Gen25: a journey of growth, resilience and innovation

Gen25's inspiring journey from a startup to a top Salesforce implementation partner. Learn about our growth, milestones, and the culture of resilience and innovation that defines the company and its vision.

Gen25's core values revolve around independence, resilience and commitment to its customers and employees. It prides itself on being an innovative and financially strong company that fosters a working environment where people enjoy working and can see tangible career progression. But how did Gen25 become the challenge-driven company it is today?

From humble beginnings in an attic, we became the first Salesforce partner in the Netherlands and won the Gazelle award 7 times in a row. Overcoming many challenges and achieving many milestones, the interviews with our CEO Gijs Martens and Managing Director Jan Dost take us through the history and transformation of Gen25.

The beginnings: from the attic to Amsterdam
The story of Gen25 begins with Gijs Martens, the CEO, who set up the company in his attic shortly after the internet bubble burst. Initially focusing on web development, Gijs quickly attracted customers and moved into web hosting. The first office in Amsterdam's Science Park provided a decisive boost, with the fastest internet connection in Europe at the time.

Creation of a content management system
Gijs developed a customised content management system to handle the growing number of websites. However, maintaining many individual sites was cumbersome and costly. Recognising the need for a standardised approach, he switched to established CMS solutions, allowing Gen25 to focus on streamlining operations and strategic growth.

The transition to Salesforce
A project involving a B2B ordering system marked a decisive turning point. This project highlighted the potential of more sophisticated cloud-based software solutions. When approached to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system, Gijs chose Salesforce for its cloud-first strategy, marking Gen25's transition from a development company to a consultancy specialising in Salesforce implementations. This pivotal decision showcased Gen25's ability to embrace significant challenges and leverage them for growth and transformation.

Becoming a leading Salesforce partner
Gijs was invited by then ISV Partner Manager, Pim van Egmond, to a Salesforce event, suggesting that Gen25's booking application, then called Booker25 (now known as GoMeddo), could be integrated into Salesforce for companies to install and use. Gen25's expertise in Salesforce integration and implementation quickly attracted attention. It became known for its technical skills and deep understanding of Salesforce's capabilities. Its reputation as a quality solutions provider attracted a large number of customers, resulting in rapid growth. Gen25's willingness to take on challenges, combined with its in-depth knowledge of its customers' needs and challenges, has consolidated its position as the leading Salesforce implementation partner in the Netherlands and defined its positioning as a challenge-driven partner.


To a new headquarters

The move to dedicated office space at Zuidas in Amsterdam signified our growth and stability, as well as our maturity and strength as a business.

Transformation under new management
When Jan Dost joined Gen25, in 2018, the company was a 'splintered start-up' with a lot of enthusiasm and a dynamic atmosphere, but there wasn't enough knowledge about how to run the business at its highest efficiency.

In the first months, Jan focused on streamlining operations, putting in place a long-term structure and strategies, and aligning working practices. These tough decisions have stabilised Gen25's financial health and operational efficiency.

Jan focused on rebuilding, placing people in roles where they could succeed, hiring to fill organisational gaps and standardising offerings and processes. Over the past years, Gen25 has gone from strength to strength and is now a mature, efficiency-focused business.

Embracing change and innovation
Gen25's culture of trying new things, even at the risk of costs, has been the driving force behind its resilience and innovation. Whether it's exploring new market segments such as cloud marketing and e-commerce, or tackling more complex projects, we're not afraid to pivot and explore new opportunities. Gen25's understanding of the challenges its customers face and its commitment to solving them is at the heart of its success.

Gen25 is able to make changes and get things done, turning ideas into action and results.”
Jan Dost

International expansion: The UK office
The night before Brexit, the idea was launched of opening an office in the UK to extend our reputation overseas. It wasn't without fear, but that's also what makes Gen25 so strong: going against the grain and daring to be bold. Shortly afterwards, new colleagues were recruited to set up and develop the UK operations which, to date, have grown into a full team of 9 employees with its own office in London and more talents to come.

The Gen25 culture is made by the people that we hired.”
Gijs Martens

Separation of ISV and SI
Another key step was the separation of Gen25 and its sister company GoMeddo into separate business units, allowing each to prosper independently. This strategic decision was in response to different operating models and business objectives. Two different companies, but with the same core values and ambitions.

A bright future
The company is focusing on expanding its activities, ensuring that consultants have growth opportunities and tackling more complex projects that deliver significant value to the senior management of client organisations. This strategic approach not only keeps the team engaged and growing, but also positions Gen25 as a trusted business partner for large-scale transformations. 

New beginnings
2024 marks the start of a new chapter for Gen25: the company is moving its headquarters from the bustling district of Amsterdam Zuidas to the quiet town of Laren, just 20 kilometres from the heart of Amsterdam. This move marks an exciting new chapter designed to foster creativity, collaboration, and growth for both teams and customers. The new location offers a spacious and tranquil setting that provides an ideal backdrop for innovation and strategic thinking.

At Gen25, customers are at the heart of everything we do, and the new Laren site has been designed with their needs in mind. The headquarters is easily accessible, with private parking, luxurious meeting spaces, and other state-of-the-art facilities that will provide a comfortable and professional setting for all engagements.

The Revival of Academy25

Academy25 is very important to Gen25. This programme enables them to hire and develop young talent, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to become professional consultants. The new Laren headquarters provides an ideal environment for learning and development, with ample space for training sessions, workshops, and collaborative projects.

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