects and began to do some freelance work. When I finished with JP Morgan, I went to work for an advertising agency. During my time there I started building software for some eye doctors on my own.
After that, I went to work IBM for two years in sales. Then from 1999 to 2001 I worked for Lisam Systems. At Lisam we developed software that helped automate the building out material safety data sheets, in 19 languages. This actually pretty complicated because all of those different countries had their own rules and regulations that were constantly changing.
I’m actually a chemist by training. I always hated dealing with those, even when it was automated. I can’t imagine what it was like before. What did you do after Lisam?
I went to work for webMethods in sales as well. I was there a little over a year before I moved to a startup, Intalio. The idea was fantastic, but over time I realized that the software was not mature enough for production and left.
I started Accelior. We build applications, software and platforms for banks for the most part.
Accelior is your current company, right? Tell us a little about what you are doing.
Well, the current project we are working on is actually a client request. And it’s also how we discovered Jelastic.
What is your current project?
RestoPad. It is a cash register that is directly targeted for restaurants running on the Apple iPad. It’s coupled with a pretty powerful back office application that we also developed. RestoPad gives you access to all kinds of business data and analytics so that you can better understand your business. We are very strong in what I like to call back office applications. Our experience and strength is in building enterprise, bank-grade back office systems for out clients, mostly banks and insurance companies.
How is the project going?
Right now we have about 50 different trials accounts on it—50 different restaurants. We are working on a number of things to help make it easier to manage their businesses. One of those things is providing templates to get them up and running quickly, but that is also one of the challenges: we need to be able to really flexible with our features and capabilities while at the same time keeping in mind how international our client base is.
So RestoPad is running on Jelastic? How do you like it so far?
Jelastic is a fantastic PaaS because it helps us focus on our core business, which is developing the best software for Restaurant POS on iPad. Now we don’t need to focus or waste our time and resources on finding reliable hosting or system administration. We also don’t have the scalability headache to worry about. This is a lifesaver for us. Of course, we could have gone to EC2, but we want to worry about the complexities of dealing with that, or the billing surprises. So, we chose Jelastic.
What’s the future for your app?
We have a very strong roadmap to make sure we can integrate with many third-party systems that will helps us become to the most user-friendly and feature rich platform for restaurants to manage their business, from the table to the cash register to the back office.
How would you say that Java has affected your life?
Well, we only build Java apps. So we are Java-centric Company. And now with Android and the iOS, it’s more so. I’ve been working with Java since webMethods, a platform based on Java. We are actually building other systems around Java back-office and other iOS/Android apps. They aren’t ready quite yet, but should be around August. We’ll be using Jelastic to host those as well.
What do like most about your work?
It requires me to be highly creativity and it is very rewarding.
Do you have a favorite hobby?
Yeah. I love racing. Whenever I can, I like to get out on the track. The photo below is F3.
What’s your favorite website?
Last question (I love asking people this one): do you have a motto or philosophy that you live by?
Everything happens in its own time for everyone. Trust life.
Thanks for you time, Jean-Michel.