Shortage of experts slows down the growth of technology companies in Finland. Talented
software developers would be found abroad, but the challenge can be a clash of cultures, communication gap, or coordination of work methods.
Optimyse specializes in technological development and growth marketing by finding talent for companies that need help and support, as well as developers for their team. The benefits of the service are clear to a long-term sales and marketing expert, Jouni Halme, Sales and Marketing Director of Orchidea Innovations:
“Optimyse quickly provides skilled experts and new technological know-how, and they also pay close attention to cultural fit. The partner model brings flexibility to companies that want to spend their time developing instead of resourcing.”
Orchidea Innovations was established in 2002 to assist organizations in systematizing and involving stakeholders, employees and partners in innovation. Brainstorming takes place in a Platform for Innovation where everyone can share ideas.
The 2021 new release of the platform led them to Optimyse.
Cooperation between Optimyse and Orchidea Innovations got off to a flying start: only within weeks an expert was found and working as part of a team. A new release created the need for a skilled software developer.
“When you release a new version of a product, you’re in a rush to make new features and get product development completed in order to get a good product for customers to use as quickly as possible. We heard about Optimyse through reference, and we approached them. We needed a competent developer to help us.”, Halme describes.
In just a couple of weeks, a suitable developer was found. Optimyse’s Business Relations Manager Mailis Štrik recalls everything going smoothly: “Everything went smoothly and quickly. They needed someone to build a new product. They contacted us in September and already at the beginning of October, our developer was working.”
“We’ve had one programmer since October. and we are now discussing adding another to the team. It’s all because we want to accelerate product development of the new version.”, Halme notes.
Optimyse offers tech services by recruiting experts for SaaS companies. The mission is to offer software developers a space and platform for creativity, and find talented people to help business growth.
“In Pakistan we have development experts for whom we create a space, where they
can work and do something great. Our group-inspired culture supports them. There is a lack of talent in Nordic countries, we don’t have enough developers. Companies that want to grow, therefore, are unable to find talent, and this is where we come in!”, Optimyse’s Chief Operating Officer Kristina Siil says.
Optimyse recruits talents for companies, takes care of them, and the experts work directly with the client as an expanded part of a team. Mission is focused on the technology sector where experts are traditionally difficult to find. Halme recognizes the challenge:
“Good developers are hard to find. The lack of expertise is part of the problem in this area. Still it should always be considered on a case-by-case basis whether we hire an employee or use a partner solution. Therefore, it’s good that you can quickly get skilled developers from Optimyse.”
“In Estonia, too, we have companies as clients, with Finnish roots. We are very Finland-oriented”, Štrik, Head of Business Relations smiles.
In Optimyse’s approach cultural fit alongside technical talent is an integral part of connecting the company with the employee. When a common understanding of a client’s needs is built, it’s time for a cultural evaluation. The approach is learned the hard way.
“We do the cultural evaluation first to see if the person is suitable. Only then will we move on to the technical assessment. We have failed so many times if we only follow the technical assessment. Then comes the communication gap. The evaluation has to be made, in addition to competence, also for example, from communication perspectives in order for a person to grow as part of a team. ” COO Kristina Siil describes.
Sales Director Jouni Halme is familiar with offshore development. He recognizes the usual challenges which may occur when cultures collide in the workplace, for example communication:
“We talked a lot with Optimyse about the importance of successful communication in offshore development. They stressed that in addition to technical expertise, communication skills are important when providing talent to the client.”
Štrik says that finding experts is often easy. However, Sometimes challenges arise precisely regarding cultural suitability: “You have to have a mind-set suited for the company values. This is why we do the cultural evaluation first, and we don’t even suggest candidates that are not suitable.”
Suitable person for Orchidea Innovations was quickly found after a small research. Optimyse had an experienced developer available who turned out to be perfect for the project based on few interviews. New people are not always hired: Optimyse has experts also in their own team.
“We don’t let our best talent go. When the assignment ends, we find them a new client. I emphasize further that even here it is always a matter of who suits the needs of the company, and I’m not talking just about core competencies. We’re not just talking about technical knowledge, but also culture and communication style. We’re trying to meet the client’s needs as well as possible.”, Siil emphasizes and continues:
“Orchidea wanted the person to work practically and also provide solutions. Our developer Zubair was a perfect match! This is how we connect people!”, Siil describes.
Sales Director Halme is satisfied and appreciates that expectations correspond to reality: “It’s great to see that promises are kept! No typical problems have occurred. Communication and cooperation have gone really well from the beginning. This is clearly a strength of Optimyse’s service.”
“The big picture works well and we have been very satisfied: also the team in Estonia provides solutions in no time. This feels like a good model and everything has gone really well so far.” Halme ponders.
Optimyse is an employer for the developer and partner for the company, Kristina Siil describes: “Matchmaking is only the first part of our service. Our developer works for Orchidea, but we also offer him support. We make sure he is well and gets support from our development team. We also cooperate with the client at management and technical level.”
“Promises are fulfilled – we understand each other and the cooperation is going well”, Halme rejoices.
Orchidea Innovations works online in several cities – and now also in Karachi, Pakistan.
Conversational corporate culture encourages the work community to exchange ideas and
to develop together. The latest addition to the team has adapted well.
“Orchidea’s culture encourages outspokenness and it was nice to notice that Zubair is also used to expressing his views. He has them! We have an open conversation culture which includes bringing up disagreements. It’s about applying different options and deciding together what works best – it’s the same principle for when we help our customers in their innovation process!” Halme describes.
In the design phase, software developer’s competence emerges specifically through an exchange of views: “It’s great that he is fully involved in the process. And I don’t just mean that he can do the job, but the value comes from participation in planning. He added value to the design by sharing his experience.”
Halme considers it important that Optimyse’s software developer is not just someone who works on a project but a full member of the community – that he has opinions and the courage to express them: “This is exactly what we wanted! ”
COO Siil emphasizes that their experts are always close to the client: “In the middle is the developer and the client who work together as a team. The developer is in contact with the client on a daily basis. The outer layers consist of technical support for all, and management.”
Štrik, Head of Business Relations, is pleased by the positive feedback: “The feedback has been very positive: our developer is open-minded, shares his ideas and helps other developers. He’s part of the team and understands them. I think that this is one reason why Orchidea sees a future with us: he’s working closely and growing with them.”
Optimyse makes frontend development i.e. user interface development and backend development of an application for Orchidea Innovations.
“The same programmer does front- and backend development. On the mobile app side, they do the front i.e. the app and related interfaces. Their experts built us a mobile team. CEO Owais participated in discussions when technological options were considered, so the consultation was part of the service. They shared their views on technology options and helped with their expertise in our decision-making process.”
In addition to working on a mobile app the service involves a lot of development work and providing technical expertise to the customer. Technical know-how is the core of Optimyse’s service.
“Our software developers are the top in their field. Culture is an important factor, but it doesn’t matter if there is no know-how.” Siil stresses.
After a short cooperation, the customer decided to give responsibility for the mobile app development entirely to Optimyse. “They have the expertise and experience. We believe this is a good way to get the first version out quickly: we have outsourced all design to them.” Halme commented.
There is currently a discussion of adding another developer in the team. Štrik believes that trust built through well-functioning cooperation is a way towards partnership:
“The client noticed that everything went smoothly and without any problems from the beginning. They trust us and feel that we can handle the project. I think this is part of the reason they decided to onboard us again. We are already building a partnership – not just providing one or two developers but they see we can help them in a time of need. I think it’s awesome.”
Optimyse gives companies the freedom to concentrate on core tasks by helping them find experts. Fast additional resourcing, providing new skills, and understanding cultural compatibility are at the core of the service’s value, says Halme:
“Optimyse quickly provides skilled additional resources that enables acceleration of product development. At the same time, they bring experience, which complements our own expertise. It takes time to learn new things, so we ended up deciding that they’ll do the first version of the new mobile application so it’s completed quickly.”
For the new product the technology changed completely. Optimyse had experience of the technology selected. Halme sees that the collaboration will not end though at the moment, the need is precisely for the new product development:
“The partnership is a good model. It brings flexibility. We can accelerate the product development if necessary, and through a partner we get know-how that we don’t have. Here, too, they have been helpful when programming language and technology changed, they gave perspectives on it.”
Besides to technical expertise, Optimyse understood the importance of cultural fit: “In addition to the above they have a strong focus on culture compatibility, which is key to successful cooperation.”
Partnership is an integral part of Optimyse’s service. Desire to help companies succeed drives Optimyse which is why there’s no deadline for the partnership.
“We want companies to grow. We want to grow with them. We don’t set the deadline for cooperation. If someone wants to work with us for a shorter time, that’s great! The thing is, that when we work with them for a while, they always come back. They already have experience with us, so they feel they can trust us.”
Surprises and changes in plans are met with flexibility. The duration of the project’s estimates don’t always correspond to reality, which is why flexibility is important. In most cases, however, the schedules hold, the needs just may change.
“Real life happens when people get together. If you want green instead of blue, changing it takes time. This is one reason that we do not set deadlines. The second is that when we build together, we want the service to be perfect.” says Siil.
Halme believes that continuing cooperation is strategically a smart move: “In the future, we’ll have our own employees and partners. The advantage of the partnership is that we are free from the burdensome competitive tendering. In addition, we understand each other – the service provider understands our operations and business needs.”
Halme warmly recommends the service: “We are happy with the service: Optimyse responds in no time when we have new needs. You could say we are the slower party! They are always ready to start helping and providing resources – it’s a good combination that works at all levels!”
According to Kristina Siil, success is related to Optimyse’s multi-layered service model, which supports the client and the developers in both technical matters and management: “Our support begins with cultural evaluation. Our CEO is involved in the conversation at an early stage so that he understands who is the perfect match. Management and administration are heavily involved.”
Experience has taught Optimyse to easily identify the most common cases. Often
the challenges are related to the fact that the CTO doesn’t have time to look forward. In this case, Optimyse can help by providing resources and their experience in wider development.
“We don’t just offer developer’s time, but a wider partnership. It includes testing and implementing client’s products into our own processes. This is how our developer is able to provide feedback and the best possible service. Also Orchidea’s Innovation platform will be implemented for us.” Siil ponders and continues, “We don’t want thousands of clients. We want something very specific that matches our values.”