In this interview, Blagoj Kupev, Division Manager, Embedded Division, discusses how the remotization approach has helped Seavus to be at the forefront of the tech industry for more than 20 years.
Blagoj gives examples of successful project stories, emphasizing how Seavus’s engineers are fully efficient in their remotization work setup even from the start because over the past years Seavus invested in working in the nearshoring model and trained its employees how to collaborate among themselves efficiently.
Seavus is known for practicing remotization for more than 20 years. What would you say are the benefits of that particular business model?
Remotization gives a possibility for the engineers to work from multiple remote locations, giving them the freedom to work from any place they feel comfortable in.
Teams in remotization are trained to work together, usually before they started working remotely, so they have a much better synergy in their working habits, communication and are aligned in working together. In this regard, it is important to emphasize that they are efficient from day 0, especially on projects which require teamwork and extensive collaboration.
Which are biggest advantages of the remotization business model? What are your client’s benefits from remotization?
The remotization approach brings numerous benefits. Some of these are the same as for freelance remote work inherited into remotization models, such as flexible team sizing, working during different timeslots, etc. Apart from these benefits, the remotization approach gives the possibility for us to take a full responsibility for a certain module/application and further develop it using our pool of diverse profiles since Seavus is “a one-stop shop”.
During the past 20 years, we have perfected the models for successful outsourcing and nearshoring by providing our clients around the world with remote teams that can deliver quality services. Now we utilize the same knowledge on a smaller scale and have our engineers instead delivering our services from remote Seavus offices to work now from the comfort of their homes, remotely. In essence, the major benefit for our clients, from a business perspective, is that they are getting our knowledge of having skilled teams working remotely. This means that the client can transfer all of the work done at their premises to our teams and we’ll take care for all of the corporate services (HR, team training, team nurturing, career growth…) and provide full spread of services to them.
If we were to list not only the major, but few more of the benefits, the following are the most important ones:
- Flexibility in sense of size, profile types and skillsets;
- Access to engineers with unique skillsets which are not available at the client’s location
- Proven models of flawless takeover of projects from the Clients to Seavus’s teams;
- Getting “a fresh view” on clients’ established practices and getting new ideas how to go beyond the already established limits;
- Introduction of new knowledge into client’s projects based on the vast experience our engineers gained in diverse projects in different domains and technologies;
Can you share with us an example of a successful project?
We have experienced several success stories during the past couple of week while engaging our teams to utilize the full power of our remotization models. One of them is providing our services from 6 different Seavus offices for a company that manufactures complex engines. When the need for working in isolation arose, in almost no time we have instructed the team how to proceed with their work from their homes and still maintain effective teamwork and flawless execution of their tasks.
From the very start our engineers were fully efficient in their remotization work setup and this was successful due to the fact that, during the past years, they have been working in the nearshoring model and have been trained how to collaborate among themselves when positioned in different locations.
Another successful story in the similar setup is providing services from 2 different geographical locations for a European fintech company. When Seavus put into effect the process of isolation of their employees, all of our engineers, who once worked in a joint office and collaborated with the teams from other locations remotely, have started practicing “remote” collaboration with their “office colleagues” as well. This was possible only due to the reason that our engineers have already been trained for remote work in teams which is a practice that requires several months of training and collaboration in such model.
In remotization, how do you manage distributed teams effectively? Do cultural and language differences play a significant role in the dynamics of the team?
In Seavus, organization and management of distributed teams are practiced for more than 20 years in collaboration with different clients and engineers from diverse cultures. It might be considered to be easy to set people from different locations to collaborate, but this is one of the major factors needed to have efficient execution and lower team churn. This is an area in which Seavus has invested heavily in the past by educating our HR and management on how to identify specifics of each culture and set a common ground on which we grew our company’s culture, the Seavus culture. Working closely with more than 17 different nationalities, we have understood what is expected from engineers from different locations and now we know what type of projects should be assigned where, how to organize effective meetings, how to educate engineers from different places in proper ways of communication/collaboration and a dozen of additional details on which we pay attention when assembling a new team. When a team is assembled we are assigning a skilled PM who, among the other responsibilities, is responsible for helping the team members to work in perfect synergy based on their prior training and experience in working with remote teams.
What is crucial is that today, at this moment, Seavus has already done the investment in preparing our company and our team members to be ready for remote work of any scale. This is proven to be true based on our trials during the past weeks having all of our employees working remotely without any issues and still be seen as one large organization working efficiently.
One of the major risks during the past couple of weeks when we started practicing remote work for the whole company, was the internet quality our engineers would use in their homes. Even though most of them reside in urban areas with great internet coverage, it had to be tested prior to concluding that everything works well. Now when the trials are put in practice, we can say without any hesitation: “We have proven that we are operating flawlessly even when our skilled engineers work from their homes”.
The benefit we have seen today at Seavus is the strong understanding of different cultures and how to sync their specifics. Additionally, throughout the years of working for Seavus we have created a unique culture nurtured and practiced through the different locations where we have our offices.
Finally, what makes a successful remote team?
There are a few crucial skillsets that make a successful remote team:
- Good onboarding and training process for everyone to feel comfortable to communicate remotely as we, as human beings, are usually open to start a discussion with a person sitting next to us, but are a bit reluctant to pickup the phone and make the call to someone with whom we work remotely;
- Excellent PM’s trained in setting remote teams and manage them during the project execution;
- Close monitoring of all team behavior deviations to make possible to early raise a flag if a team or member is not satisfied with the assigned work;
- Excellent technical assets that will help the remote work execution to be flawless, in which Seavus has made a significant investment during the past years.