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How we went from 40 to over 35 000 services

This is our story of how Basefarm went from handle the operations of 40 to over 35 000 services, reaching over 40 million end users around the world. What’s the secret behind our success?

Born out of the IT bubble ashes
When we founded Basefarm in 2000, we wanted to support companies and organizations that wanted to build their success through the Internet. We had a strong belief that Internet would still exist and it might be strange to hear that today, but after the IT bubble, no one knew what was going to happen with the Internet in the future. We also believed that Internet would be a market place for businesses in the future. It turns out we were right. In 2000, only 5% of the world’s population had access to the internet. Today over 40 % have access, and more and more services are available online for companies and the end users.

How we distinguish ourselves from our competitors
We have always had a unique profile from day one; we’ve focused on Application Management for mission critical business applications. Our other competitors usually have a different focus, they started companies that focused on server hosting. In that way you build two completely different solutions. We built everything from the principal that everything should work at all times, but you should still be able to do changes without affecting the end user experience.

Don’t be a coward, dare to be brave
We did something radical on the financial side. We focused on our customers first and the price later. By that time this was a new thinking in the IT-industry and something fascinating. We have always been brave and had the approach that you should ensure the business and the customers needs first, before you need to invest.

Always looking ahead
Today, over ten years later, we are still specialized in mission critical business applications and we see ourselves as experts within our field. There is always a need for experts and this is one of our key success factors. We didn’t wanted to be like the other start-up companies in the early 2000 that had a wider business focus. We decided to make the best butter and to accomplish that we had to specialize ourselves to succeed in our role as the technical expert.

And that’s the secret behind our success of how we have went from handle the operations of 40 to over 35 000 services. We still grow and so do our services, in line with the technical development. Today, over ten years later, new technologies have emerges on different platforms and devices, but we will always have our original approach. It’s still about passionate people, taking pride in our customers success.

4 tips to succeed

  • Everything should be recyclable
    Place everything into systems to avoid spending time manually doing things more than once. You should be able to half the delivery time when you do it again.
  • Be able to answer why something work
    If you can answer that in a system context, you can also ensure fixing something if it would break.
  • One Basefarm
    Use what we call the ”One-thinking”: one platform, one product, one responsible and one service desk to be focused on the right things.
  • Make the best butter
    Be brave and make sure you are aware of what you have to accomplish to make the best butter.

Talking about technology trends

Earlier this summer our Chief Business Development Officer and VP in Sweden, Stefan Månsby, were representing Basefarm in an expert panel, talking about trends in the technology magazine IDG. We thought that you who like technology trends would be interested in reading about what we think about the trends. Below you can see Stefan Månsby’s answers from the magazine.

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Question1:
Is it reasonable to invest in creating a hosting solution with configuration tools, monitoring, security and other things that comprises the employees own client devices that they bring to work? How flexible should you be when it comes to choice of client devices? Is it best to create a list over a few approved devices or try to handle all of them?

SM: It’s always more effective to let employees work with the tools that they already use or are familiar with. Treat all clients as they were in an open network with as many foreign computers as familiar computers. Then let the systems they work with, qualify if the client should have access or not.

Question 2:
Many vendors, such as HP, is trying to create a toolkit to handle all IT for companies. This solution often means that you are forced to have two solutions because it’s hard to remove older tools. Will it be possible to run entirely with modern solutions in three years, or will we be forced to continue using older tools in parallel?

SM: The important thing is to remember that you first of all create a decommissioning plan for the old tools, and then create a plan for the new tools that are in line with the decommissioning plan. In this way, you avoid to duplicate tools. It’s important that you work with follow-up of the outcome.

Question 3:
How far have Swedish companies come in integrate local recourses with cloud resources in their hosting solutions? Is it a realistic goal to try and do it?

SM: The Swedish companies haven’t gone far in this area. The small percentage that using cloud, use it for e-mail or CRM, which usually isn’t integrated with any internal system. Today, there is too little expertise within cloud integration among Swedish consultants and integrators.

Question 4:
The SOA (Service-oriented architecture) thinking is not that hot anymore, but many companies have actually implemented this type of strategies. Are there any general hosting solutions to manage the services that are created or are proprietary solutions required?

SM: I can’t agree that SOA isn’t still a hot subject. It’s only smaller projects and companies that have started to realize that it’s not profitable to add extra work for SOA. The hosting solution for a SOA or non-SOA architecture have in principle the same set of requirements and needs.