Plan.Net - the digital leg of the Serviceplan Group - is creating a new structure around its digital agency in Belgium. This Technologu Hub is a combination of an incubator and an agile co-working philosophy. It was conceived and realized by Peter Vande Graveele, CEO of Serviceplan Group in the Benelux. In this way, he wishes to meet the need for innovation and establish technology as a crucial, central and primary element within a modern communication group.
“As a result of the second digital wave in the communications world, all the traditional office structures have digitally integrated, creating a kind of ‘light’ version of technology within the advertising agency. Indeed, the digital aspect is no longer a speciality, but in order to truly build bridges today between the consumer and the brands for which we work, we as an agency group must have more available in-house than a ‘light digital version’. Communication agencies such as Serviceplan wish to invest further in various technologies. This will help us develop our profession and deliver better communication solutions to our customers,” Peter Vande Graveele explains. It is also the direct start-up of a third growth reactor within the Serviceplan Group. In addition to organic growth and growth through mergers and acquisitions, the start-up of an incubator look-alike is a third way in which to grow intelligently with relevant start-up ideas intended to make the content of the Serviceplan story more attractive to future customers.
Serviceplan started a search in early 2018 to map out interesting technology start-ups (identification), qualify them (scoring) and initiate the relationship with them (integration). The idea is simple: start-ups receive personalised coaching in entrepreneurship from the various MDs within the group, as well as in the practical implementation of the day-to-day management. This is in addition to free infrastructure (housing, IT, facility services, etc.). In exchange, Serviceplan receives a serious technological energy boost in all its departments.
Uncanny, a start-up from the Flemish Kempen area operating in the field of Immersive Technology (AR/VR, Mixed Reality, etc.), is the first confirmed participant in Serviceplan’s technology network. Uncanny was started one year ago by the then-student Jeff Luyten and professional cameraman Michel Séquaris. Both young men found their way to the CRIB, the Limburg incubator on the C-Mine site.
Jeff and Michel wanted to take the next step in the professional development of their company and encountered Serviceplan along the way. “Serviceplan and the various agencies within this group (Plan.Net, Mediaplus, Mediascale, Neverest and the related agencies in Amsterdam) simply increased our desire to start this cooperation. The multidisciplinary approach embedded in the Serviceplan model, where media, technology and creativity are combined daily, convinced us to take the next steps in the development of our company together with Serviceplan, its senior managers and experts. Serviceplan’s professional framework, not only in Belgium but also internationally, will not only help us to continue writing the story of Uncanny, but also to help shape the grammar, the dictionary of immersive technology. Pioneers in an entrepreneurial environment. That has got to succeed,” says Jeff Luyten, co-founder of Uncanny.
Likewise, the Serviceplan Group is now also strengthening itself by gaining a genuine partner in AR/VR and Immersive Technology in general. In this way, it can meet the increasing customer demand for new ways of shaping the brand experience.