How is Hyarchis wrapping up the year? Netherlands vs. Lithuania.19/12/2019
How is Hyarchis wrapping up the year? Netherlands vs. Lithuania.
We look back on 2019 and look ahead to 2020 together with Claudia from Team Hyarchis Netherlands and Justinas from Team Hyarchis Lithuania. Despite their differences, in both business and personal matters, the two teams complement each other surprisingly well. In this interview, we take a look at the differences, the achievements and the goals – from giving out baumkuchenas to having robot fights, and from AI to a fresh strategy.
Hyarchis has two offices: one in Eindhoven, Netherlands, plus a software development centre in Kaunas, Lithuania for the past 18 months. The team in Eindhoven sells, supplies and supports, while the Kaunas team focuses on development. In a nutshell, the Dutch are the commercial team and the Lithuanians are the tech team. Eindhoven looks after customers and deals with the figures, whereas Kaunas studies tech trends and roadmaps. Like chalk and cheese, you could say.
Interview with Claudia and Justinas
We chat to Claudia and Justinas to find out how these differences might well be difficult to bridge, but can still have a reinforcing effect on each team. Together we take a look back and a look ahead.
How will you be rounding the year off in the office? What have been the highlights of this year?
Claudia: “In Eindhoven, we are having quite a satisfying end to the year. It’s been tiring, but very fulfilling. The year began with some uncertainty, when Hyarchis Netherlands was split into two companies, and the organisation had to start from scratch and build itself up again. But we did have the major advantage of being able to focus completely on Hyarchis Document Management, including migrating to the cloud and developing the first AI applications on HDM. The Support department has also been restructured and we have a new and improved customer portal to help serve existing customers even faster.
The goals we had set ourselves were extremely ambitious. I don’t know exactly where we are in relation to those, but I do know we have come a long way. And we are going all out in 2020. There are a lot of terrific projects in the pipeline.”
Justinas: “It’s been a productive year and we’ve taken some pretty big steps. The restructuring initially created some uncertainty for us too; change can cause some tension, after all. But on the whole, it meant we could devote our full attention to developing existing Hyarchis DMS tooling and AI applications for DMS. As a team, we have grown in number and also expanded our expertise, partly as a result of this focus. We now have an 18-strong team in Lithuania working hard to create a future-proof DMS.”
“We’re going to be giving our positioning and market approach a makeover.”
What are the plans for 2020?
Claudia:“We have invested in our team and have experts all working towards the same goal: a future-proof DMS. By ensuring these experts, both in Eindhoven and Lithuania, can work together closely, we can really make waves in data analysis (AI) and working in the cloud. Cloud migration is stepping up a notch. Organisations in the financial sector have taken a long time to get ready for the transition. But things are really going to take off in 2020, as companies are looking for a hosted private version of the cloud.
We are going to focus on attracting new customers for HDM cloud and AI products, such as Search-it and Blurrify. In addition, the Marketing department will be expanding even further to help reach the global market. Another project that I’m hugely looking forward to is strengthening our proposition. In short, who is the new-style Hyarchis? It isn’t a stuffy DMS supplier offering the same thing as 20 years ago, that’s for sure. We’re going to be giving our positioning and market approach a makeover.”
Justinas: “We’ll be kicking off 2020 with a few major releases. The team has doubled in a short space of time, so structuring this team as efficiently as possible is in our best interest, involving full use of an agile working method. We will be continuously working on developing HDM, but spending a lot of time on AI projects too. We will be visiting customers together with the Hyarchis Netherlands team to find out what challenges they are facing exactly and how we can help with targeted AI tools.”
How do you reinforce each other as two completely separate offices?
Claudia:“The synergy between us is surprisingly refreshing. We have in-house specialists in all disciplines who work on developing the best possible DMS for our customers. We are in a position to take on increasingly larger and more complex projects. We are always on Skype with the team in Lithuania and we visit each other a lot. We work together at every level of the organisation, across all departments, to ensure projects are delivered successfully every time.”
Justinas:“I often go to see customers in person to get a better idea of their needs, so that we can shape the roadmap. Eindhoven is responsible for looking after our customers, but over the past year, we have worked on bridging the gap between sales and consultants in the Netherlands and our tech team in Lithuania. The advantage of an agile way of working is that fast development cycles lead to regular updates and product releases. That keeps the team in Eindhoven and customers very happy.”
What do you think of each other’s way of seeing out the year? I’ve heard caviar and oliebollen mentioned…
Claudia: “We love to eat oliebollen, which are like Dutch doughnuts. And we went out for dinner as a team last week. It wasn’t much of a grand affair, more of an informal, intimate get-together. Then next year, we’ll talk about figures and set out our plans. This year, we had our Christmas dinner a bit early because the week before the Christmas holiday is always busy. Especially for me and Martijn, as we go around giving out baumkuchenas as a gift from the company. That means travelling around the whole of the Netherlands, delivering a taste of Lithuania.”
Justinas: “We eat baumkuchenas here just like you eat oliebollen, only we don’t give any away. We leave that to you,” Justinas laughs behind his screen. “That gives us time to give the year a good send-off and have some caviar,” Justinas jokes.
“No, not really, but there is a cooking workshop planned, where the team members will cook brunch themselves. On Friday, we’ll round off the year with a tech day, with a mix of fun activities and sharing knowledge. There are five presentations and we will finish with a kind of hackathon, where we will build robots to fight each other. So, that’s what we’ll be doing while you are out offering our delicacies to everyone. We’ll leave the hard work to you guys.”
What wishes do you both have for each other in the new year?
Justinas: “A new office perhaps?” Justinas exclaims, ever the joker. “We plan to visit the Netherlands every quarter to bring each other up to speed. I wish for all of us to carry on growing, both in terms of customers and projects we can be proud of. And I wish you would come to Lithuania more often.”
Claudia: “Marlijn and I are coming to visit your office in January, so you can tick that one off your list. And while we’re talking about the office… In Lithuania, they have this hip, new, trendy office. They say our office is more traditional and boring. So, who knows? Maybe in 2020 we can do something to amaze them at our office. I also hope that we achieve all our goals together. And if we do, next time we can ring in the new year with some caviar.”
What do you think is the strangest thing about the other’s culture?
Both together: “The food!”
Claudia: “The team in Lithuania finds it hilarious that we eat bread in the afternoon. But then again, we are astounded that they have a three-course meal twice a day. They all go to the company canteen at the same time and have a long, drawn-out lunch. Here, someone will scream ‘lunchtime!’ very loudly and then everyone gets their sandwiches out.”