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In The Spotlight - Workspace 365

In The Spotlight with Workspace 365

Welcome to In The Spotlight, a series where Manchester Digital interviews its members to shed light on their work within the digital and technology industry in Greater Manchester.

In this edition, we have the pleasure of speaking with Workspace 365's CEO and Founder, Erik Nicolai.

What does your organisation do?

Workspace 365 is on a mission to conquer IT complexity. Both IT departments and users struggle with it. The technology itself is fine, that’s not the problem. It’s finding it, accessing it and keeping track of all the information. It’s no exaggeration to say that some employees have no idea where to go to find their apps. Many waste hours in a stop-start pattern of logging in and out of different platforms or devices. 

In the current era, technology is not the limitation. It’s the complexity it creates. Workspace 365 offers a single interface for all apps and information. It simplifies onboarding and gives existing employees an easier way to get the real work done. 

What do you think is currently the biggest issue facing the digital and tech industry?

In their private lines, people embrace technology at a rapid pace. But you only have to hear the term ‘adoption’ to understand that getting users on-board in the work environment is far more challenging. The resistance to IT has two causes:

  1. Consumer platforms offer a seamless experience. The software employees face at work doesn’t. It’s neither welcoming nor straightforward. 
  2. IT developers and departments often force changes without explaining the reasons. The employee might not see any benefit but still faces a learning curve to cope with the changes. 

Users’ needs must be understood by the industry. Technology is meant to make life easier. It shouldn’t be an endless stream of challenges. 

What is your organisation’s biggest achievement?

Honestly, we see every start-up that surpasses the start-up validation as a major achievement. We created a company out of nothing but have been able to validate and scale the product. That was the key aim of phase 1. 

Being able to attract experienced talented people and larger customers requires a certain size and majority. A lot of businesses can fail or stagnate at this stage, but our first partners really helped us to break through this stage in our growth. Their belief in our mission helped drive us forward. 

Our biggest achievement may be yet to come, but we’ll always remember and celebrate the earliest wins. 

What would you consider to be your organisation’s biggest challenge?

Without doubt, that’s international expansion! We have partners around the globe, but our most successful partnerships still happen in the Netherlands. That’s understandable, but the problems of IT complexity affect far more than one corner of Europe.

Over the past few years our Growth Team has been based in the Netherlands, but we wanted to get closer to our UK partners and customers, so have created a dedicated team in the UK, based here in Manchester. It’s making a big difference to our expansion plans and we’re very happy to have made the move.

What do you think the future looks like for Manchester’s digital and tech sector? 

Our sector is driven by finding and keeping the right talent. From that perspective Manchester seems be the place to be. It’s brimming with talented people who are willing to make the difference. There’s a great spirit here: people want success in their own careers, but they also want their companies to thrive and for the wider community to feel the benefit. 

Tell us something we might not know about your company?

We’re proud of our brand but sometimes it’s a good idea to take a back seat and let the product itself do the work. Allowing our first partners to white label Workspace 365 really made a huge difference. 

We were a start-up with a brilliant product but no real currency with much bigger MSP’s. By offering a white label version of Workspace 365 that they could offer to their customers, we became, in effect, their extended development team.

Thank you Erik!

To find out more about Workspace 365, click here.

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