Zure expands to Belgium

Sakari Nahi | 14.01.2020
Reading time 4 min

For a few years now, we’ve been thinking about what type of growth would suit Zure.

In Finland, there seems to be a trend of successful IT companies setting up side offices in different cities, like Turku, Oulu, and so forth. That’s one way of growing, but it didn’t feel like ours. We prefer to only have a single office in Finland.

Another way of growing is to make acquisitions (“acquihires”). That doesn’t feel like our way either: we don’t feel like growing for the sake of growth, and also we don’t have the necessary funding. It is an expensive sport. However, if we felt like doing an acquihire, and had the funds available, we still wouldn’t have anyone to buy – the companies we admire are either too big or not for sale.

But! There’s one way that feels like a fit for us, and that’s international growth. The kind where we establish an instance of Zure in another country, with a goal of creating a clone of ourselves.

Thinking of that, the most important aspect is to find a suitable, local team. A team of founders, of experts, whose values match ours.

It takes a while to find a suitable team, followed by frank discussions about the values and goals for a shared organization. It took us a year.

After a lot of work, we’re very excited to announce, that as of last week, Zure Belgium is in operation!

We found a dream team of founders from Belgium, Glenn Colpaert and Pieter Vandenheede. Glenn and Pieter are senior professionals of Azure and Microsoft technologies, but what’s more, their values match Zure perfectly.

Pieter an Glenn - Zure BelgiumPieter and Glenn, founders @ Zure Belgium

Glenn is a five-time Azure MVP with over 10 years of experience from IoT-projects, mostly in Azure. Previously he led Azure and IoT business unit at Codit. He’s also an organizer at Azure User Group Belgium and an internationally known conference speaker. Glenn is the CTO of Zure Belgium.

“Having the opportunity to join this amazing crew makes me both humble and excited at the same time. I know I will have to reinvent myself during this journey, and like everyone else at Zure I’ll need to keep improving myself constantly, but that’s what it’s all about.

My personal goal is to create a community and a culture as strong as it is in Finland. The Zure brand is something unique, and I’m looking forward to making Zure Belgium a success”, Glenn says.

Pieter has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of IT, from designing and building software to leading teams. He’s also a frequenter and speaker at Azure and Integration User Groups. Pieter is the Chief Architect of Zure Belgium.

“Putting people before numbers is the one aspect I respect the most in Zure culture. I’m excited about the chance to build a company with people whose values and principles I share.

Undoubtedly, opening the first international office of Zure is one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever faced. Yet I feel confident that with our local team and the support of Zure Finland, we will make this a resounding success”, Pieter continues.

In addition to Glenn and Pieter, we also found a well-known and universally respected member of the global community to act as our public advisor on our way to becoming the highest quality provider of Azure solutions in Belgium, namely Maarten Balliauw.

Maarten was a founder of the famous MyGet -service (acquired by Assembla in 2018), and is currently a Developer Advocate at JetBrains. He’s also a frequent speaker in conferences around the world. Personally, I saw Maarten giving a talk about Azure internals at Techdays Finland in 2013, and have been admiring him since.

Maarten advices us on building an IT service company in Belgium, with the following to say:

“Zure cares about the people they build technology solutions with and for – a mindset I subscribe to as well. Glenn and Pieter also share that mindset, and they are the right people to make Zure Belgium succeed.”

Zure Belgium’s office is in Ghent, “Spaces Zuiderpoort”, where you can find our team hard at work already. We’re glad to note that Zure Belgium already found its first client last week.

Zure Offices on map Zure Offices – Ghent, Belgium and Helsinki, Finland

We’re excited to the max about the future together with Glenn, Pieter and Maarten. Go as it may, it is for sure we’ll all learn a bunch, and like Glenn says, “that’s what it’s all about.

Read more about our plans for internationalization on the part 3 of Zure 2020 blog series, to be released next week. See here for part 1 and part 2.

Thank you for reading!