Dmytro Naslavskyy, Softline’s business development manager, weighs in on the challenges that companies face after last year’s rapid changes and shares his thoughts on the characteristics of the Central and Eastern European market. Dmytro, who is responsible for the development of Microsoft cloud solutions business within Softline, also talks about his practices to make remote working more enjoyable. Discover the details in the interview.
What was the most attractive aspect of joining Softline?
I was looking for projects that are connected to cloud services. For me it is a very exciting industry, which I also know well, so I became instantly interested in the opportunity to contribute to Softline’s successes. This position offered the perfect combination, as I get to deal with Microsoft cloud business services in a rapidly growing business operation, together with Softline’s impressive plans and results in the region. So, I didn’t hesitate to join this team of talented and experienced professionals to accelerate the growth of Microsoft cloud business solutions within Softline’s business.
What do you do at Softline as business development manager?
I am responsible for establishing and harmonizing three main areas. First of all, there are our internal processes, such as preparing offers, allocating resources and implementing projects for customers. Then, we have the connection with Microsoft on a strategic level, aligning the priorities and goals on a regional and on the local level. I also manage customer relationships, by meeting their needs and expectations.
Previously you worked at Microsoft. What’s the main difference in being an IT service provider?
We represent Microsoft as a global IT partner, facing and serving our customers globally. That means we have direct and personal connections with our customers. Knowledge of and experience with Microsoft products are definitely important, but we deliver projects for our customers while carrying significant responsibility in front of them. We give a commitment to match their expectations and deliver the service. At the same time, it is an exciting opportunity for us to prove our capabilities and expertise and show our eagerness to help them become more successful. We deliver this through optimizing their IT infrastructure, migrating to Cloud and deploying and adopting new, tailor-made services and solutions. The communication with the customer is all about deployment, real needs and experience, as well as real business value. This situation demands faster business operations and agility on our side and a need to make the right decisions fast.
You work with customers of all size. What similarities do they share in terms of IT?
For us it is important to understand the complexity of our customer’s business rather than just their size or number of PCs they own. For example, our global division called Digital Lab provides industry-specific solutions to companies of all sizes. Basically, they provide knowledge of what companies will need, today and in the future, to develop and expand their business successfully.
Nowadays, the number one priority for most customers is security but, at the same time, security risk is proportional to the size and complexity of the business. Then, adoption and change management are also necessary steps for every company, so we support them in driving and implementing the changes. Finally, the development of custom applications has become more important to every company. Almost all of our customers are looking for an agile and flexible IT environment with specific services tailor-made for them. Through this integrated approach, we aim to provide a competitive advantage for them in their segments, regardless of their size.
What challenges do SMEs and enterprises face currently?
After the extremely rapid changes of last year, customers can finally stabilize their internal processes and procedures, and focus on their employees adopting new technologies . This could be the time to normalize the new processes and reach the next level in their business operation. Finally, enterprises are able to put enough emphasis on implementing efficient technologies and are able to invest into their internal knowledge and in-house capabilities, and this could be a key impetus for them in their future growth. At the same time, after the rapid shift, medium-sized businesses should be looking for optimal and the most affordable solutions that will be effective for them in the long run.
How do you see Central and Eastern Europe and Softline’s role in this market?
I’ve found Central and Eastern Europe to be a complex market. It is a diverse, but at the same time a developed market, which means it is a very competitive one. Profound knowledge and vertical expertise are still highly appreciated in terms of IT services and solutions. We see huge potential in this and are prepared to fulfil the unique business needs of our customers.
The strength of Softline lies in its global presence and resources, specific competencies, deep expertise and of course, measurable results proved by customer success stories. We measure our success based on the success of our customers. We help them in every step of their journey to grow and evolve, and this approach can turn our customer into our advocate. This is the customer journey we strive to offer to differentiate ourselves from other partners, regardless of the market.
What do you think about the opportunities brought to us by remote working?
At the individual level, it means democratized access to work opportunities. People don’t need to leave their locations, their communities, to search for better job opportunities. Remote job postings are increasing, and this trend also grants access to opportunities for a broader audience. The time saved by not having to commute is another important factor, too. Working from home saves me 1,5 hours a day, which is almost a full working day per week. However, the downsides are definitely present, such as a lack of networking and brief chats over coffee, and rapid but regular personal interactions with colleagues, and it isn’t an ideal situation. I strongly believe in hybrid work. Every organization should be prepared for how they should integrate the physical and digital world, and how to get processes, physical space and technology working together.
To compensate partially for the lack of networking and face-to-face connections, we use technology as much as possible. In that way, it’s easier to restore the balance between our business topics and human interactions. For example, we have a fun group in Teams, where anyone can upload things they enjoy or want to share with the group. I always turn on the video when having an online meeting, too. I try to make it more human by having this level of personal contact, at least.
How do you spend your free time?
I have two children who give me plenty of opportunities to spend my free time actively . We love riding our bikes, playing outside and hiking, but we also enjoy having quiet family time just reading or helping them with homework. My hobby is sculpting in plasticine. I started it as a kid and now it’s a common interest with my daughter that I really enjoy, and I also find it very relaxing.
How does telecommuting affect HR management? Are remote work arrangements a blessing, or do they kill productivity? Natalia Likhodievskaya, the Chief Human Resource Officer of Softline Group ventured to answer these questions and share her experiences.
Zoltán Mészáros, our general manager, spoke earlier about the exciting moments of the formation of Softline in the region. This time, Katalin Jenet, the second member to join the team, will take stock of the company's special qualities and milestones. Katalin is the Marketing Leader for Central and Eastern Europe at Softline Group, and she also talks about how she connected with the IT profession and how she sees the success of the regional team.
Кои са ключовите компоненти на успешния проект и защо е важно внедряването и управлението на промените? @Nikolay Dinev, ръководител на екипа за предоставяне на услуги в Softline Eastern Europe, обяснява своя подход и опит.
The past year has brought new challenges to almost every area of business operation. Bálint Takács, Softline’s Senior Account Manager in Hungary, summarized his experiences in this regard and also reported on the trends he expects in 2021.