‘Challenges push us to succeed and to keep working on improving our processes. The ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances marks us out as versatile and flexible partners in digital transformation’, explains Marius Filipas, country manager of Softline Romania. Read the interview to learn more about how Softline’s team of professionals helps their customers overcome the challenges they face in a changing world.
You joined Softline 6 months ago as Country Manager for Romania. What attracted you to the company and the role?
I’m really impressed by Softline’s journey. The company is thriving thanks to its talented teams and valuable competences. Now that Softline is listed on the London Stock Exchange, it’s perfectly positioned to strengthen its market position and set a course for growth. On a personal level, I immediately felt a connection to the company’s mission and to the team. Sharing these values enables us to reach our goals even faster. Everyone at Softline is highly motivated and eager to commit to improving processes and offering even better services. This is the approach that has helped us form long-term partnerships with both vendors and customers.
What’s your approach as country manager?
My main goal is to strengthen the entire operation in Romania. Softline is a people-focused organization that revolves around its customers. My approach is based on an almost obsessive view of customer relationships. With my colleagues, we’re working on aligning teams, vendors and processes with our long-term business strategy. I take a great deal of enjoyment from rising to challenges, and when I look back to a previous project, I want to feel that I’ve built something. This is precisely what I’m looking to accomplish as a country manager.
What are Softline’s strengths?
Challenges push us to succeed and to keep working on improving our processes tirelessly. The ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances marks us out as versatile and flexible partners in digital transformation. Aside from this, we are committed to realizing the full potential of our partner collaborations. We aim to offer multiple solutions to a challenge and examine the situation from different angles. So, reinforcing our partnerships with top global and local vendors plays a huge role in widening our knowledge. This is also evident in our approach to teamwork. We place great stock in appreciating each other’s strengths and experiences, and draw on a broad range of perspectives and experience when implementing a solution.
What are the main IT challenges facing companies in the region in 2022?
The most critical challenges to overcome stem from digital transformation. First of all, customer connections have become more digital across different industries. So, building a digital journey for the customer is now a critical step in achieving future growth. Secondly, optimizing operation and control costs are crucial when adapting to current market trends with rising prices and changes in supply chains. In order to stay ahead of the competition, companies should understand every step of their operations and seek to create more efficient processes. Thirdly, I would like to reiterate the importance of empowering employees. If they understand the available resources and business processes, they are in a much better position to use them confidently and efficiently. Fourthly, we’re currently experiencing the transformation of the product. In more and more cases, ‘the product’ is increasingly becoming a ‘the software product’ – as in having a component of software. Companies develop and incorporate an element of software into their solutions, digitally transforming their products and themselves as an organization at the same time.
Furthermore, when we talk about remote work and its many advantages, we need to highlight, at the same time, the shift in how work can impact company culture and motivation. Employees should feel connected to each other and to the company, even if they don’t see each other in person. This requires strengthening the digital culture across all company roles.
How can Softline support customers overcome these challenges?
To implement these projects, there is a significant need for vertical and horizontal knowledge. Our local, regional, and global services department has all the necessary expertise to improve the benefits and results of implemented digital transformational projects significantly. At the same time, it means that Softline’s business grows because of this. Having strong local teams at a regional level means we can leverage our international best practices, tailored to the needs of the local market, to guide customers in their transformational journey. Being present in more than 50 countries affords Softline a valuable perspective on the global trends, challenges, and opportunities that our customers in different geographies and industries are facing. We want to leverage these to anticipate our local customers’ business needs, and provide them with solutions that best fits these needs.
How do you keep track of constantly evolving trends?
As service providers, we’re in touch with vendors, customers and other partners in the IT industry. By listening to multiple sources of information we can develop our understanding of different aspects of the business, and gain an overview of the wider industry. Conversations with customers should always start with a focus on their unique circumstances. Listening to their needs and experiences is the best way to provide the most impactful, comprehensive solution for their specific needs. Besides this, regular dialogues with different vendors and partners are insightful and help us to broaden our horizons.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy doing sports, especially team sports like basketball, and I’m fond of skiing. For me, sports are a form of social gatherings. Also, I’m involved in charitable work and garner great pleasure from giving back to the community. I also like reading, going to the movies, and promoting the joys of Romanian wine.
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