Today we have selected Paolo Storti to take his interview. He is the CEO of Zextras.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
We’re doing pretty well, fortunately. In March 2020, we immediately set all the necessary means to protect ourselves and our families, working full-time from home. The company’s employees more than doubled in the last year, and the active customers are constantly increasing by 27,5% as an annual average.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded this company?
I founded Zextras in 2010, after working in the open-source and e-mail and collaboration fields as a System Integrator and Service Provider. My first company mainly focused on the Zimbra Open Source platform, but we noticed that this powerful software was missing many features for sysadmins and end-users. Therefore, we started developing Zextras Suite, the native extension to enhance all the capabilities of Zimbra.
How does your company innovate?
We design every piece of code leveraging our knowledge and cutting-edge technologies. We’ve just launched an innovative software, Carbonio. It’s a modern e-mail and collaboration platform, which respects data sovereignty. Regarding people, we are one of the few companies that still foster remote working, as we believe that good software and efficient work depend firstly on people, their safety and well-being.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
In the digital era, being a software company helps, of course. We’re currently supporting digital and non-digital companies to shift to open source and flexible e-mail and collaboration software to help them work better and decrease cost (TCO), which is increasingly strategic during this crisis period.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
We weren’t used to working fully from home. Personally, it was a pity to see the offices empty. Employees felt lost, sometimes. We had to cooperate, not only to provide continuous delivery and support to our customers but also to support employees themselves. We activated courses to make them learn how to work effectively and stay together, although physically separated.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We are fostering relationships and people management at all the company levels, although remotely. We succeeded in organizing team building and other activities to strengthen the group and make employees feel that we’re together in this Covid situation. We came out stronger than before, and we sharped our teamwork skills.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Our competitors are all those who don’t take care of data as we do. We strive to give back our customers control over their infrastructure and data, so they can be free to communicate using the most modern features while achieving data sovereignty. Besides the new software Carbonio, we’ve been providing our customers with many tools and knowledge bases to secure their data at their best, and we will continue to do it.
Your final thoughts
The future is bright. We won’t stop and wait, but keep on working hard to prepare for all the new challenges the market – and maybe the health situation – will present to us in the following months.