Picture above: CTO Tommi Luoto and Tech Consultant Duy Le bringing solutions to the table.
In particular, I was in for a interesting day with BPS Consulting, a family run business and an official partner for SAP. With their company established since 1998 and taken through multiple structural changes they are 10 people in Finland and 4 in Hungary strong. But don’t let these employee numbers fool you, they bolster also an extensive partner network in both of the previously mentioned countries (70 + 50 top-notch subject matter experts respectively) to deal with even the most demanding challenges.
Talking more specifically about my personal drivers to spend a day with BPS Consulting, I have to say that business feels sometimes a bit too serious and boring maybe because people safe guarding their smart image – not to say I’m personally any more de-armoured myself in my typical business conduct. Cool and aloof with suit and tie on is a pretty safe bet. Anyhow, in the end we all want to spend engaging and enjoyable time and I think it’s a huge driver in business too. I was drawn to BPS Consulting, because I’ve simply had such rich, non-filtered and fun information exchange at a couple of different events with BPS 2nd generation top management CTO Tommi Luoto and COO Janina Luoto. I was also curious to see better, how their family run business really works.
In terms of the agenda of the day, I was supposed to take some photos and video there, but their office is being renovated currently, so some furniture is missing and most of the people were out of the office at their clients. Change of plans. I would probably get this profound feeling of something being totally wrong, if the initial plans some time really actually held through the day.
Anyhow, it made more sense to focus on their new websites with their tech wizard Duy Le who apparently has more SAP certificates under his belt than John Rambo is packing explosives on his typical trip to jungle.
Website design, SEO, content etc. – these same topics seem to follow me where ever I go now. Discussing the previously mentioned topics around corporate communication takes you easily to more fundamental questions of the company, such as:
Who are we?
What do we do?
What is our vision and mission?
What is our value proposal?
Besides other interesting things, BPS is also focused on rocking the latest SAP technologies like S/4 HANA so we got to look at a SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer solution too that their bright talent Markus Lindevall had been working with.
God, I wish I had my alter ego business partner Henrik Kaila -eh, I mean Don of Finland from Don & Branco -a smoking sales gun anyhow- to check what the Finnish tweaked German solution was about. Don could have also helped us with the website section obviously too.
All in all, a great chunk of the day passed also in friendly but brutally honest dialogue between a software vendor and a buyer that are not financially attached in any ways. In addition to what happens between a client and a vendor, it was very revealing to hear about what happens kind of behind the scenes among vendors themselves and SAP.
Obviously, discussion also lead to selling and for instance how they had try to tackle the challenge of cold calling.
What is so god damn difficult about cold calling?
Everyone hates cold calling – the prospects obviously, but no doubt the poor salesmen too. Without knowing what kind garbage behavior people throw at you when you are trying to sell something, let me tell you it apparently can get nasty. From the sales point of view, with the odds being what they are (100 knack, 10 snack, 1 tack – as the Swedish door-to-door salesmen used to say.) and no matter how you decide it’s not personal, the constant flow of being rejected is a tough bit to swallow for even the most robust sales gun.
I personally always think it’s a bit odd how people get so upset if someone tries call and offer them a deal on a magazine. Seriously, you might want to reconsider how you treat phone sales – you know they are people too and they are just trying to make their living. As a business, you also might want to consider how you represent yourself.
Related to these sales initiative, I was all in all pretty impressed by some recent changes BPS top management had done in the company management implementing an extensive score card system to support their growth. Sure thing, you have to use heuristics to set such KPI’s but I think even targets that steer you slightly wrong are better than overall vague nonsense or no targets at all.
Reflecting on the day the most describing word for the day was honesty and transparency. Janina, Tommi and others at BPS seem to foster an amazingly open working culture that is genuinely quick to try something out and also fail fast.
BPS seems to stand tall with who they really are and don’t just do things for appearances. Now, as this goes so them knowing that it might hurt their short term gains over long term excellence, I give them my huge admiration for their integrity – maybe it’s a family business thing? I’m sure waiting to know more as we set another training session for the autumn.
Oh yeah, one more thing; I met a cool person Jannika Joutsenniemi from Mobedig – a start up currently at least partly sheltered at BPS office. They are working on a cool new social service to manage our free time better that will come out later this year. We also agreed on a FTD for the coming autumn, so stay tuned!