SME Member Spotlight | Leaning Technologies

  • techUK techUK
    Friday27Mar 2020

    We shine a light on techUK SME member, Leaning Technologies. Speaking with CEO, Stefano De Rossi, we learn more about who they are and the problems they solve.

Who are Leaning Technologies? And what problem do you solve?

We are a computer software company based out of Leeds, UK and Amsterdam, Netherlands, specialising in WebAssembly and compile-to-JavaScript solutions and tools to convert applications into Web Apps.

Our products are used by companies globally including Fortune 500 organisations, to convert and modernise existing Desktop and Mobile applications into web applications.

Our tools allow companies to preserve critical legacy applications written in Java, Flash and C/C++, and automatically migrate them to HTML5 and WebAssembly, making their application accessible from any modern browser and any device.

Our solutions have given organisations an alternative option to rewriting native applications to HTML5/JavaScript, keeping a single code base, avoiding bug duplication as you are reusing your existing code, continue to leverage your existing team skills and most of all saving a considerable amount of time and money from hiring a new team.

What is WebAssembly and why is it important?

WebAssembly also known as WASM is a new type of code that can be run in any modern web browser alongside JavaScript. Recognised as an official web standard it provides a way for client apps to run on the web that previously couldn’t have done so, at near native speed. WASM is part of any desktop and mobile browser by default.

Thanks to WASM, we can make compilers and conversion tools that translate native Desktop and Mobile applications into standard web applications, that can be used by any device with a browser, irrespective of its operating system and browser vendor.

This means that you can take your existing Java, Flash or C++ applications that are mission-critical, and took years to be developed, and port them to HTML5 automatically, with no manual intervention.

Crucially, compiling to WebAssembly means that your organisation does not rely on remote execution and cloud-based virtualisation for application delivery. This keeps maintenance and running costs to a minimum, by using the computational power on the end user device to run the application.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

We have a few! We are currently working to bring on board a large US government agency as a client. They got in touch after coming across our solution and were not sure if it was possible to do what we do. We are helping give more than 100+ educational Java Applets an extra lease of life, by converting them automatically to HTML5 web applications using our Java to JavaScript compiler. This would have been impossible to do manually!

Another achievement we are very proud of is counting Dassault Systemes, the world’s biggest CAD and engineering software company, as one of our long-term clients. Dassault’s HomeByMe, an interior design CAD, was migrated from a native desktop application to a pure web application using Cheerp, our C++ to WebAssembly compiler.

Also, with Adobe announcing the support for Flash ending at the end of 2020, we have been working on a new technology to preserve Flash content. We had the opportunity to present our technology at the WebAssembly San Francisco meet up, providing a few live demos to the audience. You can watch the presentation on this link.

What’s the biggest barrier to growth you face as an SME?

The main value that our tools bring is to provide an automated, low-cost migration and modernisation solution for large-scale legacy applications. Therefore, our target customers tend to be large organisations, including public sector and government.

As an SME proposing a quite unique approach to the problem of modernisation of legacy systems, it is not always easy to get our message through to large-scale organisations. Legacy systems pose a significant barrier to an organisations digital transformation especially when they form the backbone of many enterprises and tackling this is issue is often perceived as very expensive and complex. With our solutions, it really doesn’t need to be.

We believe the burden of legacy IT systems is untenable and modernisation is essential, and organisations have been recognising this as a significant threat for quite some time. Leveraging novel, automated low-cost approaches such as those we provide with WebAssembly and compile-to-JavaScript can be transformative for large-scale organisations.

Which of techUK’s programmes are you hoping to get involved in?

We are particularly interested in working with all the Tech for Government programmes as our technology may offer a substantial improvement to existing applications that are accessed over the internet and services to help set up and maintain cloud software or hosting services.

Within the NHS, MOD and Education sector till this day, legacy systems are still being used that leave them open to many security risks, issues and dependency on legacy technologies. Through techUK we want to share with the Government and Public Sector how we can guide digital transformation and how our solutions can improve the overall operational performance.

  • Fraser Willcox

    Fraser Willcox

    Member Relations Manager
    T 020 7331 2057

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