Over the last 9 years, the Predica team has demonstrated its abilities in the area of Microsoft product consulting & implementation. With our 120+ employees, we are able to address virtually any challenge in Microsoft technology stack, except for ERP (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations). However, our thirst for innovation, growth (read more on our growth mindset approach) and belief in how the IT landscape is changing, prompted us to also take a look at how our company is organized, managed and what value it offers to its customers, as well as employees.
We’ve recently decided to make 3 bold, strategic moves to strengthen our market position as a consulting firm. We also wish to be better suited to advise our customers on their digital transformation journeys. These 3 key moves are to:
- Go global: Build a geographically dispersed, global organization structure for our core Predica consulting business.
- Go physical: Venture into electronic smart devices space, focusing on our partnership with Gerda and smart home security solutions.
- Go products: Venture into Software-as-a-Service product sector, with the first product in e-commerce conversion optimization space.
In this article, I want to give you a closer glimpse into how we execute each of these strategic directions. Additionally, I will explain what value it can bring to our customers and employees.
Why share this information? At Predica, we value transparency and also hope this will help other entrepreneurs to learn. It might help you plan your moves in the future, based on our experience.
Going really international
We are a consulting company and we live and breathe delivering projects for our customers. Our core consulting work requires being close to the customer. Very soon after the start of our company, the majority of our customers were from outside Poland. Things have been like that ever since.
However, only in the last year did we start hiring and opening offices abroad. Having a base in one country as a company makes it much easier to run the business. On the other hand, we have far less impact with fewer customer “touch points” and being farther from the local markets.
Now, we have made a deliberate, strategic move to build Predica as a global firm. We want to have the right people in the appropriate locations to transform our customers’ businesses with the relevant technology.
We want to be able to reach our customers faster, more efficiently with direct, face-to-face contact, allowing us to understand their culture and local, specific needs.
Being a truly global company is our ultimate goal. Why? Because one country or even region does not give us the true diversity of thought, projects and cultures that helps us become better people and a better company as a whole.
Having this multi-national exposure and project experience puts us in the right place to advise our customers, most of whom are multi-national enterprises. It’s also great to give our employees the opportunity to move for some time across our offices/locations and have amazing life experiences.
Our first step in this process is to build upon the foundation we have, and invest in several directions.
Or the Persian Gulf, to be more specific! We’ve been working in the region for the last 5 years, learning about the culture and people (a great story from Greg on this). Over a year ago we’ve established a legal entity in the Gulf region, and just a month ago, Andrzej Kaźmierczak took on the ambitious role of General Manager – Predica Middle East, covering the Gulf countries.
Egypt is well known in the world for their cultural heritage, and maybe (unjustly) less so, for an exceptionally good level of their higher education. It is also very often the gateway to North Africa. Initially, Greg made the visit to Egypt and was astounded by the level and work ethic of many ICT specialists there.
We now have a 4-person team based in Cairo, and it’s growing. It is extremely challenging to get our company to work across such different nationalities (imagine that our Egyptian colleagues were denied visas to Poland!). However, the strength of our company culture and common values keep us going.
For most Predicans, this still is their home country. Poland has very good reputation in Europe for IT services, and we do our best to represent our country well in the international arena. It will continue to be our central hub for delivery of all our European-based projects. However, employees are likely to come from different parts of Europe and the world. We now have on board Asen from Bulgaria, Fruzsina from Hungary and Cuitlahuac from Mexico!
This is our newest initiative. It is driven by Wojciech Junak who took on the role of General Manager – Predica USA, and recently relocated to San Diego. We’ve already done a few projects for US-based customers, but due to the distance and time zone difference, without a local presence we have not been able to truly have a bigger impact on that market.
We are working intensively with our local partner in the US to expand our common business there. Both Wojtek and Tomek Onyszko are doing a hard job of establishing our presence on a new continent.
The classic IT picture is simple: a bunch of people hunched over their laptops, typing on keyboards. What we build by designing, coding, deploying is never really physical. Instead, it’s virtual – code running on physical machines (computers).
We found building physical products, additionally full of electronics, bridging the physical and virtual computing worlds, to be extremely difficult. But challenges are what we live for! Our CEO, Greg, was always the one who had the vision and perseverance to push this project forward.
From humble beginnings to a major venture
It’s amazing what a journey in this area we’ve made so far. It all started with a Predica Challenge – a prize contest for teams to build an intercom app prototype. After doing a few iterations with the winning team, building a working alpha version and using it in our office, and then promoting it on Polish Kickstarter, we were approached by Gerda.
Meeting Artur Litwiński, Gerda’s founder, was an inspiring moment for us. Artur has huge experience in mechanics. The sheer number of patents and innovations he came up with himself, as well as the hugely successful company he built (Gerda is the leader in locks and doors in Poland), is impressive.
A few months ago we’ve signed a partnership agreement with Gerda. We will jointly build the next version of a full consumer home security product suite within a new company called Tedee. We now have a 10-person team building physical devices: electronics, embedded developers, mechatronics, mobile apps, IoT and even physical casing via a 3D printer!
SaaS business model
This is our newest venture: Loopa is a company built by our colleague from Microsoft times, Piotr Oracz. Piotr has been our Head of Marketing since last September and amazed us with his passion, hard-working attitude and the ability to execute.
For the last few months we’ve been thinking together how we can combine the strengths of both our both companies. As a result, Predica has joined as co-owner of Loopa that has 7 years’ experience in e-commerce and additional AI algorithms. Together we will pivot it from services to a SaaS company, centered around a SaaS-based e-commerce recommendation engine. The service will provide accurate data about web shop conversion and then improve it drastically.
The technical details
Along with these 3 main initiatives, we made a small legal adjustment within our companies. Below is additional information, in case you see some changes in the Polish company register (KRS), however, we still work as one company, with the same values.
- Predica BMC (Brand, Marketing, Concepts) has been separated from Predica LLC original entity, and as a separate company it now focuses on:
- Marketing – building the strength of the Predica brand globally
- New concepts – evaluating, researching and investing in new projects, startups, business lines. A great example of that are two new companies, which Predica BMC now takes part-ownership in; the aforementioned Loopa and Tedee.
- Predica Sp. z o.o. that focuses on delivering Microsoft technology projects in Europe, now has a newly joined co-owner – Marek Antoniuk. He has joined Predica over 5 years ago, and since then has managed to set up the entire business productivity practice. He’s also built a great team of passionate developers and project owners. Congratulations, Marek! He will now focus on building a structured, repeatable model of growing our key people, the project owners.
These 3 new initiatives bring benefit to both our employees and customers.
Our employees now enjoy more opportunities for growth and learning – whether through working on different technologies or in another country.
Our customers can now reap the benefits of our more diverse experience. It works both from a project perspective (we get to know better how to deliver international projects), as well as through technically bridging the gap between the virtual and physical technology worlds.
If you want to learn more or wish to join us on our journey, contact us!