echonet communication

Digital Handcraft in Vienna since 1999

echonet was founded in 1999. At this time it was only a department of an advertising agency. 2004 echonet became an official company. Since 2013 the web-, design- and technology-agency echonet is lead by the owner Roland Vidmar, who took the shares in a management buy-out process. The focus of echonet's work is digital presences, online-portals, e-commerce and of course the main topics of our know-how. These topics are search engine optimization, responsive web design and accessibility of websites and digital applications according to the WCAG of the WAI. Our focus is on clean, performant coding and works in all our working areas.

The grade of quality and individualization for the needs of our customers and for the needs of the projects is only possible when concept, design, and technology fit perfectly together. And that is why we do Digital Handcraft.

Digital Handcraft means...

At echonet we code sign by sign, command by command, routine by routine in text only working-surfaces. Our work is based on our own development. Our tools and systems are based on the content-management-system which we developed continuously over the past 20 years. This was all digital handcraft. And this way of thinking is our idea of work for our customers. It is part of the DNA of echonet and is implemented in every process, starting at the idea and concept, the design, coding and finally support and maintenance.

Why "Handcraft" is important?

We do not click colorful plugins together. We do not confront our customers with "This is the way this tool {xyz} can only work"-solutions. Digital Handcraft has advantages for us and our customers. We know exactly what we do, how the things we implement work and we also take responsibility for the things we do. And we're also able to change things if requested. We and our customers are therefore independent of proprietary solutions. And the idea behind real handcraft is the inspiration for us in our daily work and processes.

We are the motor mechanics of the internet, who are able to use screwdriver, pliers and welding machines. We are not those, who can only plug in a USB-stick and then helplessly look at a screen.

We are the plumbers of the internet, who are able to lay and bend a water pipe. We are not those, who can only lay the pipe when the 30-degree spare part of the pipe it is fortuitously available in the hardware store. 

We are the carpenters of the internet, who are able to create furniture also when the room is in an unusual shape. We are not those, who can only build a shelf when boards are drilled in advance.

History of echonet

In this timeline, we show you the most important years in our history. Take a break with us and walk back in our time machine through the years until we're back at 1999. Just know that projects we name in our timeline are of course only samples of our work in the mentioned year. This does not fully cover the work in the selected year.

1999

First year, the idea of echonet gets orange and blue. The team is made up of a few fellows as a part of the ECHO Advertising Agency and the VWZ Publishing House. echonet is there to be the department for the digital agenda. Initially Marcin Kotlowski, who was already working in the advertising agency, startet echonet and formed a team of digital experts around him. Some of them were already in the company, others were taken on board for building up echonet. In december 1999 a team of 4 people moved in to a small office of about 12 square meters (about 130 square feet) at the first floor of the companys office in the 7th district of Vienna (Austria).

2000

Of course, how could it be otherwise: We're preparing for and looking forward to our first trading day at the stockmarket. No, seriously: Of course we are not becoming a shareholder company, but somehow we are fascinated of the dot com boom of the year 2000. echonet expands from 4 to more than 30 employees and we begin working on our next step: A new office in Salzburg, about 300 kilometers away from Vienna.

In reality, the first version of our content management system "content.life" comes up, we create the new website for the local newspaper "Wiener Bezirksblatt". We also start working on a new website for the austrian samaritan organisation "Arbeiter Samariter Bund Österreich".

2001

Back to the reality. The stock market seems not to be ready for us... we don't go public. :-) The team decreases to 12 members, but echonet continues working on the content management system and also releases a small business edition of the cms with the brand "keinporto.at". (Literally "no poststamp") The idea behind "keinporto" was to create a web based content-managment-system for non profit organisations to create digital publishings, news channels and member areas for their members. They then could replace printed membership magazines with this digital version. All that happened because the Austrian Postal Service increased the prices for delivering magazines. There was a special postage pricing for those products.

As a matter of fact, keinporto.at was used for different purposes. But for example we created the digital magazin for a vienna based tax consultancy "Steuerberatung Weiss" as a "pop up" window on their classic website.

In the year 2001 we also created a new website for the austrian department of the french industry company ALSTOM. We create a new inspiring website for the "Advertising Academy" and the famous jewelery Ernst A. Haban in the noble first district of Vienna. Also a young online communty for the youth magazin nightline was created in 2001.

2002

Still echonet is not a real company, we are still a department of the ECHO advertising agnecy. Many new projects and new customers are aquired by echonet, we do websites for shopping malls like "Donauzentrum", the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Austria ("A1 Ring") and a huge wine trading company in the federal state of Lower Austria, named IWB Fohringer.

Also this year the next generation of the content-management-system keinporto.at is going live. Also echonet becomes name sponsor of the austrian motorsport-team (Ralley) of Gery Nutz and Max Tauder. The new brand "echonet racing" is born. Sport sponsoring becomes part of our activities.

2003

3D Animation becomes part of our work. We to multimedia-projects on CD-ROMs. For example echonet creates and designs a CD-ROM with a package of information for young employess about worker rights for the youth department of the austrian trade union (GPA) - named "Know your rights!". Therefore we built a city in 3D with different topics in the city like an airport for travelling, a bank for financial tasks and much more.

Also we launch in cooperation with the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired the feature set "easy2see" for websites. This becomes an extetion feature for accessible websites, enriching the functionality of the websites by color-contrast-switches and text-size-switches. We relaunch also their site www.braille.at this year. Among others also the taxi company "Taxi 40100" goes online with echonet.

2004

echonet becomes a real company. From now on we are "echonet communication GmbH" (Limited company) and the company is 100 percent owned by "echo medienhaus ges. m. b. h." in Vienna. Marcin Kotlowski, one of the founders of echonet, becomes CEO. During spring we work intensively on the new website for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bahrain, which happens to have the first race on 04/04/04. We also relaunch the website for the City Airport Train (CAT) in Vienna and the medical publishing house Universimed get's a new website with a huge knowledge database.

Also we increase our sport sponsoring acivities and become name sponsor of the soccer club "FC echonet Inter Meidling" which of course is a reference to the famous italian soccer club "Inter Milan" (in German it sounds more similar, because it's "FC Inter Meidling" and "Inter Mailand"). While Milan ("Mailand") is a big city in northern italy, Meidling is the name of the 11th district of Vienna.

This year echonet also creates a children online-community for the austrian author Thomas Brezina and a new website in cooperation with the Austrian National Broadcasting Company (ORF) for the kids show "Forscherexpress", which is also produced by Thomas Brezina and his company.

2005

How should we explain: echonet creates new websites and some multimedia cd-rom-projects in 2005. For example we relaunch the shopping mall "Donauzentrum", "Vienna Private Investigator" (Wien Detektiv) goes online which is also a platform for kids telling an interactive story around a book of Thomas Brezina. The "Vienna Crime Night" events get their website from echonet and we bringt online an e-zine called "Der Durchblick" with the Austrian Federation of the Blind. This happens in cooperation with Telekom Austria.

2006

ALSTOM, the french industry company get's a new website for their dependency in Austria. echonet works for many art- and culture-projects like the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna or the artist Gottfried Kumpf.

2007

Marcin Kotlowski, the CEO of echonet communication leaves the company in february 2007. In march 2007 Daniela Feuersinger and Roland Vidmar become the new CEOs of echonet. The company is still 100 percent owned by echo medienhaus ges. m. b. h.. For own purposes we start developing the factoring and invoice-software "invoice.life" to regulate our own financial affairs.

echonet creates many websites and portals, for example for the gulf resort Haugschlag in Lower Austria, the restaurant Novelli in Vienna or the public libraries of the city of Vienna. In cooperation with the echo medienhaus and the Raiffeisen bank echonet also creates a Vienna Island in the gaming area of Second Life. As we started in 2006 with video streaming services online we this year try to proove our capability of video streaming by simply streaming live from the CEO office of echonet. So everyone can watch our CEOs for months during their work live on the internet. But the stream of course is muted, so people can not listen to speeches or phone calls.

2008

A new year at echonet starts with some new websites and projects. We publish the relaunch of the local newspaper Wiener Bezirksblatt as well as a marketing blog for the swedish telephone company TELE2 in Austria. For a new customer in Africa we create the website "Kiss Mix" for a alcoholic drink which is distributed in Africa and Western Europe.

The viennese public libraries get a new special interest website for kids which is named "Kirango". And also a new website for the public start-up offices of MINGO goes live.

2009

After finishing a relaunch for the Bank Burgenland, a local bank in eastern Austria, we also create a new website for TrendCom, a research and marketing agency in Vienna. During the year more and more projects are realised in our company. Most important is a huge project for the ticketing platform WIEN TICKET, but this one is not ready in 2009.

The US hedgefonds Cerberus Capital Management invites us to place an offer for the realisation of the online annual report of the Austrian Bank "BAWAG PSK" which is owend by Cerberus. We create their first HTML-based annual business report with hundrets of sites and thousands of tables. A critical job, because due to stock market regulations we have to finish the project and put it online in a timeframe of only a few seconds. Still fun, but some of us are pretty tense.

2010

Welcome to the next decade! At the beginning of 2010 we convice the jury of ICE Vienna to support our concept, layout and idea for the project "Ideenkiste" and therefore we win the tender. Ideenkiste enables parents to find ideas for spending their free time with their kids based on circumstances like weather, time of the year, age of the kids, size of the group... it is also made for people who work in the kindergarden with kids. Also echonet realises the online precence of the Austrian Waterworks at wasserwerk.at. And for the Social-Democratic Party of Austria we create "Ö2020", a community based website which enables people to take part in descition processes of the political party.

The french radio company "Energy" goes online in Austria with its local dependency in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck with a new website made by echonet and the big ticketing webshop WIEN TICKET based on a german ticketing software also goes live. For the Social-Democratic Party of Vienna (governing party) echonet launches a new website for the election campaing in Vienna in October 2010.

Also the "LIST Group of Companies" finally signs up with echonet for new websites for some of their hotels in Austria. For the austrian energy drink company "Power Horse" we create a global banner campaign and do also the media booking in advance of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010. The main target countries of the campaign are the Arabic area with Saudi Arabia, Jemen, Quatar and Syria, some countries in Africa and also United Kingdom.

2011

A year of Open (Government) Data for echonet. We not only create apps and websites reporting about pollution and air quality based on the measurement data (OGD) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability. We do also fun stuff like the "Swimming Price Calculator" based on the OGD entry prices of the public swimming areas in Vienna. 

For the german JAB Anstoetz Group in Bielefeld we create a new website, the public libraries in Vienna get a mobile version of their website and also the Leopoldmuseum in Vienna goes online with our content management system and our design.

In spring 2011 CEO Daniela Feuersinger finally leaves echonet. Roland Vidmar, who was Co-CEO with Daniela, takes over and is now the single CEO of echonet.

2012

We move out from the 7th discrict of Vienna to our new home in "St. Marx" at the area of the MediaQuarterMarx in the 3rd district of Vienna. This changes many things in our technology structure, servers have to be moved and so we spend much time of late winter and spring with internal works. Still there is enough capacity to create new website like for the new animal shelter in Vienna TierQuarTier, where we put a sweet little cat as a video behind the website. Afterall this makes people even staying longer on our fundraising campaign for the new animal shelter - they keep watching the little cat.

We also create a new website with a desktop and mobile only version for the City of Schwechat in Lower Austria. And we create our frist truely responsive websites for the Bank Austria Kunstforum, the below the line marketing agency Freecard and leisure communication, a PR agency in Vienna. Based on Open Government Data we create the first mobile to use city-map of Vienna based on the public data system. This project is finally taken over by the Citycouncil of Vienna and implemented in the public website of wien.gv.at.

In autumn we decide for a funeral: Mobile websites are dead, so we bury them.

2013

In January 2013 Roland Vidmar does a management buy out and earns 95,1 % of the shares of echonet communication GmbH. From now on the company is driven by the new owner. We stay with a team of 10 people in the MediaQuarterMarx in the third district of Vienna in the office building with the former owner of echonet together.

The further development of the agency and our software products continues. We do a new website for the local newspaper Wiener Bezirksblatt, we also create the new website for the Fisherman's Strong Men Run in Austria. And we create a new intranet for the Wiener Kinder- & Jugendbetreuung, which is then shown in a huge presentation in front of about 1000 people in a big hall in the Museumsquartier in Vienna. Our CEO Roland Vidmar does the presentation there.

2014

A new year brings us to a new office in the noble first district of Vienna. We move out, but of course this does not effect our capacity of production. In a huge project in cooperation with WIEN TICKET we create a system based on the SAP ticketing-platform combined with JETticket online shops to build a single sign on-system for the Austrian Soccer Club "FK Austria Wien". Also the magazine "Wien mobil" goes online as a project for the Vienna Public Transport Agency (Wiener Linien).

2015

War in Syria gets relevant to Europe - no surprise for us and some of our customers. As thousands of refugees arrive in Austria we perpared with the Vienna Social-Funds a new version of volunteer.life. This time it gets many new features for immediate help by volunteers in Vienna. The system calls people via SMS on their phone to sign up for volunteering in different projects.

Also the federal state of Salzburg and the federal state of Upper Austria as well as the district of Göttingen in Lower Saxony in Germany get a licence for volunteer.life. The system helps them all to coordinate and gain volunteering people to help.

We create a ticketing webshop and website for the Kronenzeitung, which is by far Austrias biggest newspaper and a ticketing webshop for UniCredit Bank Austria.

Finally we expand our sport sponsoring activities again and are now the presenters of the echonet Beachvolleyball Team Hupfer/Hörl.

2016

There are many projects for new websites and relaunches, especially about ticketing shops. We create the new websites for Musical Vienna as well as the opera house "Theater an der Wien". The fresh PR startup "Sister Act" get's a media serivce website and we create the new webportal for the beautyclinic Yuvell® in Vienna.

Also we start relaunching a few banking websites like Capital Bank, Bankhaus Brüll Kallmus and we also work on own projects like the global multilingual platforms ride77.com, detective77.com and dance77.com.

2017

Finishing our work for the GRAWE Banking Group we put online the new version of Capital Bank, Banking House Schelhammer & Schattera in Vienna and we create also a matching platform for private banking customers to find their perfect consultant in the bank. The platform is "Perfekter Berater" (literally perfect consultant).

Also Vienna Region get's a new website from echonet. It was founded 2008 with the aim of internationally marketing and positioning the business location Vienna Region and is owned by the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. In cooperation with WIEN TICKET echonet creates also a new ticket webshop for the cellphone operator Hutchison 3.

2018

We create the front-end for the Austrian Federal Computing Centre in cooperation with a swiss design agency. Our competences in accessiblity and responsive webdesign are not only useful therefore but also for the relaunch of the website of the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. It get's new, fresh and good looking - but still accessible from hair to toe.

Also the wine trading company CIVEDIAMO goes live with echonet. The new bar and shop in the first district of Vienna not only get's the website from echonet, but also its logo, corporate design, corporate identity and folders, business cards etc...

2019

As the year is not over, we can not report up to now. But what we can say is: We're happy to finally relaunch our own website and the fact that you are reading this, shows us, we made the right choice.

But on this site, take a ride with our time machine back until the year of 1999 to read the history of echonet...