When Arnold Leung founded Appnovation in 2007, it wasn’t a full service digital consultancy. It was a digital technology company with a focus on helping organizations become savvier around open source
At the time, many enterprises were just transitioning from proprietary software like Microsoft and Oracle to the open source technologies where Appnovation’s expertise lay—and from which it could continue to
expand. By 2012, Appnovation offered technologies from mobile to data analytics.
That was also the year of an important insight for the Appnovation team.
“We realized that our goal as a company was really to help our customers enhance their user experience using different digital toolsets,” the CEO says. “We realized that technology adoption can only be successful if we care about the end user and we care a lot about what their experience is like.
So Appnovation built dedicated teams for user experience and digital strategy—teams that understand good technology but also the end user’s perspective.
Today, Appnovation helps organizations to innovate along a digital path in order to better engage with their users globally. The full-service digital consultancy is the brains behind standout digital experiences for brands like Visit California, TCL, several global pharmaceutical companies and B.C.’s Ministry of Health.
For its design of Visit California’s Road Trip Republic digital hub, Appnovation earned six Communicator Awards in the website and mobile categories, including four Awards of Excellence for Websites (General: Travel/Tourism) and Features (Structure and Navigation, User Experience, and Visual Appeal – Function), and two Awards of Excellence for Mobile Apps (General: Travel/Tourism and Best User Interface).
An Award of Excellence is the Communicator Awards’ highest honor, and receiving it ranks Appnovation alongside Amazon, ESPN films, Publicis Sapient, and other giants of commerce.
Equally impressive is that Appnovation launched the latest version of Visit California’s award-winning website in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new website has enabled Visit California to adapt quickly to changing regulations and also empowered tourists to travel safely as they navigate their dream road trips through the Sunshine State.
Appnovation’s support of organizations during the pandemic includes those closer to home, too; its work for the Ministry of Health in British Columbia and the Provincial Health office (PHO) has helped reduce the risk of COVID-19 cross-contamination among healthcare facilities. By focusing on the development of business processes, digital systems, and real-time collaboration in collecting and analyzing personnel data, Appnovation’s digital solution supports a Single Site Staffing initiative among the province’s long-term and assisted living homes. The platform allows health employers to make decisions about provincial healthcare resourcing in order to lessen the transmission of COVID-19 between facilities.
“Throughout our history, we’ve been pretty involved in the healthcare sector, and it’s always been our passion to be able to change people’s lives using digital innovation,” Arnold says. “That’s the kind of exciting thing that we as a company love to do.”
And Appnovation is getting the recognition and support that it deserves. In September 2020, the company received $11.6 million in follow-on equity funding from a partnership between the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), Export Development Canada (ED), and UK-based BGF. The investment allows Appnovation to continue its global expansion and growth strategy, including scaling teams in strategic global markets as well as potential acquisitions.
The funding also paves the way for what Appnovation does best: creating connections.
“We’re connecting user experience with technology, connecting technology with strategy, so that our customers, and their customers, will benefit,” says Arnold. “It’s not about one thing that’s more important than the other, it’s about all these things connecting together that makes it successful”.