“I like DMS, I enjoy it. I feel that something remains behind me and that I give value to clients. Their business moves our services further. Businesses are better off. Technology is replacing hard work.”
What led you to start your own business, did you no longer want to be someone’s employee? 🙂
I was dismissed as part of a European-wide optimization of branches before the acquisition of two world leaders. At that time, my opinions were different to those of my virtual Indian boss in Switzerland. He preferred 3 people in Vienna to around 70 super-qualified people in Prague. He lasted another four months, then they dismissed him as well. If there was no stupidity in the world, there would be no business or anything else. There would be no success either.
How long did you known each other before establishing IXTENT?
About 4 years.
How does one choose a partner for a business plan?
Do you know the advert? If you must, then you must. But seriously now: If I hadn’t had faith in Jakub and his abilities, I wouldn’t have gone for it. He was an excellent technician, and I a businessman. Our relationship is like a second marriage.
Don’t you have cabin fever after 16 years of cooperation?
No. For myself I can say that I enjoy life and that dilutes my potential exhaustion from the relationship as much as possible. However, I still have to work on the relationship. Every day. Both overcast and sunny days are a reality always and everywhere.
You are both completely different … how do you deal with each having a different opinion?
We have to agree. Jakub’s views and opinions enrich me. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes is refreshing. I’m glad we do business together.
How do you see it in hindsight – which side of the wall is it better to be on – the employee’s or employer’s side? (and why…)
:-))))) I applaud this question and it amused me. Well-paid and fully-motivated employees are great. I’ve experienced that.
Business is not just about taking profits and having freedom. I am often asked: You probably feel good now as an owner, don’t you? I go to exactly the same office, to exactly the same table, and do exactly the same thing.
But the truth is that I am humanly different. My pace is different than the role of an employee, my communication, ideas, approach to things as well. Life wanted it and the role of the co-owner of the company fits my character and approach to life better. I simply became gradullaty open to it. You don’t become an entrepreneur overnight. It is a road with many potholes.
Are you able / willing to self-reflect? Do you think about how you would work as your subordinate? 🙂
Is that a psycho-management interview? It’s difficult. I’m trying. Daily. Likewise, I try to see through the eyes of our clients to understand what they want and what they will want in the future. Seeing the world through other people’s eyes is necessary for survival. I try to get my colleagues to do the same.
You have a friendly relationship with your employees (which we appreciate :-). Did that ever backfire on you?
Yes, several times. There is always someone that sees a friendship differently.
Today there are 40 of us, how big was the initial / founding team (you both and how many other colleagues + in what positions)?
2 + 4. When we established the company, we offered work for about 12 colleagues. We hired 4 immediately. Our relationship lasted for over 10 years. Some are still with us, some are now retired.
How did the company name come about?
We sat down in front of Google and searched for continuity, technology, credibility and of course a free domain.
If you could turn back time to before IXTENT was founded and you knew all that happens over the years – would you establish the company again?
Yes. After all, I had no choice, so I would have no choice. But, of course, I would do some things differently. We should learn from our mistakes, right?
How do you combine personal and professional life? Do you take work home?
I‘ve learned not to. But we are human, so I occasionally take on too much. Normally, I close the front door of my home and have other projects.
Do you consult your wives about big steps / decisions?
What do you mean by big steps? I like to hear my wife’s opinion. She sees things differently from a distance. But my wife does not conduct business, make decisions or sign for me. So, in the end – I analyze, synthesize and do it myself.
What is your most difficult task in terms of company management?
To lead the company to prosperity. I am responsible for my own life and those of my employees and their families.
And what is the most annoying thing … What do you fight the most with?
Human stupidity, laziness, incompetence, inability to make decisions, cheats, unfairness, excuses … .. If they were at least slightly different over time or original, we could at least have fun at work.
What makes life hardest for entrepreneurs today? I am referring to red tape…
What’s to add. If I knew what paper work need to have in order as a businessman and for the state, I would never have started a business. It is not decreasing, it is increasing, and it is more complicated. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
What have you done most in your working life at IXTENT, what are you most proud of?
There have been no serious independent studies. But according to our calculations, analyst information and market penetration, we have become number one in 16 years. It’s hard to admit it, the nice feeling comes slowly, and doesn’t last long. And it will be extra hard to maintain and defend this position. Thanks to our people. In other words, we do it better than those around us and customers still want to pay us for it. And personally, I’m glad to prove to my former boss in Switzerland who was right.
We are now undergoing a time of the company’s biggest boom (the most successful financial year is behind us, we have 25 ongoing projects daily, a record number of employees …), you have also had some critical moments (e.g. the past economic crisis), what helped keep the company afloat – what was the survival strategy?
The economic crisis was a massacre for us. First you can’t understand what’s going on. There have been no similar experiences. Leading a company during a crisis was not a subject taught at school. Nor did anyone teach what the crisis was. It came three to four years after the company was established. At that time, we reinvested all of the business revenues back into the company, without the cushion of an established enterprise. Our income was largely from Eastern markets. December 2007 came and customers switched off the taps day by day. They ended projects, withdrew from contracts, etc. We did not find peace until 2012 and we started almost from the beginning. We learned a lot. Cut away what you can and keep alive what has value and what earns money. In nature, not the most beautiful individual wins, but the one who adapts the best.
Personally, well-established habits help me in any crisis. The ones we do regularly. They have a major advantage in a crisis. I got up, went to work… routine work, worked hard…. family, children…. Everything has its essential significance.
Where do you see your company in five years?
Where our long-term corporate strategy defines us to be.
Why did you choose DMS for your business?
I like DMS, I enjoy it. I feel that something remains behind me and that I give value to clients. Their business moves our services further. Businesses are better off. Technology is replacing hard work. People can then do a better, more creative, more valuable job. Our services give owners more stability, control and, of course, earn them money. Everyone is satisfied.
What does IXTENT bring to customers – and its competitors do not?
We have always built our relationships on the following values:
- The personal approach of a “family business”
- New ideas and approaches to practice,
- New technologies to practice,
- We always complete our projects.
- We fill the market between customers (very often corporations) and inflexible corporations – manufacturers of technologies without detailed knowledge of our clients’ business. Without us they would not agree with each other 🙂
I remember one competitor that did not conduct any business. It is no longer around. All professions of a company’s life cycle are necessary for success and nothing should be neglected. The details are important. The details set you apart. The details win.
Personally, I follow several rules: If you want to do something, do it. Always continue and do more. Be different. If there is a queue somewhere, create your own.
In which large enterprises is DMS (from OpenText) already profitable?
It’s not about the size of the company. It is about the cost of information and the cost of business processes. Only a fool would produce more expensively than its competitors. With a smile, I can say that the last customer pays everything for DMS. We have a client who has about eight DMS users. As a result, it is able to control and develop billions in assets.
For which large enterprises is DMS inevitable?
Everyone needs us. Only some owners or hired management still do not admit this fact. But maybe they haven’t had the time and want to voluntarily speak to us? 🙂
Why choose a DMS from OpenText? What are is he benefits? (In addition to the dominant position, reputation and credibility of its provider on the market, references / experience, service and update security, compatibility with other systems, …?)
What reason has not already been mentioned in the question? We live on a happy planet – OpenText is here and probably still will be here. Nobody will take it off the number one spot. Maybe they will buy us, but we will still be here. It is the only company that specializes. It’s been doing it for a long time, and well. It invests, seeks ways, creates a market and a future. It is a leader. There are always enough followers, but there is nobody like us. Have you ever bought a coffee machine from a Level 3 follower? How was your coffee, how long did the machine last and how much did it cost you? The same is true with Open Text. In short, we are a good investment.
How would you answer (in one sentence) the CEOs of XY company’s question: “Why should I have a DMS in my company?”
I would like to answer, and I would be happy to answer the questions of smart directors.
Thank you for the interview, let me end buy asking one final question: If you had three wishes, what would you wish for the company for the next 16 years?
Health, health and health again. A bit of luck. The rest can be acquired or bought without a magic lamp.