Visug The Visual Studio User Group

Partner in the spotlight: aariXa

For our second “Partner in the Spotlight”-interview, I had a pleasant conversation with Erwin Tips, co-founder of aariXa.

Hi Erwin, can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role at aariXa?

My name is Erwin Tips, I’m an engineer in Chemistry, but ended up in the IT industry almost immediately after my studies. Initially as developer / 3rd line support at IMEC, but after a year I already ended up in consultancy. I am co-founder & manager of aariXa, and outside of it I am still a consultant as Business Analyst, currently at Fluxys, in Brussels.

Can you tell us a bit more about aariXa?

aariXa was founded in 2005. Initially as a pure custom software company, it has become a bit more diversified over the years. We now have the following 4 business units: Consultancy (outsourcing, providing IT profiles
for development, devops, system engineering, networks and cloud
assignments at customesr), our Software Factory, System and network management services (including cloud) and
last but not least, we are an Azure reseller.

Furthermore, our sister company Neglect-X distributes software for local authorities (cities and municipalities) that is used to monitor the vacancy, being the "slum tax", popularly speaking. Our subsidiary Yomie offers software to some 700 customers within the hospitality and retail market, including an online ordering platform, a digital bartender, streaming and music software and digital signage solutions. Within aariXa, I myself take on the role of product owner for the various projects that we carry out in the software factory at aariXa. So our software factory builds software products for the other members of the group on one hand, but also projects for various customers.

You have been a partner of Visug for a year now. Why do you sponsor Visug?

First of all, we are a knowledge center ourselves, which on the one hand always tries to absorb knowledge, but also makes every effort to spread that knowledge. This is done in various ways. We participate in fairs, we provide access to various learning platforms, we have certification programs for our own aariXians, but above all - and this especially in the context of knowledge sharing - we organize (under normal circumstances) 4 times per year an aariXa Academy where everyone can always participate for free. The topics are either presented by people from aariXa themselves, or we hire experts who can present a technical topic in a clear and structured way. VISUG is another platform where we hope to be able to absorb and distribute knowledge.

On the other hand, our software factory is specialized in .Net core / Angular solutions, and that is precisely the technology stack that is compatible with the software that Visug brings into the picture.

If we organize a Visug evening together, what does such an evening ideally look like?

Like every event, we always hope to expand our network. Getting to know people, and especially like-minded souls, is always nice. So the fact that people come together - preferably on location, but currently as an alternative this can certainly also be done online - already makes the evening a success. If we also get the chance to share knowledge during that evening, it will only make it more interesting. Novelties, trends, ... in short, what is going on among people and what you read on the internet, taking a closer look, being able to debate about it, only makes such evenings moments to look forward to. So an evening that starts with a pleasant reception, followed by an explanation and / or some workshops, concluded with a snack and drink, is ideal. Hopefully we can do that again soon.

Due to corona we were unable to organize a Visug evening together this year. Do you see other ways to connect with our community during these times?

I think the alternatives are popping up like mushrooms. At aariXa we replace our 2-monthly activities (our "fun events") with Discord meetings. 50-60 people spread over a few channels, talking about the little ones, or (guess what) about IT, it's just fun.

I'm not saying Discord is the ideal platform to host a VISUG online, but something like Discord can certainly work, I think.

Thank you for your time, Erwin!