by Luis Flores, OpenSistemas CEO
More or less a year ago, the COVID pandemic entered our lives, generating one of the greatest impacts of the recent years. An impact that has accelerated changes and transformed the society in which we live today.
At this point, I would like to look back and share with you a short retrospective of what we’ve done and what we’ll continue doing. In this way, we can understand in which direction we are now heading to.
Before the Covid pandemic
We prepared an ambitious 5-year plan, which we shared with every team and that highlighted several ideas, such as investment in new products and innovation, a globalizing growth strategy and the commitment to expand our own corporate IT and process model.
We understand product and innovation as the ability to differentiate, whether on a specific solution, product, specialization or verticalization. This approach is supported by the implementation of a new brand to OpenSistemas: neuroons – recently established, allows us to develop this specialized message, giving OpenSistemas a more general approach, relying on the two possible sources of growth, to be both general and specialize within a certain framework.
On this premise, the company aims to grow further in the next five years, both in our country and abroad. This growth is focused in two directions: the first, more sales-oriented: moving into English-speaking countries, towards Ireland, UK/Nordics and USA. The second: both from a customer and production point of view, we aim to move towards Latin America, where Mexico and Chile are the markets of greatest interest.
This growth process must be supported by a series of processes, mechanisms and systems that provide us with greater maturity to face the complexities of being a diversified company in terms of countries, languages, schedules and brands.
During the covid pandemic
This was the initial approach but the pandemic accelerated this plan. This is why when we look back over the past year, it seems that we haven’t progressed a lot. It may seem that we haven’t managed to grow our sales to the level we have initially planned. But we have done so many things and, most importantly, we’ve done them together:
- We’ve consolidated a larger team, distributed both in departmental and management areas, preparing us for the growth we are now approaching.
- We have increased the company’s liquidity and investment capacity. We’ve improved our ability to deal with situations that require liquidity efforts and, in this way, our business strength has grown.
- We’ve continued working in the development of the ERP environment of our company, Go, with a complete approach since we have included the company’s processes.
- With Fernando Monera and Pamela Castro, we’ve consolidated a management structure that is more in harmony with the current size of our company, formalizing and structuring general processes with a more strategic and long-term approach.
- We have remained focused on innovation, through vertical use cases such as Falling Man, new partners – Amazon – or the successful implementation of the CDTI CapacIoT project.
- We’ve continued increasing our work processes related to innovations, third-party agreements, universities and our cluster presence.
- We’ve given more importance to the pre-sales processes, with the incorporation of Almudena López to the team and a greater standardization of the working models.
- Although our sales growth in the last year hasn’t been similar to the one before the pandemic, we have begun to work with new clients such as ING, Repsol, Ferrovial, we have opened collaboration channels with service providers and many other working lines that will come to life soon.
- We’ve started to change the company’s work model: from an office working model to a distributed one, where online tools are of extreme value.
- We’ve reorganized the company in terms of structure: becoming a business group led by two holding companies that bring together both OpenSistemas and the new companies recently created.
- Taking into consideration the situation we are at, we’ve tried to apply a greater control over expenses, without stopping investments and trying to adapt to the context of restrictions, adjustments and changes that we have experienced in the last year.
- We’ve opened a new office in Ireland – with a new team and resources. This company -neuroons – has been running since 2020 led by Javier Sotomayor, CEO of the initiative, and Karl Llewellyn, Country lead in Ireland.
- We’ve recently launched new subsidiaries in Colombia and Uruguay– a first step towards increasing our presence in LATAM.
Thus, we haven’t lost a year, we have used it to prepare ourselves for what’s to come. We are now stronger than ever and better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that will come in the future.
And now, what can we expect?
The first thing that we need to understand is that this is a journey. We’ve achieved a lot, but there is still a lot to do. In the following months, we will continue developing many of the previous points. In some cases, and although we have speeded up, it might take several years:
- There will still be changes in the teams, processes, systems and, in general, in the company. There will be new opportunities to work abroad and we will still welcome colleagues and talent from all over the world.
- We will continue creating new companies and, perhaps, we will integrate new companies within ourselves.
- We will work together and more closely with partners and providers, complementing our current value proposition.
- We will launch new innovative products and initiatives.
- We will continue innovating in the use of workspaces, we will provide more flexibility at work, we will use more advanced online work systems and tools, new salary models, for instance, getting paid part of the salary in cryptocurrencies (for those who request it), among others. We will continue to work on improving our work model, which brings people from different parts of the world together, with different schedules and cultures, but sharing the same processes and systems. We will speak English more often. We will work from home as much as we want and use the offices in a different way but, in any case, the offices will always be there for whomever wants to go: one day, two days or everyday. We will work to get better at balancing our personal and working life, in a world of distributed work and colleagues on different schedules and countries.
- We expect to strongly increase our sales and results from the second semester of this course. We will gradually develop more business outside Spain.
- We will continue to develop neuroon’s value proposition, with a greater focus on the English-Speaking markets. We will keep investing in innovation development.
- We will be able to manage costs with a less aggressive approach through sustainable revenue improvement, moving back to pre-pandemic growth rate.
In general, we will continue to grow like we have been doing in recent years, trying to take advantage of the new opportunities created in this new post-covid economy context and relying on the changes, some already taken care of and others still on-progress, which we have been promoting since the beginning of last year and that have been intensified with the pandemic.
To conclude, I hope to have achieved my goal with this message: sharing with you all the impressions, reflections and ideas that are going through my mind these days in which we are finally beginning to see the start of this -now we can say it- new normality.