By 2040, we are looking to be a global company. *
There’s a long road ahead of us. Good thing is, we are not in a hurry. But what if we fail? Well, we fail daily. It doesn’t impact the goal. We go forward as a team, doing the best we can, pivoting whenever we learn something new. So, quite often.
Nine months ago we heard about this guy, Kenneth, in Denmark. We had a chat with him, and during the next few months found out that he’s a good person. Our values and principles align, and like us, he also wants to build something he could be proud of.
Kenneth has over 20 years of experience from Microsoft technologies and the surrounding market. He has founded a consulting company and been an entrepreneur before this. He has also worked at Microsoft. Before Zure, he was responsible for a mission-critical system at Maersk. Kenneth is used to playing “coach” in diverse environments, which will again become an important role to play in the future when Zure Denmark grows.
When I first met the guys, I was hesitant about the idea of establishing Zure Denmark. I already had a good job with great people. However, after I got to know the crew at Zure, I started to feel enthusiasm for a few reasons. First, I want to create something, and I feel like I can do that with these people. Second, looking at what Zure can offer, I think there’s space for this in the Danish cloud market.
After all these months of discussions and planning, I’m very excited to start building this community together with the Belgians and the Finns!Kenneth Bess
In September we started talking about the concrete steps needed to make Zure Denmark a reality, and in December, the legal entity of Zure ApS was born.
As a Microsoft market, Denmark seems robust. Many of the companies use Microsoft products, just like in Finland. Azure is being used by companies, and that adoption is growing. Looking at the maturity of the cloud journey, to me the Danish market feels a little bit behind Finland. Especially when looking at the adoption of cloud native solutions and app modernization, more could be done. Our opportunity here is that the experts and companies show a lot of interest towards wider adoption of Azure.
On expansion generally
Zure is now in three countries. The major owner on all of them is Zure Group. Zure Group offers shares to employees yearly, and this offer is to everyone in all countries, so everyone can get part of the expansion. We want to build an organization that thinks of the well-being of the next person, of the greater good for all of us. That is surely impossible to do perfectly since we all feel slightly differently about things, but one step towards that goal is to think about fairness and transparency for all. We try to do our best to have similar principles, ways of working, and compensation models in all countries, naturally modified by differences between the economies and cultures.
Continuing on this thought, countries have weird differences. Both Belgians and Danish are very easy to get along with as a Finn. There are a lot of cultural similarities, so much so that the most visible differences till date have been about the legal and economic frameworks between countries.
Let’s take Denmark as an example: the salaries there are clearly higher than in Finland. Does it mean that people there have a higher quality of life? Nope, since in Denmark, an employee pays all the taxes, while in Finland an employer pays part of the employee’s taxes. The rest of the economical difference is largely taken care of by both higher hourly rates and living costs.
And Belgium? Well, there the monthly salaries are actually lower than in Finland. Do Belgians have a lower quality of life then? Again, nope, because Belgians get double the salary in December. Yeah. You read that right, they have 13 months of salary on a regular work year. I agree, it sounds insane. I’d hazard a guess that consulting businesses there rarely make a profit on December.
Even if we only consider these relatively easy things, such as the legal and financial frameworks, we still cannot reach perfect balance between countries. We acknowledge this on our journey towards a meaningful international community. At the same time it is important to realize that the daily meaning is not born out of legal or financial frameworks or even cultural diversity, but instead out of human connections, autonomy, freedom of self, and personal growth. To enable this, we are building up our ways of working, such as guilds (instruments of general learning) and project mentors (instruments of project-specific mentoring).
All in all, I could not be happier with where we are. The founders in Belgium and Denmark are amazing people, and I’m happy to be able to speak and work with them on a weekly basis. I don’t have a clue where we’ll end up, but I’ll know it will be fun doing our best 🙂
* What does it mean to become a global company? For us, it means having a presence in multiple continents. And why do we want to be “global”? For growth? No, growth without values is meaningless. The goal is to create a brand known for solving hard cases, so we can receive even more challenging and interesting projects.
Want to learn more about Zure? See the post of Zure 2021 for a recounting of our previous year.