Company Culture: How to achieve better results and build trust within your team
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It’s been almost three months since Predica joined SoftwareONE. Normally, companies rush to announce such news on their channels, and yet, I deliberately haven’t written much. Now that the dust settled, I’d like to share my perspective.
You are probably reading this post to learn more about the story behind the exciting news we shared on our LinkedIn. If you haven’t seen it, here you go:
To be honest, I took time to break down our (that is my and other founders’) decision-making process, rationale, and the future for Predica as part of the SoftwareONE group.
What I also wanted to point out is the market dynamics that, in my view, will shape our industry in years to come.
I aim to get my message across directly and openly. It’s by no means any official statement of SoftwareONE, but it does align with our common strategy going forward.
It’s been a hell of a ride. Over the last 12 years, we’ve been working hard to transform Predica into a Microsoft technology consulting powerhouse.
I can proudly say that we did succeed in doing so.
We’ve built a team of over 370 people and are a top Microsoft Partner in Central Europe serving close to 100 clients in over 20 countries across 3 continents.
A real feat in a highly competitive industry.
Looking back, I think 3 factors contributed greatly to our success.
The biggest asset we’ve built over those years is the trust of our clients and employees. Without people on both sides, professional service businesses cannot grow.
So, the key question here is – why give up the ownership of such a well-performing and profitable business in a booming market?
The answer is threefold.
We knew how to scale the company. Predica managed to enter new markets such as Qatar, UAE, Denmark, and the USA. We also established new service lines, including Digital Identity, Data Analytics, and recently Cybersecurity.
But each of these endeavors required significant time, measured in years, not months.
If we wanted to continue our mission and enable more organizations to be self-managed while allowing more people to do meaningful work, we had to scale our business up.
Moreover, our competitors are mostly Global System Integrators and leading consulting firms. Huge companies like Accenture/Avanade, IBM, Deloitte, PwC, TCS, HCL Technologies, etc., were attractive to both our potential clients and talent.
Some of those businesses were new to the Azure cloud services game, while we had already established our position as a seasoned veteran.
However, they entered the market fast with their vast resources and global reach on their hands. We were always proud when we won a battle with them, but it got harder and harder every year.
With SoftwareONE’s global reach and broader portfolio, we now enter the competitive ‘heavy weight’ cloud services arena as equals!
And this brings me to the second point.
Our clients are mostly international organizations. We noticed that they kept asking for more, be it the breadth and depth of services, being physically closer to them, communicating in a different language, or applying other technologies.
With ‘just’ about 370 people on board spread across a wide range of services, we often had to choose which requests to accept and which to reject.
If you have worked as a consultant all your life, you know how hard it is to say no 🙂
As a part of the SoftwareONE organization, our joint service offering allows us to deliver end-to-end transformation with multiple cloud technologies. We are now much less likely to say – “No, sorry.”
At the same time, we are not spreading ourselves thin. Predica will still focus on what we do best which is Azure cloud services and related technologies.
One unexpected part of our journey was that we were fortunate enough to find the right people who joined our ranks. Many of them are super energetic, ambitious, and driven.
It’s hard to believe, but after 12 years of working together, we have observed that our people have outgrown us in certain areas.
We could not always provide them with the vast playground they well deserved.
With SoftwareONE, that playground just got way bigger. As a result, we can now make a much more significant impact!
We knew that choosing a new partner for Predica was the single most important decision we would have to take in our careers till date. Therefore, we approached the whole process with due care.
First, we took a lot of time to prepare ourselves, met with over 20 companies, evaluated our options and how we would possibly fit in their environments.
We received a lot of needed support from our partners in that process. Hence, special thanks to William Blair (Pedrum Partovi!), White&Case (Marek Sawicki!), and PwC.
In the end, we went for SoftwareONE, and obviously they chose us.
It was not in the least a unilateral decision 😉
SoftwareONE is the biggest Microsoft reseller in the world, bringing Microsoft Cloud (but not only!) services and licenses to the majority of their 65,000 (!) clients.
By joining this group, we’ve become a part of a global IT provider with over 8,000 employees in 90 countries, delivering end-to-end technology transformation on all leading cloud platforms.
What’s interesting is that we have some prior work history with SoftwareONE. Their late CEO and founder Patrick Winter visited us a few years back and proposed to join forces.
Back then, we declined.
We wanted to prove that we could manage on our own. At the same time, we felt much inspired by Patrick’s vision and his company.
Today, we can see for ourselves how the very vision is becoming a reality and how Patrick’s legacy lives on.
The future is going to be about delivering the right solutions to long-term clients. And that’s exactly what the group regards as the core part of their strategy.
Aside from the obvious fit, one more thing weighed in their favor.
The difference between SoftwareONE and similar large organizations lies in their maximum flexibility and a humble approach.
As a result, we can achieve many amazing things without being dictated the only right way.
We have the freedom to innovate and continue ‘wowing’ our clients.
And thanks to this approach, we can keep our culture and our Predica Way alive.
People often ask me – “OK, you sold your company. What’s next?”
I am staying in Predica, now a SoftwareONE company, together with other co-founders, Pawel and Tomek.
Greg is still a supervisory board member of Predica. He has been focused on Tedee for 1.5 years now and running such projects is a full-time job on its own.
Our goal is to realize the potential I described above. And as we like to say, “It’s not done, till it’s done.”
On top of that, there has been yet another exciting change recently. Our leadership team has strengthened its forces with:
Together with the whole Predica team and SoftwareONE we are revolutionizing our clients’ businesses with Microsoft Cloud.
We will add industry expertise (more on that soon!) in some of our key verticals and standardize more of our services to make them more accessible.
And that is a bold mission that requires bold people.
I am personally looking for experienced services sales executives and account technologists. In other words, people who know first-hand how modern information technology can transform global businesses in different industries.
We are hiring in Poland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark.
See you in the field!
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