The digitalization of core processes scales your uniqueness to create unique value for your customers

Adrian Nițu (Business Unit Manager @ Berg Software) talks about digitalisation of core processes in a two-parts interview for Digital Future.

Intro:
Berg Software is a software company managed by Romanian-German owners with almost 30 years of solid experience in implementing complex IT projects around the world. The core competencies include digital transformation, custom application development, business intelligence & advanced analytics, cloud, SAP, technical support & maintenance. The most important premise here is to especially take into account the specific needs of each client in optimizing their data-driven workflows.

1. Mr. Nitu, your claim is to offer customers the best possible complete software solutions to ensure their individual digital (data) transformation in the long term. Especially in the current corona pandemic, this is an absolute must, so that companies – despite teleworking regulations for employees or the temporary ban on maintaining face-to-face business relationships – can still keep their own business processes running reliably, right?

Absolutely – in times like these, we all reconsider what’s actually valuable. At the moment, everything needs a bit more effort, so you’ll want to make the most out of it.

At Berg Software, we think that digitalizing your core expertise and processes is what delivers the highest value. By scaling the unique and special parts of your business, you increase your competitive advantage on the market and multiply the value to stakeholders (clients, employees, owners and so on).

Even if you “only” automate regular business processes, that alone should increase speed, reach and quality at lower costs. So definitely, digitalization is the way to go.

2. Crises therefore also create opportunities that need to be seized. One might think that especially within collective, hardly controllable exceptional situations, many people are now becoming more and more aware that functioning digitalization not only creates competitive advantages, but also helps significantly to remain more independent and manoeuvrable. Is this now a phenomenon due to the acute situation or do you think that companies, regardless of their size, generally find it difficult to tackle their own digitalization agenda? If so, what is the reason for this, and what would you advise entrepreneurs to do now to ensure that they are able to act and make decisions promptly?

What we see these days is a mix. On one side, the current crisis accelerates previous trends (remote work, for example). On the other side, there are a lot of new challenges (e.g. the need for extra hygiene and distancing at the workplace; the new balance between individual privacy and community’s safety; the foreseeable drop in business travelling and events etc.). The good news: each and all of these trends are consistent with- and can be addressed by digitalization.

Traditionally, the non-software companies would think twice whether to digitalize. The perceived costs and transparency levels are just the usual topics to put entrepreneurs off. But some companies might also lack the technical expertise, internal alignment, or a clear business case.

There are solutions to all of these: With tools like Jira, everyone is informed and aligned at all times regarding roadmaps, dependencies management, plans and progress. Basic management processes should ensure that you have internal buy-in. More important than even before, your digitalization business case should be solid. And when it comes to the actual software part, we have the expertise to develop it from a simple .ppt idea into a 100% functional product that serves up to millions of users.

Therefore, if we may suggest two things to Digital Future’s audience:

First, you are not alone. By outsourcing your digitalization processes, you can get access to the appropriate skills, increase the quality and speed of development, while keeping costs under control. So, don’t be afraid: go ahead and bring the right partners in.

Then: stay resilient and agile. Think on your feet and approach work in a flexible manner, whether it’s planning, budgeting and contracting, or the actual software product development.

3. You specialize in technical consulting, development and outsourcing of software for both medium-sized and large companies. What are the main advantages for SMEs when they use your services?

Every company is unique, especially when it comes to SMEs. Also, the stakes are way higher, because it can make the whole difference between success and bust.

This is why quick and flexible access to skills is of major importance. Berg Software’s engineers bring both multi-technological and multi-industry expertise that can be transferrable to companies that are just about to scale up. For all the complex areas like future-proof software technology and architecture, or product development and management: we got you covered.

The other big pain of a small company is money. Software does not have to be crazy-expensive to develop. Our “outsource within EU” model, coupled with the right resource allocation methods, makes sure that the clients benefit from high quality software at appropriate costs.

4. Your approach includes the aspects of Agile Methodology and Design Thinking. Brief and concise summary: What added value can a customer expect in contrast to traditional project work methods when it comes to developing business solutions specifically for his requirements – and what is really visionary about these methods?

There are multiple ways that Agile and Design Thinking methodologies deliver value.

First, business value is delivered early and at a constant pace; as opposed to traditional methodologies that are slow to deliver and get you the bulk of it towards the end of the development.

Then, Agile provides complete visibility and control all along the development period, not only at the beginning and the end of it. Short and frequent iterations provide multiple opportunities for the business representatives to assess the results and to plan ahead accordingly.

Speed and adaptability are high. We accept that plans and business environment can change, and the software product needs to follow through. Responding to change is a key Agile value and it guarantees that the project doesn’t get stuck with outdated requirements.

Last but not least, Design Thinking helps finding simple, innovative solutions to complex challenges. By deconstructing the roots of a given issue and reassembling everything in creative ways, businesses can gain unique competitive advantages.

At the bottom line, we believe that agile and design thinking methods empower people and increase the value of their interactions. We see every day how a few people in front of a (digital) white board can overcome barriers and achieve great results with ease.

5. Berg Software has been active since 1991 with over 2,700 successfully implemented IT projects in 24 countries. In addition, you have a wide range of industry knowledge and have created innovative applications for ex:. automotive, healthcare, telecommunications, logistics or governmental organizations. To what extent do smaller customers with a well-organized workforce, yet sometimes very complex big data issues benefit from such expertise and to what extent can it be adapted cost-effectively for their purposes?

With many of our clients, we do precisely that: regardless of the industry, our BI solutions provide critical insights to both non-specialist and power users. Although we work with big data (sometimes across multiple sources and platforms), we pack everything in straightforward, visually rich, easy to understand formats.

In order to keep it simple and cost-effective, we always adapt to client’s infrastructure and make the best of existing resources. For example, many clients’ software license package might already give them access to a BI platform that’s either not used at all, or at very low capacity.

So, what we do is evaluate the assets, provide a development plan that’s appropriate to client’s needs and expertise, then deliver useable, cost-effective solutions.

6. Keyword scalability: How does your technology realize the availability, security and flexibility of sensitive corporate knowledge, internal, sometimes distributed data sources or organization-wide know-how?

As one would expect, we rigorously comply with EU’s GDPR. In and by itself, it brought a higher level of data security with positive effects on both companies and final users. But way before that, within Berg Software, regulations on access and usage of client data were built upon the high industry standards, and we are always strict to reinforce them.

For example, on customized data-sensitive projects, we make sure that a security solutions architect joins the project early on, so everything is built with security in mind.

Then, we recommend using current cloud-based technologies (either full blown or hybrid). For example, Open Telekom Cloud (based in Germany) and Azure (with German servers) are bound to stricter EU laws. Together with tools like GitLab, they make sure you get the maximum level of security, service availability and scalability.

Eventually, for any critical software product that needs clearance of its security standards, we can have them certified by independent auditors.

29 years in business | 2700 software projects | 760 clients | 24 countries

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