After 10 months into the partnership between Better Software Group and Spyrosoft, our Marketing Manager Damian Maicher and Marketing Specialist Joanna Tomaszewska meet with Konrad Weiske, the CEO and Co-Founder of Spyrosoft S.A. to discuss the alliance between the companies.

DM: Konrad please tell us what are the beginnings of Spyrosoft business and how did it become the company with over 1400 employees that we know today?

KW: The polish entity of the company was started in May 2016. In a nutshell, we gathered a group of people who have known each other for years and worked for various organizations – smaller, mid-sized companies. We wanted to start something on our own, to run a business in our way. Everybody who started the Spyrosoft Group has a background in IT. The beginnings were the most challenging part because we started from almost nothing. We had some committed people, money to invest, good partnerships and relations, and some time to work on the basics. The common goal was to create a place where we, as programmers, project managers, QA’s, and designers, like to work in. Maybe it’s an act of hubris, but having our industry knowledge, we knew how to attract people to work with us.

JT: How about now? Is there anything that you still find challenging?

KW: At this stage, we are a group of 17 companies, so the challenge is to manage them together. We want to treat every entity equally and bring to the table ideas of every management. It is crucial that we all agree on the direction the group is taking. Our business model idea is to create daughter companies, so there are many creative people involved. So managing people and a lot of new ideas is demanding but ultimately it’s a good thing. If you seek agreement with, let’s say, ten people on something, it is pretty challenging, but the outcome brings value, so it is worth the effort.

DM: What about the Spyrosoft’s values that you want to share with your employees and clients?

KW: I think it is about what you do not what you talk about. I’ve worked for five large corporations, and each one had a pattern of values. “Oh we are this and we are that”… to be honest with you, I didn’t feel them.

From my perspective, I’m not sure that all the employees would share the same view… I don’t want that .

Speaking about our values – people are always my top priority. I would like them to come to me and talk about whatever they want to. Collaboration is really essential in our company, so if somebody has a good idea, then we are open to implementing it. We are technology enthusiasts, and we definitely want to share the passion for IT.

DM: Let’s talk about the upcoming crisis. Do you think that it’s going to have an impact on our industry and on Spyrosoft?

KW: Some but limited.

DM: Because we can hear everywhere about the layoffs in the big tech.

KW: Let’s think about what happened in the past two years. There was literally a flood of money in the IT market because there was a huge drive to transform businesses digitally. The demand for IT services and skills was very high so companies started hiring like crazy. On the other hand, we have Twitter. Their behaviour is not normal – to fire half of the employees and insult the remaining half. It’s been blown out of proportion and presented to us as a pattern which is absolutely not the case in reality. Simply because some companies are famous, some topics get more publicity than others. But they do not represent the overall market situation. The demand for IT type of services is still enormous. There are some companies in our business whose situation is more volatile because they work for startups. Especially smaller ones, and in the era of cheap money, it didn’t matter how much investment a company made. The only thing that mattered was the revenue and market share. These companies try to be profitable, so they slash their expenses. Then, the first thing they cut off is outsourced force, not necessarily their own staff. As a group, we don’t have many startups in our portfolio. The ones we collaborated with are large, and they have more than enough money to spend on our services.

JT: And on the topic of the merger Better Software Group what were the most important reasons for it?

KW: It’s the mutual interest in making something bigger together. Better Software Group does a lot lot in the media space in which Spyrosoft was not really active. So it’s stepping into a new industry as a new possibility to develop our organization. The second thing is related to technology. As a group, we wanted to be more focused on front-end and mobile. So it was a technology-wise choice, but geography is also important. Prior to the investment in BSG, we didn’t really do much in the North of Europe, we had some clients from Denmark, but that’s pretty much it. Plus a very important and maybe even a crucial thing is the new people. If you think of how we sell our services, it is 80% through recommendations. So what we sell is trust, and they only trust us because they have personal experience with us as human beings, not as a brand (or they know somebody who has recommended us). Now almost 200 new people have extended our network of connections, and through that, we can offer more to our clients. Some of them may be in need of other services that we offer, so this opens up new opportunities.

JT: Are you in any way connected to the board members of BSG and was that another important factor in favour of the merger?

KW: Yes. I’ve known the guys – I mean both Sławek Piwko and Bartek Lozia for years. Their way of thinking is very similar to those of people working in Spyrosoft. We represent the same values I mentioned before. They are very similar, and after all, it’s all about people. If the people aren’t right, then nothing will work, so it is the first and the only thing. So, yeah, it is because we’ve known each other, because we trust each other, and have a common vision of what should be done.

DM: So do you have the same business approach?

KW: The business approach is one thing, but it’s also personal. If you don’t trust the people you work with and don’t understand them, or they seem like a person from another planet and the chemistry isn’t right, it might be difficult to have a very close partnership. You can work for example, as vendor or client but not as a partner. A partnership is like marriage. You can have an on-and-off relationship with someone, and you don’t care about the character of that person because it’s irrelevant, other things count. But if you want to have many happy years together, then you should be somehow aligned with that person. If it weren’t for these two, we wouldn’t have done this merger for sure. Even if the figures in the excel sheet were right, we still wouldn’t have done it.

DM: As we are heading towards the end of our interview, is there anything you would like to share with BSG’s employees and customers? Maybe the last word or something personal about yourself like what you do in your free time.

KW: I do not have any free time (laughing). I love sailing if there’s one thing I like. Married, one kid – an 8-year-old boy, the name’s Igor.

To be honest with you, I don’t do anything exciting, outside of the business. I don’t fly around the world in a hot air balloon, or swim with sharks. It is what it is; I’m just a colleague from work.

As we are now one company, there’s something more I want to tell my colleagues from BSG. If you would like to chat with me, I will always find time to do so. If you ping me, I will reply to you for sure, as I’m very much interested in what you think about the merger. It would be great to hear your opinion and how you feel after this time. And when it comes to the alliance with the BSG team, I’m very, very eager to meet them all in person and hear what they need, and what their challenges for the business are. Just to have a friendly business chat, and I promise will not start a sales pitch the first second of the conversation.

JT: Thank you for finding time to speak with us, we can’t wait for what the future brings for the union between Better Software Group and Spyrosoft.