Thursday, June 24, 2010

Working at NXC Finland soon

I'm really glad that our company took the next, very important step. NXC Group invested in Naviatech and became a shareholder last week. We will change company name and brand to NXC Finland as soon as possible. Maybe, one day we will sell the whole company to someone, but you never know what happens so it's useless to speculate it now. Actually this NXC thing came to us suddenly but not surprisingly.

Back in 2007 we had an open source business plan around our own Navia CMS. I presented the plan to couple of venture capitalists and Tekes. Unfortunately they turned us down. I was a little bit disappointed about the reasons Tekes gave us. I think they didn't have enough time to explore our open source business model.

Luckily we had plan B in our pocket so we decided to stop our own R&D with Navia CMS and have a partnership with eZ Systems. It was a big strategic change for the whole company. We needed to re-think our revenue model and very early we realized that we have to focus on services. January 2008 we had a jump start with eZ Publish training and we started selling like Hell... : )

Last year we won the Rising Star of the Year Award at eZ Conference in Paris. That moment has been one of the highlights during my career. It was a recognition of job well done. It is a shame that Finnish press doesn't publish news like this. Instead, if you're laying off people, the news is guaranteed to be published. Second half of the last year we were in contact with NXC and I was joking that maybe they could buy our company. Well, it took off more seriously so we sat down in Geneva and Lausanne during the eZ Winter Conference.

I really like the style and attitude of Yngve and Christian. I think it's quite similar with mine and therefor our negotiations were quite fast and flexible. We signed a letter of intent in January and started co-operation immediately. Six months later we sealed a stock purchasing and new shareholder agreement, just before eZ Conference & Awards in Berlin. It wasn't the easiest process where I have been involved with. The laywer didn't help the process and sometimes I felt ripping my very short hair off.... ; )

Anyway, for now I'm satisfied, motivated and looking forward to our work together. This is a great opportunity for us and instead of having a small team in Helsinki we basically have 75 people in 7 countries. There is an awesome development power with 45 programmers. We're also having 5 people in creative side plus very good freelancers as well. From analytics & search marketing point of view we will start building a center of excellence to Helsinki. That means we're hiring web analysts quite soon in order to serve our current and new customers Europe -wide.

In my mind, it's much better and wise to concentrate in creating profitable business than run around with these public training programs or fundings! I'm very happy that instead of just money, we have a strategic partnership with NXC from whom we are able to learn more from as well as share experiences, references and resources with. Exciting fall and future coming up indeed. Some one said that it's not possible to grow and make a good profit at the same time – I would like to proof that wrong. : )