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Mergers, new Competency Centers, successes and failures – by Gregoire Nitot
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Mergers, new Competency Centers, successes and failures – by Gregoire Nitot

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08 December 2017

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The last six months have been filled with challenges and successes. Gregoire Nitot – CEO of Sii Poland – talks about the development plan for Sii, investments and the aforementioned mergers.

Dominika Arendt, Communication Manager at Sii: How would you sum up the last 6 months for Sii?

Gregoire Nitot, CEO of Sii: Solid growth. We are growing by 30% year over year, reaching PLN 233 million revenue at the end of September 2017 (half-year results). We should reach PLN 500 million revenue this year (final results will be known at the end of April 2018), so it’s 111 million more than during last fiscal year. Despite huge growth, we manage to maintain stability & positive cash flow ratio which is a great performance.

No other IT & Engineering services vendors in Poland is developing so fast. We generate better results than our competitors in terms of revenue & profit growth. Unlike many competitors, we are also more financially stable. We finance receivables & accruals with our equity. We don’t have any debt or liabilities.

D.A.: There is definitely a lot to celebrate, but have been there any challenges even failures on the way?

G.N.: Every day we face challenges and learn lessons from our failures – that’s business. Recently, we have been struggling with the governmental wanting to raise National Insurance Contributions (ZUS) – which translates into an additional cost for Sii in 2019 of several millions PLN. Apart from governmental regulations, there are areas of Sii that need to be improved, example our activities in Public Sectors and problems with the eKRK system for the Ministry of Justice for example. We also focusing on strengthening our results the Office365 Competency Center with too many engineers on the bench in this area (we bear on average PLN 2 million bench cost each month).

D.A.: As you’ve already mentioned Competency Centers – how do you summarise the work of CCs in the past six months?

G.N.: In few words – new investments and some mergers. Just after opening the Business Intelligence and Salesforce Centers, we started breaking the new grounds. Since November operates the Legacy Systems CC. The Center is managed by Malgorzata Chanczak from Lodz. Legacy Systems focuses on older IT systems that were built many years ago, but are still being maintained and developed. For many companies, these are still their core systems. We see a great demand for expertise related to Legacy. Our offering focuses on such technologies as Cobol, PL/1 and RPG. We have many references in this area from such clients as: Credit Suisse, Volvo IT, ICE, DnB, and our team consists of 30 specialists in this field. We also offer clients migration to newer technologies.

New year, new Competency Centers. In January, we will launch CC SAP managed by Adrian Gola, in April CC Embedded, managed by Monika Jaworowska, will be extracted from Engineering and there is also plan to start also in January a brand new CC – the Business Process Outsourcing managed by Tomasz Maciejak. Apart from new Competency Centers, the cooperation between Branches and CCs is getting more and more solid. Our Branches are willing to rely on their support – joint projects account for 1/3 of the company’s revenue, which, of course, is done to the contributions made by the Centers along with the Branches. Now over 800 engineers are already working in the CCs (Competency Centers).

D.A.: The SAP Competency Center will have opened by January, 2018. Why did you come to this decision?

G.N.: We see tremendous potential in this type of service. Many of our customers already have SAP systems that need to be developed and maintained. All market leaders worldwide have SAP services in their portfolios – IBM or Accenture have more than 40,000 experts worldwide. We follow this footstep.

D.A.: In addition, we have also undertaken two mergers of Competency Centers – why was this decision was taken?

G.N.: We have merged Digital with Application Services and AX with CRM. The Digital Center, managed by Darek Adamowski, was merged to unify and create a single, strong offering as the former Centers had similar ones. Additionally, these CCs had 2 double teams – Java and .NET. We wanted to create a synergy effect – instead of 4 teams – let’s build 2 exceptionally strong developer teams. We decided that Digital will play the leading role, due to its superior performance – more projects were implemented by this Center and it generated significantly higher revenues than Application Services.

D.A.: And what is the situation with AX and CRM?

G.N.: We merged AX with CRM Dynamics into Dynamics 365 as a result of a decision made by Microsoft: separate products, such as AX and CRM are now offered on Dynamics365 platform. In addition, we received a lot of inquiries for the simultaneous implementation of both AX and CRM – therefore, Dynamics365 is also the answer to customer needs. The CC is managed by Piotr Puszcz.

A less radical change, but also based on Microsoft’s decision, is that we’ve just renamed the SharePoint Competency Center to Office365. The Center is led by Michal Kopczynski.

D.A.: Why are we opening up new Competency Centers and growing the existing ones?

G.N.: For many reasons. Firstly, we develop areas where we have the best know-how, best professionals and the most solid experience. Secondly, our internal IT creates applications for Sii’s own needs, such as the implementation of AX or CRM, SharePoint intranet. We build our competence on this basis, and then we use these products and expertise to offer them outside the company. Thirdly, as with Salesforce or SAP, we observe trends in markets and listen to our customers’ needs. Finally, business development can also be initiated by our employees, as was the case with Przemek Grzanka, who kicked off our Electrical Engineering activity. Now we can boast of some impressive results – 60 people in a team that generates PLN 15 million in revenue.

D.A.: Any further changes await us in next months – not only in the Centers but throughout Sii?

G.N.: We are currently working on the implementation of the RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted & Informed), where we are precisely defining the division of roles and areas of duty between Competency Centers and branches. Apart from many organizational changes, we aim to strengthen our position on the Scandinavian and the DACH markets.

We continue to change cooperation models with many customers, from simple staffing to more advanced services like team leasing, managed services, projects and systems integration.

In addition we will increase employment and we will fight for reducing attrition rate. Consequently we will invest in online marketing to raise Sii’s brand awareness.

 

 

Also at the end I’d like to wish all of you a Happy New Year!  All the best to our workers, clients, partners and everyone! Wishing you and your families a joyous and peaceful time in 2018!

D.A.: Thank you for the interview and fingers crossed for the continued, smooth development of Sii.

G.N.: Thank you.

Article written by: Dominika Arendt

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