Maxim Shpakov, CTO of Inno-Tec, and Frank Müll, COO of Inno-Tec, reveal their secret recipe and explain the benefits of a factory over a mass manufacturer.
Question: Other companies like to keep things simple, but you actively seek out complex and complicated projects. Why should customers bring their trickiest projects to you?
Maxim: Because we enjoy solving problems that not everyone can solve. We have a vast store of knowledge and skills at Inno-Tec. We want to make use of this store, which means that we need suitably complex and complicated tasks.
Question: Knowledge and skill, is that your secret?
Frank: They are certainly the basis. Our secret is the ability to connect these two aspects.
Question: And you feel comfortable giving away your secret like that?
Frank: (Laughs) The secret isn’t easy to copy just because you have the recipe. It is based on the fact that a lot of talented people have been working hard on a common cause with us for years. This kind of skills bank doesn’t appear overnight, it grows organically.
Question: What is the difference between a complicated and a complex project?
Maxim: Complicated projects require specialist knowledge. A complicated project can never succeed without this knowledge. Not everyone can complete complex projects, even though they might know what to do in principle. Complex projects require skills. We undertake both because we have the knowledge for complicated projects and the skills required in complex ones. We are experts in both fields.
Question: Why do your clients come to you? They could simply contact one of the big players in your industry instead. How do you keep up?
Maxim: (Frowns) “Keep up” almost sounds too modest to me. It is not the size of an organisation that is crucial, but what it can do. And we can do more than others. Our clients come to us when they require specialist software systems that nobody else can provide. Our clients also know that we will deliver a bespoke solution rather than an off-the-shelf system. We are a software factory, not a mass producer of software.
Question: As a factory, you cannot have the same level of human resources as a large group.
Frank: Instead we deploy versatility and flexibility to respond to changing requirements or new problems quickly and accurately. When it comes to staff we are not in the same league as a large group, but we have no reason to hide in terms of our capabilities, and as far as pace is concerned we are always at the head of the field. Large organisations move like an unwieldy container ship, unable to change course at short notice. That doesn’t apply to us.
Question: Is that how you manage to provide bespoke solutions time and again?
Maxim: Yes, thanks to our excellent employees and a trusted network of expert and reliable partners with whom we cooperate. This is the foundation of our ability to scale projects quickly and to put together teams of people with the right skills. We are approached by enthusiasts who are keen to work with like-minded people and prove their skills. Anyone who is versatile and creative with a passion for technology feels at home in our company. This applies to employees and clients alike.
Question: And do you jump on the bandwagon as soon as a new technical trend appears in the industry?
Frank: We are usually pulling the bandwagon! The latest technologies are what we do best – we love them, embrace them and know them inside out. This is one of the reasons why our customers trust us with complex projects. We view concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Big Data as pure marketing terms. What matter to us are technologies, architectures and methods.