No technology partner too big for Quoin
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – Quoin, a technology consultation and training firm with offices in Boston and Davidson, opened in 1994 with the goal of being one of the most advanced firms of its kind.
Since then, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Jean Pierre LeJacq said the company’s scope has enabled it to achieve that goal.
Quoin’s services include interactive technology work for clients such as Lowe’s Home Improvement and National Geographic. The company started in Boston, where it’s still headquartered, but it looked to branch out as its client base grew.
Quoin’s post-expansion choice may have surprised some.
“We chose Davidson because it’s close to Charlotte and some of our major clients like Lowe’s. We wanted to have an office close to them,” LeJacq said. “North Carolina and this area in general are great in terms of finding talent. That’s worked out for us.”
LeJacq said Quoin, between its offices, employs 50 people working on jobs to build websites, technology consultation and project management. It also has an office in Nicaragua and a presence in New York but no formal office.
Quoin has about 30 clients of various sizes. It works with major corporations but also small businesses and even start-ups, LeJacq said.
Quoin’s offshore competition employs as many as 10,000 people to provide similar services.
LeJacq said Quoin separates itself from its opponents simply because “we’re better.”
“We can offer higher quality, hands-on approaches and a more technical staff for better value. We focus on the bottom-line.”
The market for what Quoin provides is competitive in more than just numbers, so employees have to be versatile and adaptable to a changing market environment, LeJacq said.
Developers’ work can cost $50 per hour for a project, but the cost fluctuates depending on the project.
“We try to help clients define their market and what their needs are for a good price,” LeJacq said. “The (information technology) things you learn from school are just the start for that. You have to have an analytical mind and the ability to analyze problems and find solutions. Technology changes rapidly, so you’re constantly learning.”
The company’s developers help Quoin stand out among their competitors. The developers also have different backgrounds, including some with degrees from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We’ve also got some great people who have community college degrees. One of our best developers was a theater arts major,” LeJacq said.
Quoin began as a training service for object-oriented programming and design, which is a popular method of software design. It’s based on developing data for a program and then using the data to program software. The company also offered training in Java and C++, two programming languages.
It expanded and a project group built a Java-based delivery system for
WashingtonPost.com, which was in use from 2001-05.
Senior software engineer Matthew Taft said Quoin’s services are based entirely around its clients’ needs.
“It’s a great place to learn new technologies,” Taft said. “It keeps you on your toes.”