Over the past three decades, I have been busy in various roles, including Software Engineer, Product Manager, Head of R&D, Head of Operations, Country Manager, VP of Sales, and Regional Director. I developed software products, services, companies, and markets. I led teams and reached targets. I founded or co-founded four companies and held CEO and CTO roles in those startups (including a couple of years in Silicon Valley). LinkedIn Profile.
With 20+ years in nearshoring, software development, and outsourcing, I currently drive two initiatives in the IT services and digital innovations industries, Value Leap and Transparency Wins. I am pleased to connect with you, exchange experiences, discuss potential engagements, and create added value.
Since 2020 my focus has been on management consulting and driving partner evaluation processes to find suitable nearshore software development providers for companies in the DACH region. My first engagements were with Swiss technology companies and involved managing stakeholder expectations, alignment of strategic directions, defining selection constraints, finding potential locations/cities, researching potential providers, verifying must-have criteria, NDA signing, conducting RFI phases, evaluation of all answers, leading RFP phases including on-site visits, negotiation of terms, and signing of the contracts.
I have established Ciklum’s presence in the DACH region, initially in Switzerland and later in Germany. In 2009 I was alone, started on a greenfield, acquired clients, managed engagements, and nurtured an ever-growing customer base. Over time, I created and led a strong sales, account management, and marketing team. Today, 60+ clients in the DACH region use Ciklum’s innovative engagement models and technological capabilities on an ongoing basis, contributing significant revenue figures and annual growth rates to the group. I left in the summer of 2020.
In 2003 I started to work on the vision and development of a novel team collaboration software solution. I was the Head of Product and CTO. As co-founder, I prepared business plans, formed the initial team, pitched to investors, and closed many seed rounds. I managed engineering teams in Ukraine and Bulgaria and worked in Palo Alto and San Francisco for two years. Our vision was way too ambitious, over-engineered with too many features. The funds were never sufficient. In 2009 we had to pull the plug and sell the shell.
Some information might still be online on German Wikipedia.
From 2001 to 2002, I helped stabilize and professionalize the production teams of a well-established web agency. The company had a cluster risk around “simple website design & hosting” services, and when the Dotcom crisis hit, they felt the pain. We partnered with a leading Enterprise CMS company, Obtree (later acquired by IXOS / OpenText). We began to up-sell ECMS services to existing clients and bid for and win new customers. The situation improved, and the Founder & CEO eventually sold his business to a larger IT company.
In 2000-2001 I developed a technical concept and systems architecture for a “virtual Business Objects Broker” (vBOB) subsystem. Miracle Software was an up-and-coming ERP company with a bold vision to establish a global marketplace onto which all their ERP clients, ERP consulting companies, and ERP partners could place, exchange, and license extensions to the core platform. The task included significant requirements engineering work with partners, management, and development teams.
Jointly with two other co-founders, we launched this startup in 1999. The vision was to develop a highly sophisticated “Information-model based websites generator” specifically for Swiss municipalities. During this inception phase, I stayed involved for about six months, managing promotion workshops for prospective clients, developing requirements with pilot customers, and defining the initial go-to-market approach. Today, Innovative Web AG is one of the leading e-Government providers in Switzerland, with over 800 customers.
In 2001, during my Executive MBA in Business Engineering at the University of St. Gallen, I co-authored a master thesis researching the “digital capital” inherent in “business webs” (or relationship networks) and how it could be managed and harnessed in practical use cases. At the time, services like LinkedIn, Xing, or Facebook didn’t exist yet. One of the chapters even covered “Social Network Relationships” (= Family, Friends, and Business Contacts). We knew we were onto something big here, but we didn’t foresee the enormous potential.
In 1994 I started my first company, Object Solutions GmbH. It was a highly specialized firm focused on object-oriented programming and tools. We offered consulting services, training courses, and development tools (DIGITALK, IBM VisualAge, GemStone Systems, Objectory, etc.). After four years in business and ten employees, I eventually exited my first venture in 1998 by selling it to GFT Technologies SE. This prominent German IT services group wanted to kick-start its presence in Switzerland.
For 20+ years, I have been collaborating hands-on with IT providers, software teams, and digital experts in (sorted alphabetically) Belarus, Bulgaria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Ukraine.
Furthermore, I am actively tracking the market and maintaining good relations with over 70 leading and specialized providers in Eastern Europe and globally.
The real challenge for clients is to bring the right talent to the right project at the right time using the best-suitable working model.
Evaluation of software development partners
Setting-up of remote engineering centers
Matchmaking "compatible" clients & providers
Software innovations & digital transformations
Making the process of finding, assessing, comparing, and selecting best-matching IT service providers a fast, cost-effective, risk-minimized, and pleasant experience.
We strive to become the global trusted authority and leading B2B procurement platform for IT services.
IT service providers
Solving our clients’ IT services needs, advising them about the industry, finding the best-matching providers, and helping them get started and stay successful.
We strive to deliver exceptional added value through the combined innovation power of a global ecosystem of brilliant and trusted IT services providers.
According to Wikipedia, business agility refers to the “ability of a business system to rapidly respond to change by adapting its initial stable configuration”. The question is, how to become agile? By implementing the right organizational design!
Most companies are still organized in a hierarchical and highly functional manner. Lots of top-down “command & control” is going on, supported by “rules & regulations”, leading to excess bureaucracy. It is a classic Tayloristic model. It is rigid and non-adaptive.
One of the best ways to document, communicate, and debate new business models is visually and as simple as possible. In this case, less is more, especially during the early stages of exploring new business concepts.
The popular Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.
I am currently taking Strategyzer online courses. I am also applying all their tools (including the online project dashboard) to some new business concepts I am designing. Stay tuned.
I have been working with remote software development since 2001. My work led me collaborating with companies, teams, and individuals in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia.
Many years ago, as Product Manager and CTO of software companies, I used to be on the “demand-side” of these cooperation models. In a recent sales-oriented role at a large IT services company, I was on the “supply-side” for many years.
Right now, I am “in-between” demand-side AND supply-side, running several nearshore partner evaluation processes, working with clients to find the best possible provider for their setting and context, while maintaining good relations with 150+ providers.
Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a framework for defining and tracking goals and outcomes. It has become prevalent in recent years.
OKRs are conceptually straightforward. It gets more tricky when you have to implement the practice in your organization. If you start small and take a gradual “learning by doing” approach, it is manageable.
Some time ago, I helped a distributed sales & marketing team implementing OKRs. The results were promising. The value (in that particular case) has been primarily in team alignment, focus on the right priorities, transparency, and improved communication.
Recently I read the classic “Start with Why” from Simon Sinek. It turned out to be quite inspiring and thoughts-provoking.
The book is all about how in business (1) everybody talks about the WHAT (e.g., “our services” or “our products”), (2) some try to differentiate themselves with HOW (e.g., “our unique value proposition” or “our proprietary process”), but (3) surprisingly almost nobody can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do!
WHY is the purpose, cause, or belief of a business! Make the Litmus test right now: WHY is your company doing what they do? Is it a truly inspiring cause? Does it give you a sense of belonging?
Franchising is a marketing concept that an organization can adopt as a strategy for business expansion. Where implemented, a franchiser licenses its know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee. In return, the franchisee pays specific fees and agrees to comply with certain obligations, typically set out in a Franchise Agreement.
We all know the big brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc. They all use franchising to scale globally and to sell simple physical products to consumers.
Initial consultations and meetings are, of course, non-commital
and free of charge!