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cplace celebrates its 10th birthday

10 years of collaboration Factory – a PPM success story

10 years of cplace

Munich, March 25, 2024 – collaboration Factory is celebrating its 10th anniversary. What began in early 2014 with just a handful of employees has developed into a true success story in the IT industry over the course of a decade. 

When Dr. Rupert Stuffer founded collaboration Factory, his mission was clear: he wanted to close existing software gaps in the area of project and portfolio management. In his 20 years in the PM sector and the founding of his first company, he recognized the need for innovative, modern PPM software. Through a start-up network, he came across a software company spun off from the Technical University of Munich and acquired the rights to its software product. “This made it possible to develop dynamic data models and flexible user interfaces based on models and in real time. “I had always wanted this level of flexibility for project management,” says Stuffer. Shortly afterwards, he founded collaboration Factory and created “cplace” – a PPM software that was to revolutionize collaboration within companies and across company boundaries. 

From vision to reality: the early days 

The beginnings corresponded to the usual scenario for start-ups: with just four employees and initially housed in the Munich office of a partner, the team worked on a platform for Next-Generation Project and Portfolio Management. The vision: cplace was to become a powerful software platform for large corporations that could be flexibly adapted to their specific needs and challenges. Another goal: the software should enable cross-departmental and cross-company work and act as a single source of truth. All data from different systems should be stored centrally in one place so that all employees can access it. The cplace team saw the advantage in avoiding data silos and shadow IT and instead increasing transparency and efficiency. 

cplace conquers the market

One year after founding and developing the PPM platform cplace, collaboration Factory acquired its first new customer from the automotive industry. However, there were also challenges along the way – for example, the need to adapt the cplace software for use in large companies: “In the beginning, cplace was only tried and tested for a few users. Getting the software ready for operation in complex IT environments was a challenge for our young team,” says Stuffer, reflecting on the early days. But things went steadily uphill with the first customer. Today, cplace is not only used by all German car manufacturers and numerous suppliers but is also conquering other sectors such as the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries. 

Every year at the PPM event “cplace Day”, well-known companies demonstrate how customers successfully use the software in their companies. The conference for Next-Generation Project and Portfolio Management took place for the first time in 2015 in a small group and was then still called “Automotive Day”. Last year, “cplace Day” set a record: with over 500 participants on site at Motorworld Munich and more than 700 online registrations, the hybrid B2B event became the largest PPM conference in Europe. 

The role of the community and partners 

Another key success factor for cplace is the active community, which works together with employees, partners and customers to continuously develop applications in cplace and adapt them to specific use cases. From the very beginning, reliable partners provide support in advising customers and implementing cplace. CEO Stuffer sees the community approach as a cornerstone of success: “Many customer and partner heads contribute experience, creativity and a great deal of implementation energy. A strong community will decisively advance our ability to innovate.” The cplace partner network is growing continuously and now consists of more than 25 partners. 

Growth and culture: the success factors of the #bestteam 

However, not only the number of customers and partner companies is steadily growing: since the founding of the company, the number of employees has also increased year by year. Meanwhile, around 180 employees work at the headquarters in Munich as well as at the locations in Hannover and Ludwigsburg in the so-called #bestteam. The company places great emphasis on its corporate culture and operates according to values such as ‘Just do it’ and ‘Teamwork’. 

In its short company history, collaboration Factory has already received numerous awards. In 2019, it participated in the German Founders Award and made it to the top 3 in the finals. In the same year, the company made it into the top 10 at the Deloitte Fast 50 Award. A year later, the company was recognized as one of Germany’s best employers. Most recently, in 2024, it received the ‘Top Company’ award for the third consecutive time from the employer review platform kununu. 

Looking to the future with optimism 

The success story of cplace and the collaboration Factory is set to continue in the coming years. Founder Rupert Stuffer is optimistic about the future: “We can now build on many years of references, strong partnerships and an investor with long-term planning. This opens up opportunities. There is plenty of new potential in areas such as AI, Citizen Development, hybrid project management and more. If we do a good job, we will continue to be successful.” 

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