What was 2020 like for Billennium? In a nutshell, it was a year with many challenges, but also successes. On the one hand, we had to completely reorganise our work, but on the other, despite uncertainty at the beginning, we managed to increase our revenue by 35% compared to 2019. Bartosz Łopiński (CEO), Anna Telega-Gardyńska (HR Director), Piotr Aftewicz (CIO), Michał Halagiera (Chief Growth Officer) oraz Mateusz Janiec (Customer & Employee Experience Director) answered this question in more detail and presented their outlook for 2021.
Bartosz Łopiński, CEO, talks about how 2020 has affected the company and what 2021 can be like for Billennium
The beginning of the year, or more precisely the outbreak of the pandemic, was tough for probably all companies and Billennium is no exception. The whole world, including businesses, came to a standstill in the first phase of the pandemic.
There was a sense of uncertainty on the customer side. After all, no one knew how the situation would develop and many companies were preparing for the worst, i.e. the complete paralysis of the economy.
However, after the initial shock, although some businesses decided to wait until the end of the pandemic, the vast majority tried to adapt to the new reality. Despite the fact that there were areas or entire industries in which we lost our orders, overall, investments in IT definitely increased.
Although at the beginning we took one step back, after a while we took two or even three steps forward, and I can say that both Billennium and the entire IT industry have become, in a way, the beneficiary of the pandemic.
2021 should be as good for Billennium as 2020. The pandemic has significantly increased the interest in Inperly and even if the pandemic is over in 2021, many of the consumer habits that have developed now will stay with us for good. If during the pandemic I did not have to go to a bank branch to talk face to face with a consultant and sign a loan agreement, why should I do it in the future?
What is more, thanks for example to the cooperation with clients from the pharmaceutical sector (and the healthcare sector is currently one of those making the biggest investments in IT), the prospects for us are very good. So, in the coming year, as long as there is no global recession affecting all industries, we expect further growth.
Anna Telega-Gardyńska, HR Director, HR Team’s view on the last year
2020 verified the processes and standards that have already existed in the company. Over the course of several months, we witnessed changes in the way we work and organize, which made us undertake an open approach, creativity and, above all, flexibility.
Together with the HR team, we changed the key processes by adapting them to remote working, including online recruitment, electronic signature, on and offboarding, or strengthening the role of a BilleBuddy. We did all of this in order to meet the needs of our employees coming from three continents.
Thanks to this, we were able to move fully and freely into home office, without affecting the implementation of the projects. Employees constitute our highest value, therefore we would like to focus on their development in the longer term, e.g. by giving them the possibility to choose from a wide variety of online trainings or providing project continuity with the help of the Inplacement program.
We are currently focusing on new projects, such as career paths, implementation of regular feedback, leadership academy or well-being activities.
Piotr Aftewicz, Chief Information Officer, talks about the key trends and technologies in IT in 2021
The pandemic, even if it is over in 2021, will further contribute to the development of digital services for remote communication. Therefore, the coming year will be an attempt for the IT industry to redefine its plans and adapt to changed consumer preferences.
The current situation makes us see a new “home-to-home” trend in business and consumer services. It means that both the service recipient and the service provider work from home.
This, in turn, makes it necessary to implement new solutions that will provide value as far as the usability is concerned and will be adapted to formal and legal requirements, while supporting businesses in the most important processes.
Another sector that will be extremely important in 2021 is the combination of medicine and technology, i.e. medtech. Medtech is a great idea in which, thanks to IT solutions, we can fill staff shortages and increase diagnostic capabilities in the most important area of our lives – health.
As an example, I can mention here the support of algorithms in the cancer diagnosis process we are working on together with the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. So far, we have achieved very satisfactory results in the brain tumour diagnosis based on MRI images thanks to artificial intelligence.
The research is still in progress, but soon medtech will support people helping them stay healthy.
Michał Halagiera, Chief Growth Officer, sums up 2020 and outlines the scenario for 2021
Contrary to market trends, for Billennium it was the best year in the company’s history. Both revenue and employment increased rapidly and the company started implementing state-of-the-art transformational solutions and services based on technologies such as automation, Big Data, IoT, analytics or artificial intelligence in the cloud.
Inperly is the best example of such a solution. Interest in Inperly has grown rapidly during the pandemic. I think it is also worth mentioning such solutions as e-Urząd Skarbowy and Twój e-PIT implemented for the Ministry of Finance with the aim to move most processes to the virtual world.
Our skills and significant projects have made it possible for us to increase cooperation and to develop services with key company’s partners, such as Microsoft and EY.
We believe that this year will be another year of growth for us and for the Polish IT industry. With the rebound in most industries, the demand for IT skills, which have been a scarce commodity in the world for years, will be maintained and IT spending will increase.
Given our positive experience in 2020, great momentum at the beginning of 2021 and internally strong organisation, we expect to establish strategic partnerships with other clients in Poland and abroad and to implement large projects for the biggest clients in the market.
Growing demand for Inperly also makes us look to the future with optimism. All this allows us to continue to increase employment and develop our skills in modern technologies in order to grow as a trusted technology provider delivering solutions tailored to the needs of our clients and an IT market leader.
Mateusz Janiec, Customer & Employee Experience Director, sums up 2020 from the CX perspective
2020 was above all a year of change.
We communicate differently. There are practically no face-to-face meetings, we mainly use video and instant messaging technologies. Fortunately, we have done it before, so the process of switching to remote work was quick. However, one year of working from home showed us that we need more than just instant messengers to work remotely.
Tools such as the intranet, training platforms, mobile applications for communication or time reporting have become extremely important. Remote work has shown us how many areas can be improved to make our experience even better and to increase efficiency.
We spend our time with other people differently. Distance has shown us how important it is for us to have contact with other people or rather how much we miss it.
We also build our identification with the company differently. There are no Christmas Eve parties, carnival balls or coffee meetings. We had to look for other forms of community building: remote coffee talks, Christmas gifts and other important events.
Appreciating employees in everyday life, on the occasion of small and big successes. We talked more about values, as they became crucial at such important moments. Especially responsibility, trust or innovation.
Internal communication is very important in uncertain times. Bad news about coronavirus cases and a difficult market situation make us feel uncertain, so it is very important to keep people informed about what is happening in the company.
How are we doing, are we following our sales plans, are there going to be any investments, are we growing? These are questions that our employees ask themselves every day and it is our duty to provide them with complete information. Peace of mind means we can focus on our responsibilities.
2020 was also the year when the concept of the Billennium office of the future was formulated. It will be an office that we come to when we have to or when we want to. It will have to be better adapted to the new needs of employees, who will mostly come there to meet their colleagues during creative workshops or just to have a nice cup of coffee with them.