16 Oct 21 Interview with Manuel Ebner
Dott. Manuel Ebner is managing partner of CONVOTIS.
Manuel, with the development of CONVOTIS we are becoming the leading partner for digitalized management processes in the German-speaking region. What are the special advantages for our existing and future customers?
“With CONVOTIS, we are pursuing the objective of combining the strength of a corporation with the agility of a start-up for the benefit of our customers. The companies that we have been able to acquire as part of CONVOTIS so far and still want to acquire in the future have been successfully active in the IT market for more than 60 years collectively. In their business areas, they are specialists in the digitization of business processes and managed IT services. In terms of portfolio alignment, our aim is for the individual companies to complement each other. Of course, this also benefits our customers, as we offer end2end services for digitizing management processes based on a company’s basic infrastructure. As already mentioned, our expertise ranges from Modern Workplace to cloud services, IT security, and fully comprehensive IT infrastructure support. This is the basis for the optimization and digitalization of business processes such as ERP, FIBU, HR management processes or even content management systems.
In addition to excellent technology and innovative service, the corporate culture of a common CONVOTIS is also crucial for us i.e., we attach great importance to cross-company cooperation and want to promote a “stronger together” mentality. With the 12 locations we already have in DACH as well as Slovakia and Romania, we are also able to operate across regions and national borders, which will certainly be a clear advantage for major customers with an international focus.”
From four to one for the time being, why can we now serve our customers even better, which synergies stand out in your opinion due to the unification of the companies B&S, ITSDONE, LYNET and xdot in CONVOTIS?
“As mentioned, the four companies mentioned represent only the beginning of our development at CONVOTIS and more will follow.
In the very near future, we will welcome a South German IT specialist as part of CONVOTIS, who has been successfully positioned in the market for more than 30 years and specializes in special solutions in the field of document and content management, scanning, archiving and IT security. We can place this expertise complementarily with our Austrian customers, for example.
Conversely, this company has a major customer from its history for whom it provides SAP AO/AMS services together with a subcontractor. The clear objective here is to transfer these services to ITSDONE Romania because we have successfully built-up SAP AO/AMS competence in English there.
Another current example is the DFB (German Football Association), an important existing customer of xdot. Here, special requirements for topics related to O365 have developed rapidly in recent times. Since ITSDONE is the specialist in this area within CONVOTIS, we are currently in the process of transferring all topics to ITSDONE in coordination with the DFB. Clearly according to the motto “the service provision within CONVOTIS should take place where we have the expertise”. In the future, locations will play a subordinate role, because we want to act more strongly in comprehensive teams. Further synergies within CONVOTIS will certainly exist in joint sales and marketing, as well as shared services such as partner management.”
You are intensively involved with the developments on the IT market, which ones do you think will particularly affect the business world and which bandwagon should our customers therefore definitely jump on?
“For me, the question has two facets. When we talk about the top IT innovation topics of the future, people will certainly be looking at AI, IOT, Robotics, etc. These are all exciting and highly relevant future topics. However, the reality in our target markets and target customers is rather that fundamental steps first need to be taken in the context of digitalization. For me, this includes questions about how
- Company processes can be digitized professionally,
- how we can provide efficient mobile working i.e., a modern workplace for employees in the company, or
- the advantages of cloud solutions in connection with increasing complexity in this topic can be realized,
- All of this always in conjunction with very high security and data protection requirements.
From my time as CEO at a leading medical communications service provider, I always like to bring up the example of the digitization of pharmacies. Approximately 50% of pharmacies still prefer the fax machine as their preferred communication medium for receiving new information. In the area of public administration, we see something similar in many places. These are extreme examples, but they illustrate the issue of an aspiration to digitalization compared to reality.
For us as CONVOTIS, it will therefore be important to develop a real understanding of the digitization challenges of our customers and, based on this, to offer sensible concepts that can also be implemented sensibly and step by step. We do not see ourselves as the innovation pioneers, but as the strategic IT partner that offers its customers real added value with suitable solutions and services.
And this is precisely where another advantage arises from the merger of different specialists: Digitization does not just mean supporting a known process with more technology. Rather, it is about digitally interlocking business processes, eliminating interfaces and thus being able to exploit all the possibilities of automation. Only those who have made these preparations will be able to participate at all in the future topics of AI, IOT or robotics, even in administrative processes.”