Please introduce yourself…
How long have you been working at IXTENT?
I am going to start my eighth year during the holidays.
I have experienced you in two different positions. Which one suits you better? Is there anything that you miss at the new position (compared to the previous one)?
I started as a consultant, then I oversaw the SAP Department and now I am responsible for whole Services. Due to various unplanned circumstances, I still do a little bit of each. So, I can’t say I would be missing something. I rather have some areas overlapping :).
Your opinion about the company…
How would you describe our corporate “team spirit”?
Most of us are quite open, we do not have any intrigues here, we do not politicize and do not cause each other problems. We try to collaborate and pull together.
How would you entice your acquaintance to work at IXTENT? What sets us apart / defines / characterizes us?
I would probably mention the possibility of proactively influencing things around us. Whenever I was not satisfied with something in the company in the past and I came up with a meaningful solution, I was given the opportunity to implement it. It didn’t matter if it was my competence or not, it just happened somehow. I think this is a relatively unique feature of the company which is particularly important for me.
You are a great promoter of the company values. Why do you think it is important to communicate our values (including the company’s mission and vision)? Which communication direction (towards the inside/outside of the company) do you see as crucial and why?
Values and goals are things you can rely on every day when making decisions. I can’t function without them in both work and personal life. If you want to steer a ship, you must know where you are going, otherwise you just turn in circles. In my opinion, communicating values towards the inside of the company is essential. It is important that we all “push” in one direction. If we push one from the left and the other from the right, we will stand still, but we will still work our fingers to the bone.
A current topic…
How do you work and manage your team from home during the coronavirus quarantine?
Very well. We have fully transformed to digital operation so switching to home office in our case was the matter of a quick management decision. Even after two months, I do not see any major problems. The only thing I miss is the personal contact. It seems to me that the gap between people is slowly growing and we just “work hard”.
How do you feel about internal on-line meetings?
At IXTENT, we have such a nice habit of letting less experienced colleagues chair internal meetings so that they gain the skills. So, I don’t chair internal meetings with a few exceptions.
And how about remote negotiations with customers (what are the advantages / disadvantages)?
We use WebEx or Microsoft Teams. These tools save a lot of time that we would otherwise spend traveling. The disadvantage is that after 8 hours of remote meetings you have quite a headache, so even such tools must be used reasonably.
What have you got (and lost) with this distant style of work?
First of all, I got 2 hours a day – time is a rare commodity for me. I normally get up at 5:30 to avoid traffic jams. Now I can sleep an hour longer, have a coffee with my wife who is on maternity leave, put my son in bed after lunch, and in the evening I still have time to read a book before I go to bed. I didn’t normally catch any of these things during the week without home office. I lost mainly the personal contact with colleagues – I miss that.
Where do you see the positives and where the dark sides of this regime from the perspective of the director / superior?
As I have said above – those who have a suitable work environment at home can improve their own work-life balance and also productivity by saving commute time. I like it when people have their personal life in order, because it also has a positive effect on their long-term reliability and productivity. On the other hand, it is absolutely essential for us to maintain control over the company and its operation even during such extensive share of work from home. Fortunately, there are relatively good tools for this at present, which we managed to implement even before this situation came up.
What I can’t imagine in this regime at all is the recruitment and training of new people without personal contact. It would be a problem to keep an eye on how the newcomer fits into the company, how productive he/she is, etc.
What was your opinion of the home office before the emergency state and today? Has your view evolved in this direction?
I didn’t like it too much. I couldn’t work from home too well and, honestly, I didn’t believe that others would be better in this respect. In the end, I learned everything relatively quickly, and this way of working suits me in many ways. I even start to believe that we don’t need bigger offices, but more “homeworkers”. But I am still in the minority with this opinion :).
IXTENT was well prepared for work from home (as a supplier of DMS solutions and as an IT company in general). Do you have a message for companies that still hesitate with paperless office introduction? Will you help them with arguments to tip the scales? 🙂
There is nothing to wait for, just choose a platform and “dive in”. Of course, it will be a bit painful and people will grumble as always, but no company in the world has ever grown without a little pain and temporary discomfort! We recently went through this with the deployment of a project management and human resources management tool. At first, we were a bit confused and it made our lives more complicated. But now we can’t imagine working without it. Especially now in the quarantine!
What is (in your opinion) the added value of IXTENT compared to other companies implementing DMS?
I guess it could be the long-term partnership. The fact that cooperation with the customer usually does not end for us with ECM / DMS implementation. We also strive to accommodate the requirements of our customers a lot. Sometimes to the extent that have to I reprimand my colleagues for it, because – of course – we need to have the results of projects in green numbers.
Do you have a nice customer experience from the last two months that warmed your heart? When you felt that your / our work makes sense? And can you share it?
Damn, I don’t have that! But I would need something like that now. 🙂
Let’s talk about the private sphere for a while…
How do you manage to combine the family and work life? I know that you commute over a long distance and that you are expecting your second baby soon (for which I congratulate you once again :)?
I think pretty well. But we will see in August, when our family is +1, whether it will remain so.
Mandatory final question…
Goldfish? What could it do for you? 🙂
Nothing. I would give it to someone who really needs it.
Thanks for the interview.