From past to present: How SuperOffice started welcoming change

Lately, a lot has been changing at SuperOffice. We have embarked on another chapter of our growth journey, added a pack of new people and started launching new strategic initiatives. But how did we get here? How did SuperOffice start to welcome change with open arms?

First, I want to be clear – for a software company, change is the only constant. Just think about the massive changes the world has seen in technology since 1990 when SuperOffice was founded. Our company has lived through this entire period of enormous change, and we have kept focusing on utilizing new technologies to offer smarter, better and more value-adding solutions.

With changes in technology, the need for new business models arises, new demands come from both customers and employees, and the only alternative is to embrace it all, find a way to capitalize on it and turn it into something useful. But even though change is always happening in the world of software, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy – by no means. To give an example of how SuperOffice has practiced the art of welcoming change, we need to look back in time. Six years ago, in 2015, we made a bold decision. To be fair, we made several.

Back then most of our customers (and revenues) were linked to our on-premise software, delivered to and hosted by our customers, not by us. Four years earlier, in 2011, we entered the cloud CRM space, but with a limited set of functionalities and while testing a totally different model for selling and delivering to customers.

Based on the experience, we were convinced that cloud was the future. So, in 2015 we made a daring statement – from now on, we will work with cloud and a pure subscription-based price model, and we will stop selling software “the old way”. Why is that a bold decision? Well, about 85% of our revenues at the time came from “the old way”.

But we didn’t “just” change our entire model. We also added our first-ever App Store as a part of the new cloud strategy. The App Store was important because offering integrations to other business systems and delivering customer-specific add-ons had to be done in a new, different way; i.e. everything had to be ready for the cloud. The added standardization paved a way for us to launch a new version every 3 weeks. In addition, came the change of our business model, sales model, billing routines, and the compensation model for our employees.

While dealing with all this, we sadly faced another change. The loss of our beloved founder and majority shareholder Une Amundsen. This loss shook us hard, and it truly was a trying period. Losing him meant losing a long-term member of the SuperOffice family, a driving force for our company, a very creative and inspiring person and, for me personally, a close friend of over 27 years. When he passed away, we simply had to cope. After some time, in 2018, we agreed with Une’s family that SuperOffice would start looking for a new majority owner. An owner who wanted to develop the company based on our ambitions to grow. Last year we found the right match and signed with Axcel.

When I look back at the last six years, I am overwhelmed by how many changes we have gone through in such a short period of time. To say that it was easy would be a lie. Going through it was challenging and painful, but I am positive that it also led us to where we are today.

Cloud turned out to be the future. Our App Store built a whole new connected world around SuperOffice, and the initiative is wildly popular among our customers. With our new owners at Axcel we have created a fresh, revitalized strategic viewpoint and ambitious goals for our company. Thinking back, I am proud that we dared to jump.

Among the software companies born and bred in the “on-premise” world, we were one of the first movers, when it comes to putting the bet on cloud. Now, with our new partnership with Axcel, we are embarking on a new strategic chapter in the SuperOffice history.

To answer how SuperOffice as a business started to welcome change, I will say that practice makes perfect. And so do our loyal and talented co-workers, validated decision-making and amazingly innovative customers. Without all this we wouldn’t be where we are today.

After taking this walk down memory lane, I am positive that our history has helped us move forward. Everything we have gone through prepared us for what lies ahead. We know that the changes that we’re starting now – adding new people to our team, the launch of SuperOffice 10, setting an ambitious goal for our growth journey, and so much more – will be challenging for us. However, we also know that it will be worth it.

As the CEO, I am certain we are on the right path, and I am excited to share all our new initiatives with you. Because now  - more than ever  - we are ready for the changes coming our way!

Kind regards,
Gisle

 

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