The Swiss Standard of Software Services
July 13, 2021

Switzerland has made an exceptional reputation for itself in many industries and people from all around the world can instantly recognize the high level of quality of Swiss timepieces, Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese and others. The common word is ”excellence” as it goes beyond just products, it is part of the Swiss lifestyle and culture.

We believe that The Swiss Standard of Software Services has multiple layers of added value, but it’s fair to start with the obvious - ensuring high-quality, predictable and precise outcomes for new digital technology, new applications or software projects. Of course, maybe in the eye of a regular person, software services aren’t as sweet and exciting as chocolate, nor do they involve the level of craftsmanship of a master watchmaker, but for us and our colleagues, delivering to the highest standard that we can imagine is an exciting challenge. And, in software services, this comes with clear and comprehensive analysis of business requirements, precise project management, ensuring that all the right people with the adequate level of experience and skillset are allocated towards the right jobs, and last, but not least, a meticulous approach to Quality Assurance. This may be a universal blueprint for complex development projects, but the cycle goes on even further, with special attention towards Integration services and even support services that keep providing value long after a development project is completed.

Ensuring a high quality of service in the areas previously mentioned is a prerequisite of success for any software services provider, regardless of project type or client. But when a software services provider from CEE is challenged to take on the core projects of global enterprises based in Switzerland, the world epicenter of quality, you can imagine that said software provider will raise its own standards to meet and exceed any expectations.

As stated earlier, we found out that the Swiss Standard of Software Services has multiple layers. The obvious ones are essential, but not sufficient to build a long-lasting successful partnership. By working with some of the largest Swiss companies in key industries such as retail and healthcare, we learned a key lesson: as the success of software projects depends on the people on each side of the business relationship, the level of quality and value of any outcome in a partnership can be maximized by creating a context where those people can reach their greatest potential.

Even as the challenges we faced together require skill, tenacity and extreme agility to deliver on the promises of accelerated digital transformation (especially in areas such as the Swiss healthcare system), we believe that our projects have been successful thanks to the incredible teams we have managed built together.

Starting work with a new software services vendor is never easy. Nor is it for us to start with a new client, especially in industries with high demands for digital transformation. Every time, both sides of the partnership have to go through a discovery period, where we have to understand more than just the business and technical requirements of the project. The discovery process is a lot like dating - even as we have a common objective, the means to get there may vary a lot and the speed at which we reach it ultimately depends on trust, being comfortable with each other and having a great fit, with shared beliefs, both regarding work and life. Well, we wouldn’t say that dating is easy, but finding the right business partner is even more challenging. Unlike dating, it’s not just a 1-to-1, but a many-to-many relationship, and ensuring a great fit involves multiple strangers from across the world connecting and clicking with each other, and personal chemistry is usually unpredictable. It’s hard to find a partner that genuinely cares about more than just the business outcome.

Going into our most recent new partnership in Switzerland, we already knew that having a great cultural fit between teams is a key factor for success, but after a brief period of working together, we also learned an important lesson - we can have predictability on the cultural fit that impacts the results of our projects. We quickly realized that people from both sides were clicking with each other and delivering incredibly well considering the fact that we just started working together. Projects were running smoothly, delivered as expected and without the need to compromise.

Of course, things were going well, everyone was happy with the delivery, but investigating further with the help of a survey, we found out something even more magical: everyone was also happy with each other. After just a few months, we had realized that we were doing more than just delivering projects: “ comes with the right proactive mindset. We expect from a partner that will commit and deliver in a long-term collaboration on the further development of our products''. Having “long-term” mentioned after just a couple of months of being together is a big signal of love in any type of relationship. The keyword here is proactive. We always encourage our teams to deliver more and better than expected, not because we have to make an impression, but rather because it will genuinely help our partners in achieving their goals; because showing someone that you care beyond your own interest is a strong foundation for trust and for an amazing team.

“In the last 3 months, worked hand-in-hand with internal employees (as one team), in order to achieve our goal.”

From our point of view, this was proof that our colleagues in were doing more than just delivering the project. They were actually part of the client’s team and the colleagues from the client were now part of our team. Blurring the lines on business interests actually helped people do their jobs better and ultimately, feeling proud about it. We had multiple people from the clients’ team giving us feedback that “it is a pleasure” to work together.

We think that having a strong cultural fit, with shared values that transcend the business relationship, is crucial for success. Though not easily predictable, having it in mind when first gearing up the project team on both sides will help. Finding people that can care about each other is important in any team, but is even more valuable when the team is formed across companies, international borders, and cultural bridges.

                                      “Scaling is very important for a company and keeping the same culture is difficult. I have

                                      the impression that inside this account, the culture is shared between all people.

                                     And this is cool. This isn't the case for all our partners.”

                                          -  Head of Development

This is a huge learning for us as a partner. We have seen our software services business and our team grow immensely in the last few years, now counting 170+, and being the only company in the top 20 Romanian software services providers with a female founder. There is an immense amount of effort and projects that led up to this, but even as our roots are in Eastern Europe, we have come to realize that most of our success and growth is shared with clients in Switzerland and the entire DACH region. It seems that we have a magnetic fit with Swiss companies and our partnerships have helped us validate that with beautiful stories, shared values, and blurring the lines between client team and vendor team. In the end, it’s all about being one big team that drives mutual success.

Do you have a similar story to share regarding your colleagues or business partners? Send us your thoughts and let’s keep developing this concept of achieving cultural fit between companies so that we can all build long-lasting, meaningful partnerships.

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