Anastasia DRILY: “We compete on business models,”Dmitry Vinogradov | 27.06.2020
Director of business development of Softline in the North-West region of Russia
The annual plan is executed
Russian business was not ready for mass telecommuting, as, indeed, I think business around the world. Such a flurry of requests and calls, this growth demands from clients and
partners, as it was in April, we have not seen ever. Usually start to appreciate something only when you lose. Once we lose the possibility of rapid communications, efficient management of
staff, data collection, evaluation analysts, we understand that without this it is impossible to work effectively. Therefore, the Softline from the beginning of the quarantine worked in the strengthened mode – almost three-shift,
helped partners and customers to solve basic problems associated with the increasing burden on it infrastructure, with the need for rapid deployment in the cloud of some new systems
to provide for interaction with accounting systems companies, remote access, information security. All that befell the company, which previously not thought of, and to address these issues
we had very quickly. Of course, we were more prepared, and within a week the whole company was already working on udalenke without loss of quality.
We have set growth plans in the order of 25-30% year-on-year, and at the moment figures show that turnover and revenue, which the company now has, despite coronavirus, we your plans
If this pandemic happened, five years-seven before, we would not be able as effectively to deal with it in the it plan. Because the demand on transport infrastructure in the cloud that
observed in the last five to seven years, previously did not exist. All prefer to work the old-fashioned way, on servers that are located in their own offices. And there was great distrust
this product. The same applies to information security. In principle, companies do not think about the need for remote work, remote secure access to all systems.
Information security was to ensure that the offices sat bezopasniki that the most that did was to ensure that employees are not carried out of the office hard drives.
Now the level of readiness, awareness of the importance udalenku, opportunities to build continuous communication, to manage distributed teams and focus on the means to all possible
was to organize, many companies are quite high.
Our company is quite large: over 5,000 employees not only in our country but also spread across the globe. But most importantly, we are flexible enough. And those tools or resources that
we offer our customers, we use ourselves in our work. I mean, we were sort of “shoemaker in boots”. And experience with distributed teams in our company too.
We have therefore included this process with an understanding of how to work with it. But, of course, we, like everyone, faced with the basic problem. The main of them, of course, is speed. Speed
response and speed scaling. This is the problem that is faced by all companies: not just something to do, but to do it quickly.
Of course, we also had some reconfiguring to work when needed to cope with the increased workload, which lay on the it infrastructure, to support, to provide access to
remote information systems of the company, when he was simultaneously need a huge number of people. But in principle almost a week we came to the new regime, when everything was set up
for operational work.
For me, as a person responsible for the business development in a certain area, the important thing is, of course, – interaction with customers. Information technology is serving the industry
which becomes necessary when stops working for partners, customers and clients. And the first thing we thought about – how we will communicate with customers in a new environment? And many of
we offer them the means and resources, for example, solutions for team collaboration, offered by leading vendors. For example, we mainly use Microsoft Teams as a corporate
means of communication: show customers the benefits of its use, conduct webinars and meetings. That is, very often we act as a consultant on the topic of how to organize it all.
We showed an example of their work. Because the most painful moment was the feeling that the company were abruptly cut off from the outside world. And to build a new continuous communication has become
one of our priorities. The second important task is to be able to data and Analytics, despite udalenku. And analyst at Softline built in a very
well. We have a good BI, and we by example showed clients how to build a system of data collection and analysis to assess how the work of the critical zone. This also applies to the production,
and sales, and Finance. Order from anywhere in the world it was always possible to obtain the necessary data, as management decisions are made based on them.
State aid, particularly in difficult times, it is difficult to overestimate. The inclusion of Softline in the list of strategic companies of Russia was for us a very important point. It is recognition of the importance of our
company in the market. Business and government in a critical situation are always in the same boat. Effective work is impossible without the development of the real sector of the economy.
We also focused on solutions that can help the state as quickly as possible start to solve the problems that appeared. It is mainly concerned with health and
education. Since we work in the public sector, we have had many requests for quick creation of mobile working places of doctors, help in updating it-infrastructure medical
institutions. And as the load grew, it was necessary to simultaneously use a large number of devices, it was very much this type of queries. There are even new products that were
developed in conjunction with partners. For example, a program that allows you to automatically recognize images from the scanner, allowed to increase the permeability and given the opportunity to check
pictures not by hand, slowly, as before, but much faster. And universities moving to online education, the selection of an online platform, the ability to use the cloud to expand all of these
As our company is well represented in the regions, we feel the inquiries. For example, I am geographically located in the North-West, and my colleagues are working across the country,
starting from the Far East, Siberia and the Urals. In different regions of the queries a little bit different. For example, if somewhere it was the delivery of thermal imagers or, for example, remote jobs,
in St. Petersburg we are often faced with requests for help in updating it infrastructure of medical institutions, because they simply could not cope with the increased load.
I think that in this format, when the state understands business problems and goes to meet him, trying to help, a business can quickly focus efforts in those areas that are now just
needed in a pandemic. And thanks to this synergy, together we can quickly get out of this difficult situation with quarantine.
Competition business models
We discussed inside our company, what we must become in the new environment. And I think now companies that are well afloat, competing not so much by the degree of development
It infrastructure or innovation, and, in fact, competing business models. And now it became not just a tool that is used with the aim to solve any tasks, technology has become
permeate almost all business processes and define the business model. It is not just the answer to the question “how?” and to the question “what kind of economic effect it will give”? So now
large-scale it projects, especially in retail or Fintech, is a region that has been digitalized and the most “go ahead of the rest”. All projects, for example, MachineLearning, artificial
intelligence by using Big Data, treated as a full-fledged investment projects. Calculated the economic effects of the introduction of, and companies making serious investments in these projects
I want to understand – what will this business model? And, perhaps, if you give advice, you should pay attention to is, of course, the flexibility of the business model, the ability to quickly
zoom. It now comes to the fore.
Important and diversifitsiruemsja business. I think that we, as a major player, helped primarily the ability to quickly analyze the situation and to focus efforts on those products in those segments
which are most in demand. It is important to be able to quickly analyze and make a decision quickly begin working in the desirable direction. Of course, it is primarily the automation
processes. We are now hearing in many interviews as the first plan came the ability to automate it processes, workflow, hiring, training.
But the fore and means of staff training, and a new type of leadership. Because it is very important when a company has a leader who, despite the unpredictability of a situation
to make decisions and lead the company for themselves, understanding why we do certain steps. In our company a leader is, and it has become a very powerful support: our global SEO once a week
holds hot lines, which are attended by up to 3,000 employees, explain to them why we do certain steps. Was set up operational headquarters to address emerging issues. After all
the staff are always very important to have an understanding of where the company is, and where it will lead. That is, certainty and calmness of a leader, regardless of the number of employees, give them
And, perhaps, if we talk about what we should be, the most important thing is to increase the speed of everything. The speed of decision-making, the rate of appearance of new information, the rate of change
guidelines. Here’s Nassim Taleb, author of the bestseller “the Black Swan” that everyone is talking about, there’s another good book called “Anthropist”. And there he says that the expression
“any crisis is the search for opportunities” is not just a cliche, namely a new way of evolution, when man, knowing the situation, knowing what skills, what attributes, what products
in demand, without breaking itself, just gaining soft skills, like a puzzle, and learns. And it becomes a continuous process. And this is the main difference from what it was before. Because before you can
was to one degree and 30 years work, and now, even if you two years ago, we learned something and not perfected these skills, they are already obsolete. And this applies to everything, including
business organization, approaches to business decision-making, that is, everything revolves around it.
Itsnice all little inventors
I wonder if suddenly there will be a very unlikely thing – just lost the Internet, what will the pros? The people who work in it, they are still a little inventors. I think the first
the reaction will be to find ways how to fix it or something to replace it. Generally speaking, if you left one technology may be another, or it will need to quickly create. Other
will not exit will have to react. I can hardly imagine a situation where we accept and disperse. It’s certainly not about it. We’ll send our forces to search for alternatives. One kind of communication
data will be replaced with another, we will continue to look for new ways.
I have a suggestion to all of us now. Because not so bad to go into quarantine – it would be more difficult to get out of it. I think that we are now spending two or three months in quarantine are all in
some trouble – how will this new world in which we leave? I get a lot of feedback from people who say that is very much revised during this period, realized available
values and they have changed a bit. Want to these changes, and we went more for the benefit and development than to increased panic and anxiety.
Now our main task – to enter into a new rhythm, to change and to exhale a little bit, because to live, tensely waiting for some danger, very hard. I think so: there are new conditions, we
they have to adapt and live happily on. That is not to stay in constant anticipation of a new “black Swan” because it just will not give anyone any optimism neither the strength nor
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