WE WILL RISE TO THE COVID-19 CHALLENGE
Michał Kunze, Consulting and AMS Director at SNP Poland
Michał Kunze has been working for SNP Poland for almost 20 years. Since the beginning of 2020, he has been the Consulting and AMS Director, combining this function with managing the Software Development department. In this interview, he talks about how SNP Poland is experiencing the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has changed from his point of view and why, especially in this situation, far-sighted behavior is crucial for a company’s future success.
How does work during the COVID-19 pandemic look from your perspective?
Michał Kunze: Obviously, an application for conference calls has become my basic working tool overnight. Over 90 percent of SNP Poland employees work from home. Remote working is nothing new to us, although not on such a scale. Support services and software development have always been based on remote access to systems; we have also been increasing the share of remote work in implementation projects for years. The difference is that now consultants connect to customers’ systems remotely, instead of from the SNP office.
"I think that, as an organization, we are seeing
positive results in these difficult conditions."
We have a properly prepared IT infrastructure, employee self-service systems and applications for team management. SNP’s organizational culture – that is to say, trust in employees and the high autonomy of teams – is now delivering solid results. Therefore, we are staying in constant contact with our customers and continuing the projects we have started. Most of them are progressing according to schedule. This also applies to large-scale projects. For example, we are on the verge of launching SNP E-Time, a cloud-based time-planning platform for one of the largest logistics operators in Poland. At the same time, an e-leave request system for several thousand employees at the distribution center of a fashion retail customer will go live.
This is not the first crisis you’ve seen in your career, including the bursting of the “dot-com bubble” in 2000 and the financial crisis of 2008. What will it be like this time? Are you expecting a similar scenario?
"The scale of what’s happening now is
incomparable to anything else. Recent months have
shown how important it is for an organization
to be flexible and able to react quickly to changes."
This has long been talked about, however this time it’s become a reality. On the other hand, the range of opportunities is now much wider than in 2008, for example. Everyone can quickly scale IT solutions in the cloud model. SaaS also means greater financial flexibility: The costs are spread out over time, depending on the number of user accounts or another metric of service usage.
Remote access to applications and mobile solutions is already common. More and more documents exist only in digital form, even in communication with government agencies that are not perceived as the technological avant-garde – for instance the Electronic Platform of Public Administration Services (ePUAP) which is a nationwide platform for communication of citizens with public administrations in Poland. This is why the mass transition to working from home, which took place in many companies literally overnight, would not have been so smooth 20 or even 10 years ago.
SNP Poland supports customers worldwide, but now the focus is on Eastern European and Middle Eastern markets. How has SNP Poland’s offer been adapted to these challenges?
Today, of course, we are helping companies adapt to the new reality and trying to respond efficiently to new inquiries – sometimes urgent ones resulting from changes in our customers’ priorities. At the moment, the most important issues are the ability to work remotely, retaining access to corporate systems and networks, maintaining standards of information processing security, and legal compliance. No one has relieved companies of the obligation to generate SAF reports, and no one is guaranteed cyber security during the pandemic.
Customers can count on us – more than 300 of our specialists are prepared for remote work at the touch of a button. Apart from SAP consultants and developers of various technologies, we also have specialists in operating systems, databases, virtualization and IT infrastructure.
Last but not least, I would like to mention what makes the SNP Group’s offer unique, that is, solutions and services for the transformation of SAP environments: CrystalBridge® – The Data Transformation Platform and the BLUEFIELDTM approach. The usefulness of these solutions in the “post-pandemic” era is indisputable. Examples of this are SAP migrations to the cloud or for system carve-out or merge projects following the reorganization of companies, which are inevitably connected with times of big changes in the economy.
But how can a company plan IT development projects in the current uncertain situation?
Let me say this: A responsible company cannot afford not to plan them.
"It is important not to lose sight of the longer
perspective when focusing on the most urgent activities.
Even if companies are currently operating in a
crisis-saving mode, they cannot completely
freeze IT development."
Once we start to recover from the economic stagnation phase, there will be no time to catch our breath. On the contrary, the fight for customers will be as fierce as ever. Therefore, we are encouraging companies to use the current situation to review and improve their processes. In each company, there will be several important matters that have been neglected so far due to a multitude of other urgent issues. Now might be the time to find the determination to deal with them effectively.
Thank you very much for the interview.
SNP wishes the people all over the world all the best. Please stay healthy!