IT ecosystem in Pécs
Owner of the idea/problem:
Background / Context:
- As a local (Pécs) IT company servicing clients not only in our region, but across Hungary as well as abroad, we understand that the IT services sector is quite cluttered, full of agencies ranging from the smallest (1-2 man shows) to larger, multinational owned companies (eg.: T Systems with 300+ employees). As such, the offering as well as pricing structures come in all sizes, shapes and forms, with no "industry standards". From one end, this provides an opportunity for mid sized companies such as ours, to move across the landscape, and built a very flexible, client requirement based pricing strategy, that enables us to generate strong profits without having to stretch our customers too far.
- The challenge on the market however is the lack of talent, more specifically the low supply of man power with specific know how that is required to often take on jobs that otherwise an agency like ours would be able to deliver easily, however due to the constrained capacity, may not be able to contract. We face this issue predominantly on the Senior / Lead level both on the FrontEnd and BackEnd areas - (5+ years of relevant experience in programing). Due to this, very often we may not be able to take on business as we achieve our capacity levels, are forced to negotiate later delivery dates (which may not suit our clients), are required to outsource some tasks for specific fields or take on tasks where we stretch our Junior / Medior level programmers to their limits with constant supervision from our senior staff - which increases costs. Though the later results in the development of our teams, however these situations aren't always ideal and we prefer not to rush training and development.
- We have a good understanding of the industry, and are aware, that there are a number of firms (bigger / smaller) like ours, who face a similar challenge.
- We also understand that majority of these firms are afraid mostly of 1 thing - it is not the loss of their business to a competitor, but it is the loss of talent to a competitor. (It is costly to onboard, train and then loose an expert, who comes from a high demand but low supply field.)
- Due to this concern, they are very reluctant in working together or cooperating in many cases. There is no "bad blood" or issues amongst them, much rather just try and keep a safe distance, and do their best in "hiding" their workforce from the other.
- Our starting point is: What if we could bring together the competitors and eliminate the most pressing concern they have regarding working together?
- We want to apply the concept: "Sharing is Caring!" and "A team is stronger than an individual."
- We thought of bringing together the local agencies, and bringing collaboration to them in our region through establishing an platform, where the forces can join, and the capabilities merge, vs compete.
- It would be an online platform, where agencies can share their knowledge, capabilities and services, and enable potential clients to feed in their pitches into the system. This way the companies can either join or pitch alone, providing an easier way for the client to have to interact with one platform to make the choice, vs having to pitch to several agencies.
- The companies who register would need to do it for a fee, however benefit sharing could be introduced with all taking a "cut" from any business coming in to any client through the portal. (This is an idea, not a must...)
- In case of lower capacities, the agencies could join forces and come through as a more powerful service provider, enabling them to compete against larger companies.
- The application would be developed by W5labs, however we would open it up for the other regional agencies for a smaller membership fee.
- Thorough background check and monitoring of any agency in the platform would be required to ensure quality.
- Rules could be set stating that anyone joining the platform would not be allowed to hire anyone else's talent for a certain period in case someone decides to leave. (If they are fired, that’s a different situation.)
- We have an idea, however we have not validated it so far.
- We are not sure if there are enough companies for this, nor are we sure how this platform should look like or operate.
- We would need information regarding the market, recommended strategy, pricing, financial structure (invoicing, billing, financial planning, P&L etc.)
- We would love to see how this idea can evolve and if this could be the first step in growing our region, Pécs into the Silicon valley of Hungary, and Eastern Europe (The idea would not necessarily have to be limited to companies in Pécs, but possibly entire Hungary or the region.)
- We would need to see a recommendation on how the communication funnel should look like, how it should attract potential clients towards the platform? (What should the marketing plan look like, what is the ideal mix of touchpoints and how should we engage with potential clients?
- What should be the overall brand concept that this platform could hold?
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