The last 3 years of my life I spent in one of the most amazing, and coolest consulting companies outthere, deroso Solutions. When my friend, and fellow SharePoint MVP Daniel Wessels has asked me to join the forces few years ago, I knew it will be fun – that much was for sure. But what we built in the past three years was much more than fun: some of the coolest projects, for some of the coolest (and largest) customers in Germany and all over the world. I was privileged to make a strategy and architecture for Office 365 based intranet for 90.000 users of one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world. I was privileged to work on a new Digital Workplace strategy for one of the largest telecom corporations in the world. I was defining external collaboration strategy for the coolest “loudspeakers and headphones” company in the world. Our people were doing projects from Saudi Arabia to Berlin. That sort of things.
But, above all, it was the way how we did it. Those of you who know me personally, know that it is my honest opinion that the world of IT consulting is going in a fundamentally wrong direction. Ethics and delivering value are in most of the cases becoming subordinated to profit margins and timesheets.
Not so in deroso. While we are a consulting company, and make our living of it, we’ve never deliberately lied to our customers. We make honest calculations, and offer them in advance. We tell them when it is going good, and when it isn’t. As Gianluca De Lorenzis, one of two CEOs has put it: we make our living of it, but it is not all about money. I am deeply thankful to Daniel, Gianluca and the whole deroso gang for this time and experience. For the good times. While people were leaving the team before, some pursuing their luck in other industries, and some joining the mothership in Ireland, and while new people were coming, the friendship, and the awareness that we were doing cool things, will always remain.
But, it was time to move on. After being in IT consulting since 1991 (with a 4 years break between 1992-1996), I was for a longer time thinking of switching fully to the product development. When my friends from Swiss company skybow AG have offered me to join the team as a Director of Product Technology, I took the offer. The name skybow might not ring a bell to some of you, but soon it will, believe me . Products, today bundled under the skybow flag, are on the market since six years – proven, tested and implemented in countless projects. Those products are missing bits, pieces and functionalities of SharePoint, which help customers to get the most out of their SharePoint on premises installations. This includes logical, functional and UI components (we call it “solution accelerators”), which help to deliver requested functionality faster and more efficiently. No, this is not “just another InfoPath”, and developers will not be rendered unnecessary. But, skybow solution accelerators make life more enjoyable for businesses, SharePoint Consultants and SharePoint developers likewise.
One of the most interesting challenges in the future will be to implement this functionality for Office 365, and that is something what we have already started – the first set of skybow apps is already on the Office Store. We will work closely with Microsoft to deliver useful, robust and tested SharePoint Online and Office 365 products, which are developed according to the best practices. Since recently, award-wining Ardevia Rich Forms (now, this *IS* a real InfoPath alternative!) are an integral part of the skybow product suite, which complements the palette of products and components we are offering to the Office 365 users.
I will be working on multiple tasks with the young and enthusiastic skybow team. On one hand, I’ll be working closely with our development team (led by brilliant Dany Wyss) on conception and architecture of Office 365 product palette (and with Microsoft, making sure we stay on the right track). On another hand, I’ll be working closely with our partners and customers, making sure they get the most value out of skybow’s products, both for on premises and in cloud. Last but not least, I’ll devote more time to community, blogging and speaking about the things I truly love – Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, architecture and software craftsmanship. And skybow, of course.
See you around.