Anniversary interview: a talk with the managing directors of ITSDONE and CONVOTIS
ITSDONE, 18 years on the market and now Part of CONVOTIS
On the occasion of the 18th anniversary we take a short look back and forward with our managing director Ing. Stefan Fischer and spoke to Dott. Manuel Ebner as representative of the new owner CONVOTIS. Further information about CONVOTIS can be found here.
Ing. Stefan Fischer is CSMO and Managing Director of ITSDONE Holding GmbH and ITSDONE Services GmbH
Stefan, you are a man of the 1st hour, as you have been part of ITSDONE for 18 years, albeit in different roles. What is your personal highlight in the history of ITSDONE’s development?
That’s right, I’ve known ITSDONE since it was founded in October 2003. At that time, I was on the customer side, the first UMTS provider in Austria.
Harald Kilian helped to set up IT Operations and Rudi Stuprich made sure that our first customer was able to charge for his services. The two ITSDONE founders were in the middle of the action, which certainly defined our values – PERSONAL, ECONOMIC and MOVING.
Things then went steadily upwards. We were constantly gaining customers. For several years we served all (!) private Austrian telecommunication providers. Then we lost some of them due to mergers and acquisitions. One, Orange, Telering, Tele2 are companies that no longer exist.
But the telcos were our benchmark for service quality and customers with the highest demands. Telecom services have to work around the clock, and since these are mostly based on IT services, our service also had to deliver good quality 24/7. But customers from other industries have also placed their trust in us. Customers with the simple claim to be No. 1 in everything they do is what characterizes a service company like us. Then as now, the recommendations of our customers have helped us win new ones and hardly lose any. The loyalty of our customers is my personal highlight.
You are responsible for sales and marketing in the new management team. In your opinion, what is the special challenge in the IT industry in the current market?
Personally, I have been working in the information technology and telecommunications industry since the i386 was launched. In retrospect, I can say that each period has had its particular challenges, problems, crises, but also opportunities.
One can observe that the speed of developments does not increase linearly, but exponentially. Alone the rapid development in the field of cloud services, which the hyperscalers Microsoft, Amazon, Google present. Relentless threats such as ransomware, BEC (Business E-Mail Compromise), which require the highest attention to cyber security, increasing requirements through laws such as NIS and GDPR, but also regulations and standards that must be met by our customers. The change in the “way of working” due to the acute pandemic and even more is impacting the market and our customers.
From a customer perspective, it is important to have the right resources – along an agile, customized business road map – in time. You have to be able to translate the constantly growing requirements into IT, work through them and transfer them into stable operations. This is where finding the right partner who not only supports me as a customer with know-how and specialists, but also understands me and sees technology as a means to the end of operational success.
ITSDONE acts as an elastic band between our customers and the hyperscalers, technology companies, regulators. With our specialist teams we are able to cover temporary resource needs, but also to create sustainable solutions that allow our customers to focus on their core business. In most cases their core business is IT.
ITSDONE is now part of the CONVOTIS group and geographically the focus shifts to the entire German speaking market. ITSDONE on October 1, 2031, where do we stand?
As part of the CONVOTIS Group, new opportunities are opening up for our customers. Not only do we provide consulting, planning, implementation and operations management in the areas of Modern Workplace (i.e. Digital Workplace), Hybrid Cloud Services and SAP. We are now able to consult and implement entire management processes, and by that I mean business management processes. We also deliver them in their entirety to our customers, in the form of Business Process Outsourcing – as a service. We digitalize management processes in the areas of human resources, finance, controlling, business intelligence visualization. You can say that with CONVOTIS the digitalization of management begins. That’s where we are – at the beginning of a great journey.
Dott. Manuel Ebner is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ITSDONE Holding GmbH and Managing Partner of the parent company CONVOTIS
Manuel, by becoming part of the CONVOTIS Group, we will become the leading partner for digitalized management processes in the German-speaking region. What special advantages will this bring for our existing and future customers?
With CONVOTIS, we are pursuing the objective of combining the strength of a group with the agility of a startup for the benefit of our customers. The companies that we have been able to acquire so far as part of CONVOTIS and that we intend to acquire in the future have been successfully active in the IT market for more than 60 years. In their business areas, they are specialists in the digitization of business processes and managed IT services. In terms of portfolio alignment, our aim is for the individual companies to complement each other. Of course, this also benefits our customers in particular, as we offer end2end services for digitizing management processes based on a company’s basic infrastructure. As already mentioned, our expertise ranges from Modern Workplace to cloud services, IT security, and fully comprehensive IT infrastructure support. This is the basis for the optimization and digitalization of business processes such as ERP, FIBU, HR management processes or even content management systems.
In addition to excellent technology and innovative service, the corporate culture of a common CONVOTIS is also crucial for us, i.e. we attach great importance to cross-company cooperation and want to promote a “stronger together” mentality. With the 12 locations we already have in DACH as well as Slovakia and Romania, we are also able to operate across regions and country borders, which will certainly be a clear advantage for major customers with an international orientation.
From four to one, why can we now serve our customers even better, which synergies stand out in your opinion through the unification of the companies B&S, ITSDONE, LYNET and xdot in CONVOTIS?
As mentioned, the four companies mentioned represent only the beginning of our development at CONVOTIS and others will follow.
In the very near future we will welcome a South German IT specialist as part of CONVOTIS, who has been successfully positioned in the market for more than 30 years and specializes in special solutions in the field of document and content management, scanning, archiving and IT security. We can place this expertise complementarily with our Austrian customers, for example.
Conversely, this company has a major customer from its history for whom it provides SAP AO/AMS services together with a subcontractor. The clear objective here is to transfer these services to ITSDONE Romania, because we have successfully built up SAP AO/AMS competence in English here.
Another current example is the DFB (German Football Association), an important existing customer of xdot. Here, special requirements for topics related to O365 have developed rapidly in recent times. Since ITSDONE is the specialist in this area within CONVOTIS, we are currently in the process of transferring all topics to ITSDONE in coordination with the DFB. Clearly according to the motto “the service provision in CONVOTIS should take place where we have the expertise“. In the future, locations will play a subordinate role, because we want to act more strongly in comprehensive teams. Further synergies within CONVOTIS will certainly exist in joint sales and marketing, as well as shared services such as partner management.
Du beschäftigst Dich intensiv mit den Entwicklungen am IT-Markt, welche wird Deiner Meinung nach die Geschäftswelt besonders beeinträchtigen und auf welchen Zug sollten unsere Kunden daher unbedingt aufspringen?
For me, the question has two facets. When we talk about the top IT innovation topics of the future, we will certainly be looking at AI, IOT, robotics, etc. These are all exciting and highly relevant future topics. However, the reality in our target markets and target customers is rather that fundamental steps first need to be taken in the context of digitalization. For me, this includes questions about how
- Company processes can be digitized professionally,
- how we can provide efficient mobile working, i.e. a modern workplace, for employees in the company, or
- the advantages of cloud solutions can be realized in conjunction with increasing complexity in this area.
- All of this always in conjunction with very high security and data protection requirements.
From my time as CEO at a leading medical communications service provider, I always like to bring up the example of the digitization of pharmacies. Approximately 50% of pharmacies still prefer the fax machine as their preferred communication medium for receiving new information. In the area of public administration, we see similar things in many places. These are extreme examples, but they illustrate the issue of an aspiration to digitalization compared to reality.
For us as CONVOTIS, it will therefore be important to develop a real understanding of the digitization challenges of our customers and, based on this, to offer sensible concepts that can also be implemented sensibly and step by step. We do not see ourselves as the innovation pioneers, but as the strategic IT partner that offers its customers real added value with suitable solutions and services.
And this is precisely where another advantage arises from the merger of different specialists: Digitization does not just mean supporting a known process with more technology. Rather, it is about digitally interlocking business processes, eliminating interfaces and thus being able to exploit all the possibilities of automation. Only those who have made these preparations will be able to participate at all in the future topics of AI, IOT or robotics, even in administrative processes.