In this kind of project it is important to be able to experiment.

Dr. Pascal Sieber is the founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dr. Pascal Sieber & Partners AG. As independent management consultants and ICT specialists, the consultants at sieber&partners develop strategies for the transformation of business models and processes. Dr. Pascal Sieber personally accompanied the project with procorp. In our interview, he tells us how he experienced the cooperation and what he thinks the next digitalisation trends are going to be.

Pascal, when you were looking for a suitable software partner for procorp you found Paranor. Why was that?
We started off by developing implementation scenarios. Alongside the use of off-the-shelf software and existing platforms, the development of an individual software solution offered the best long-term business potential. Customised software offers a very special set of challenges. It was important to us to find a partner who was fascinated by the business of procorp and who was willing to go the “extra mile” – somebody who would remain committed to the project, even if things got difficult at times. In addition, we were also looking for someone who, while being able to develop customised software solutions, would preferably do so on the basis of standard services and repositories from open source communities. We found this partner in Paranor.

As a builder of customised software solutions, Paranor was specialised in larger customers, and as a consultant you don’t necessarily move in the world of SMEs every day. Against this background, how did you experience the cooperation between procorp, Paranor and yourself?
The best thing for me is that procorp has established and continues to expand a digital business model, and that the company is intently pursuing its vision of providing software-driven services with the option of global scaling. I much prefer a smaller project with a big impact than a larger project that ends up gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. Based on the financial limitations associated with still being a relatively small company, we constantly need to weigh up which ideas we can actually realise. This forces us to keep a close eye on the goal. It is brilliant how the team from Paranor stays with us during this balancing act and offers its own proactive input at the same time. To me, this is real cooperation. I get a sense of shared responsibility on all sides.

Did procorp manage to meet its targets with the project and redevelop its digital business with the built software?
Yes, absolutely. The next release is imminent, which will allow the business model to be scaled to a new customer segment. Would we have liked to have had this a year ago? Yes. Would we have got it right a year ago? No. That is life: ideas come more quickly than the substance behind them.

Are there any plans for the future of the evaluation tool?
Yes, there are plans, and once again these take the form of scenarios. In this kind of project it is important to be able to experiment. We do have ideas and assessments of the business potential. But we won’t find out what exactly the truth is until we try it out.

What general trends are you seeing in digitalisation?
In connection with this project, the community effect (global networking through cloud computing), data as the basis for new business models (data analytics, big data) and, potentially, individual aspects of machine learning (artificial intelligence) are interesting. In addition, virtual and augmented reality, the “Internet of Things” (or “Intelligence of Things”) and 3D printing are important bases for new business opportunities. By contrast, I am a bit more sceptical when it comes to Blockchain, which is currently a very popular topic, as to whether we have already reached a level of maturity that is enough to see large numbers of disruptive applications emerging soon. From the point of view of individual industries, information assets industries will initially see further disruptions (banks, insurance companies etc.). The next wave will then be intelligent products (thanks to the Internet of Things) and disruptions in the machinery and equipment manufacturing industries as well as in the manufacturing industry, logistics etc.