Mon | 09.01.2017
Meet Paul Roman, Co-founder & General Manager of PRAS Consulting, a small but skilled & certified Romanian IT company providing solutions to SMEs mostly, with a focus on Microsoft technologies.
1. Dear Paul, please introduce yourself shortly to all our members.
I’m co-founder and general manager of PRAS Consulting, a small but skilled and certified Romanian IT company providing solutions to small and medium businesses mostly, with a focus on Microsoft technologies.
Outside work, I make noise playing my guitar in a rock band and take care of my two sons.
2. Congratulations for your 14th anniversary with Pras. How was the ride so far?
First of all, it was fun. What can be funnier than being your own boss and having the chance to build something from scratch?! We sell our people’s intelligence and knowledge and it’s very rewarding to hire junior year students and watch them grow to become great professionals. Second of all, it was difficult. I am a techie guy and I had to learn how to be a manager and deal with a lot of things that are not even close to my profession.
3. You are acting on a very busy and competitive market, where what is new today tomorrow becomes history, so being updated is essential. How you do you tackle this?
The IT industry is changing all the time and you have to be always alert and keep up with the trends. We are actively watching what is happening in the industry and constantly adjusting our solutions. But at the same time, we have to stay true to our core values and principles. This means being a translator between technology and our customers. In my company, all my colleagues have to know how talk to people that know nothing much about IT and help them understand what’s happening. We are not IT geeks, but we think we’re just as skilled and passionate as they are.
4. What are you plans for 2017?
First of all, we will keep looking for new solutions that can add more value to the services we provide to our customers. This means that we will continue to grow our technical team, not necessary by number, but for sure by knowledge. Second, we intend to improve our public image by redesigning our website and investing in smart online marketing. And last, but not least, I will work closer with my sales team to find new ways of growing our customer base.
5. Big Data and IoT are now longer concepts on a paper. At international scale, they are being adopted with significant results in sales, strategic planning and the Business Intelligence (BI) Competency Centers. What impact do you see on the Romanian market in the next years?
Romania is an atypical market. Some IT concepts are adopted very rapidly and some not. The cloud could be one example, as in Romania it’s taking much longer to be adopted on large scale than in developed markets. I think the IoT concept will rapidly be adopted in Romania. As all of us can see everywhere around us, Romanians are dependent on mobile phones, tablets and all kind of devices. I am sure they will be more than happy to be able to have their houses full of intelligent devices. Big Data is a different discussion. It requires a lot of investments and, even if it has great applicability, it will take time to be adopted. The government and public sector could be early adopters, but I am skeptical about them doing it right and for the proper reasons.
6. Romania’s reputation as an attractive outsourcing destination is on the rise. In fact, the 2015 Cushman & Wakefield BPO Location Index ranked Romania at no. 4, just after Bulgaria.
Does that positively impacted your business development?
Our services are mostly targeted at the Romanian market. Even if most of our customers are foreign companies, we are serving them here in Romania. They’ve chosen us as a provider based on our local reputation. Today, we have customers in UK and Netherlands, but we are not actively looking for customers abroad, so at this point I would say that this ranking had no impact on our business.
7. On 18th of January, PRAS will host a NRCC Knowledge Center on IT Outsourcing. Please tell us 3 main advantages and disadvantages for having externalized your IT services.
I would say that you have to participate to the Knowledge Center to find out, but...
The main advantages are:
- Instant access to trained and expensive professionals without paying them full time;
- Access to professional knowledge and skills base of a team that cannot be covered by one or even more employees;
- You can focus on your core business knowing that your IT is in good hands.