June 28, 2018: VR in Entertainment

June 28, 2018: VR in Entertainment

For our next chapter event, we are very excited to take an in-depth look at the state of VR in the entertainment industry—from cinema and storytelling to gaming and beyond. We’ll be highlighting the Richmond industry professionals who are using this exciting medium to its fullest potential, right here in the River City.

July 27, 2018: Shockoe Summer Party & Open House

July 27, 2018: Shockoe Summer Party & Open House

To celebrate great weather and our growing operation, Shockoe will be hosting a summer party this year to welcome neighbors, partners, family, and friends.

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September 18-19, 2018: Digital Customer Experience Strategies Summit

September 18-19, 2018: Digital Customer Experience Strategies Summit

“Digital customer experience summit. Drive your competitive differentiation to enhance customer satisfaction and cement loyalty through digital channels to unlock growth. Join the key players in digital customer experience and discuss the latest developments. Through thought-provoking presentations, interactive sessions, and Q&A periods take away strategies to: Learn about latest trends of digital and customer experience Discover where you stand in the competitive landscape and identify new growth opportunities for your business in the digital age.”

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December 19, 2018: Annual Hackathon

December 19, 2018: Annual Hackathon

In what has become an annual Shockoe tradition, we will be holding our annual hackathon in late fall 2018! We look forward to showing off the results from this year, but if you’re eager to learn more, check out our 2017 work from our “Civic Hack.”

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Event Recap: Southeastern Credit Union Conference

Event Recap: Southeastern Credit Union Conference


Mobile Apps at SCUCE

Last week we had the pleasure of attending the Southeast CU Conference & Expo. SCUCE is one of the largest credit union conferences in the country and is a great opportunity to interact with and exchange innovative ideas with credit union leaders from across the country. One of the main goals of this annual conference is to discuss the latest technologies, applications, and resources available to credit unions to improve their operations and efficiencies and better serve their members. At Shockoe, we are committed to innovation through mobile technology and customer-centric solutions, so we were excited to participate in this event and share our experience developing the mobile app for Virginia Credit Union.


Why is mobile technology for credit unions now more important than ever?

There is no question: mobile technology has become as ubiquitous as the wallet in one’s pocket or purse. With 95% of Americans carrying a cell phone (77% of which are smartphones), credit unions should be feeling the pressure to deliver great app experiences to their customers.

According to the BBC, in 2011, 22 million UK adults turned to their cell phones to manage their finances, and this number is expected to rise to as many as 35 million by 2023 — a whopping total of 73% of the country’s population.

Here in 2018, Gen-X is increasingly impacting the direction of the U.S. workforce. More dollars are being invested with financial institutions, and younger users are looking to maintain greater oversight of their finances in the way they know best — mobile interfaces. In fact, The CACI estimates that by 2019 mobile will overtake traditional online banking. A shockingly rapid change since 2013 when approximately only 50% of online users opted for mobile as their platform of choice versus web.


On the side of change

In addition to rethinking their IT strategies, Credit Unions need to prepare for a shift operational strategies as well. Branches will play a decreasingly relevant role in money management for the active workforce — money that could be shifted to embracing security, IT infrastructure, and mobile strategy that keeps banking operations lean and effective.

It’s clear that today’s digital-centric credit union consumers have higher expectations of their institutional providers. To appeal to these consumers, businesses will need to find innovative approaches to digital customer engagement. Custom mobile apps allow for a tailored, personalized, customer-centric experience that is unique to the brand. Pair this with customized employee productivity apps, and the entire operation works seamlessly to meet customer needs and build brand loyalty. The credit unions that are able to adopt this “outside-the-box” thinking will be more likely to succeed in this new, highly competitive consumer landscape.


How can Shockoe help your credit union?

In working with a local credit union, Virginia Credit Union, (one of the 55 largest Credit Unions in the country), we’ve conducted significant discovery to determine what members expect out of their banking app. VACU approached us to help their customers integrate a credit card management option and improve their overall mobile application. VACU was using Fiserv as their core banking system and quickly realized that they were limited in what they could do with their mobile technology. We learned at SCUCE that this is a very common theme at most credit unions. As credit unions outgrow the “out of the box” solution, they search for a more tailored way to connect with their members to uphold customer loyalty and provide a seamless mobile banking experience. That’s where Shockoe comes in. We augment your development teams and partner together with your core banking system to provide you with a custom app carefully designed to fit your members’ needs.

Our connections at SCUCE confirmed our assertions about the importance of custom mobile apps, and we’d love to continue to share our knowledge and expertise with the greater credit union community. Whether it’s helping with API strategy, development, security, or UX/UI design – we’re here to help find innovative approaches to attracting and retaining customers and improving the day-to-day employee experience. At Shockoe, we strongly believe that the credit unions that embrace custom mobile apps will have customers that are more engaged and more loyal, allowing these credit unions to thrive in a highly competitive environment. If you’re interested in exploring how custom apps might be able to help your credit union, give us a call to chat about how we can help!

Shockoe Ranks No. 499 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 900%

Shockoe Ranks No. 499 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 900%

Richmond, VA – Shockoe, a leading disruptor in the design and development of advanced mobile solutions, is honored to announce that it has been ranked No. 499 by Inc. Magazine in the 36th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This list represents the culmination of a review and ranking of one of the most important sectors in the American economy today – the entrepreneurs. It’s an honor to be named in a list where many of today’s well-known companies gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000, such as Microsoft, Zappos, Jamba Juice, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp and Zillow.

We are tremendously proud of the work we’ve accomplished in the past few years and feel honored to be included amongst an exclusive and impressive list of growing companies on the Inc. 500,” says CEO Edwin Huertas of Shockoe.com. “Our growth over the years can be directly attributed to an incredible team and their ability to create innovative solutions for today’s ever-changing market coupled with the capacity to solve the most pressing challenges organizations face.”

The 2017 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 16) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Shockoe:
Shockoe is a leader in the development of advanced mobile solutions focused on increasing sales, end-user experiences and employee productivity. Since our founding in 2010, our emphasis on today’s mobile consumer and end-user have helped us grow into a global consulting firm with a unique combination of mobile strategy, experience design, development, and integration. Our solutions have strong returns on investment, deliver excellent user experiences, and adhere to the best practices in security and reliability.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch nominates Shockoe as one of the Greater Richmond Area 2017 Top Workplaces!

The Richmond Times-Dispatch nominates Shockoe as one of the Greater Richmond Area 2017 Top Workplaces!

Shockoe has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

About Shockoe

Shockoe is a cross-platform and native mobile solutions firm that specializes in building mobile apps and integrating legacy systems. We started in 2010  helping clients to develop mobile strategies which result in consumer and employee-facing mobile applications that meet users’ needs. We believe that technology can make business better and make that belief a reality every day with the tools we build. We create apps for the entire supply chain – from Agriculture to Manufacturing and Logistics to Retail and Consumer Goods. As a result, we have built apps for Grocery Stores, Financial Firms, Insurance Companies, Consumer Goods, Retail Shops, and Pharma – We aim to get involved in a variety of projects to make sure that we are well versed in the mobile technology landscape.  As one of the leading mobile app development firms, we are focused on creating apps that provide engaging experiences for our clients’ employees and customers. Moving forward into 2017, we will work with companies to help them generate desired mobile experiences through  integrating new technologies such as Voice Recognition, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Machine Learning. You can learn more about Shockoe and our openings , come join the fun!

About WorkplaceDynamics, LLC

Headquartered in Exton, PA, WorkplaceDynamics specializes in employee feedback surveys and workplace improvement. This year alone, more than two million employees in over 6,000 organizations will participate in the Top Workplaces™ campaign—a program it conducts in partnership with more than 40 prestigious media partners across the United States. Workplace Dynamics also provides consulting services to improve employee engagement and organizational health. WorkplaceDynamics is a founding B Corporation member, a coalition of organizations that are leading a global movement to redefine success in business by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.

What goes around comes back as an app

What goes around comes back as an app

Lessons from early Business Anthropologists

At the start of the 1920s, factory owners realized that improving the workplace might make disgruntled workers more gruntled, less unionized, and more productive. In trying to figure out what a ‘better’ workplace look like, factory owners’ research notes probably went something like this:

10am: I’ve been watching my employees like a hawk since raising the overhead lights to sun-like levels. Productivity is through the roof.

11am: Decided to go the other way with it. Turned the lights way down to speakeasy level. Productivity still through the roof. 

In 1924 when factory owners couldn’t figure out what was happening, they hired researchers to study the Hawthorne Works Factory to determine how environment affects productivity. I imagine their notes read:

10am: Sealed four workers in a mock production room. Have given them 7up and Charleston Chews, a 5 min break every hour, and a Buffalo Nickel for every extra Hawthorne Wipe Packet that comes off the production line over the hourly quota. Production is through the roof.

12am: Took away the 7up and Charleston Chews.

3pm: Haven’t given them a break in 5 hours.

4pm: No more Buffalo Nickels.

5pm: Production still through the roof. 

When looking back at the clumsy start to the field of Business Anthropology, we can now say: We know that when factory workers are watched by a supervisor, their production goes up. In other words: observation of a subject affects outcome. By any other name, the Hawthorne effect.

As product managers, when looking to create a mobile application we must take this lesson and look for the moments when we divide users into different groups, altering the observable need for an app.

Intended Use V. Expected Use

My former workplace recently implemented a clock in/clock out app for nonexempt employees. Along with the implementation of the app, the formula for exemption status also changed, skewing more towards supervisors and higher paid employees. This app was to be used simultaneously with separate time tracking apps and proved to be an extra burden on non-exempt employees. With no shared value the app set a dynamic between two sets of users. The supervisors were not using the app the way their employees were, and therefore were not privy to the knowledge shared among non-exempt users to bypass the app in order to clock in remotely. This behavior in turn gives supervisors an inaccurate view of their employees.

When Shockoe develops an app, we study different user groups, anticipate different use cases, and instead of mandating specific app use, seek to capitalize on shared goals.  

Imposed Goals V. Shared Goals

Let me brag about my team for a minute. My coworkers at Shockoe are creating an app for a major trucking company. Unlike the aforementioned app, this app accounts for the unpredictability that comes naturally when humans are working and interacting with customers. Instead of using time tracking strictly for managerial oversight, this app utilizes it to streamline communication between supervisor and trucker, ultimately acting as a support system for both. A package goes missing?  A delay on the highway? The trucker can immediately report via the app, the supervisor can take immediate action to communicate with customers. The trucker’s goal of getting home and the manager’s goal of heading off problems at the pass can both be satisfied. With a shared goal, both users benefit from use of the app.

Ultimately productivity applications should seek to create a more cohesive culture by acknowledging expected use cases among different sets of users. As we learned from the early days of business anthropology, altering group dynamics and creating two different groups of users can alter observable results. For us today that can mean an inconsistent corporate culture and poor app performance.

So you have an app idea – now what?

So you have an app idea – now what?

So you have an awesome idea for an app. There’s just a burning hole in your front screen every time you unlock your phone. Your idea is keeping you awake and with many sleepless nights, you just know this is it! Your app is revolutionary and will change the world, and really, you are just sooo ready to make a gazillion million dollars. So now what?

As a marketing/sales coordinator at Shockoe, I receive a lot of phone calls stating just that. I’m not kidding. Some obscure, some genius and some just plain mind blowing. As a one of the fastest growing companies in Virginia our deep passion lies in making beautiful and useful apps with great technology – nothing gets us more excited than a chance to help you bring your idea to life. So I’m here today writing a little guide, if you will, to help you navigate in this craze driven mobile world and give you a couple of pointers to consider before diving head deep into the commitment of making your app. So here goes nothing.

First – I’d like to bring it to your attention that making an app is a full on business. That’s right, one that requires planning, skills for development, design, support of the product, marketing, money and the list goes on. So you might say, of course, that’s pretty obvious. I’m willing and ready to put this much into my app idea because I know it’s going to do well. Well here’s what to consider next.

Is your app going to promote an existing business or is it a completely separate entity you would like to make money from? If it’s an existing business app idea serving as a compliment to your service, do your research. Search through app store or google play – see which ones failed and which ones worked before and play around with existing apps.

And now, the juicy part – the price. Do you price it “free” or do you charge users for downloads? How much of a budget did you set aside towards the actual creation of your app? Is it going to be an Iphone app, Android or both? Do you want us to make your app completely from scratch or do you want to put in the time to write a basic code and have us help you make it pretty and functional? Now, what about getting your app out there? Are you going to promote it and market it out yourself? What is your time line in completing the app and how fast do you want it to hit the market? And once it’s out, how will your app updates and bug fixes along with any other tweaks will be handled?

As you can see, the list goes on and on. At Shockoe, we are proud to say that we can help you with the entire process. From creating a strategy and defining how this app will help your business and what you can do to take advantage of your mobile strategy. To then of course, carrying out this idea and knocking out the user experience and design portion of it to make sure your baby is effective, productive and adds value. Then doing the development and integration portion of it (and trust me I’ve seen our developers typing away their codes – it really does looks like an intimidating different language to a non-techie like myself). To then, the customer success management portion which is critical to your mobile app’s success! We want to make sure your mobile solution never loses value to your users and we ensure you receive the best application support, maintenance & monitoring services you deserve.

Anyways, the team is pretty awesome and as stated before: we will get it done because mobile apps are our number one passion. So to do it right, making an app is a full business but we are certainly here to help you every step of the way!

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and contact us now and let’s get your awesome app idea out into the world!