Grundfos is a company that connects millions of people, being present in more than 60 countries, ensuring water access and leading the change within some of the world’s biggest agendas on water and energy.
As a large enterprise, Grundfos wanted to scale up its development capabilities by getting on board a technical partner who could help them with their digital development process, building together towards the vision of achieving positive global change.
In this story, we will highlight the power of commitment to company values and the business implications of transparency as part of our way of building digital products.
We’ll be presenting how we got reminded by one of the partners we work with that, while skill can be taught, human connection is what can truly flourish a collaboration and bring to life that “human-centered technology” we all talk about.
The real challenge here was not just about the technical aspects of the project but also the cultural match between Grundfos and us.
It was clear that Grundfos wanted a long-term partner with whom they could build things that last.
So how do you reveal if there is a match between a company of 150+ employees and another one of roughly 20.000? And how can this cultural fit translate into quality work that touches millions of people?
Our approach was straightforward, to say the least.
Reinforcing the values we believe in and owning them as a team.
Simply being true to ourselves.
Like real rebels.
We invited people into our house. And our hearts. Visiting our office in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, the team of Grundfos got to know our people a whole lot better, to see what drives us all, what keeps us together and whether being a rebel is something that they themselves identify with or not.
We have exchanged history, discussed values, and glanced together at the core of each of our teams. And we were nervous. Because we were indirectly addressing a network of 20.000 people.
It did help to address People & Culture aspects alongside discussions about tech and past case-studies. Once tech & business fit was validated, we had a traditional BBQ in the backyard, where the people of Grundfos could casually interact with our team, sharing stories and enjoying meaningful conversations about tech, family, culture, and life in general. Basically, kicking off the project with an impromptu team-building.
Following this encounter in Transylvania, the Grundfos team figured we’re all on the same page and set the ground for a close partnership between us and their digital division, Grundfos Digital. As an implication of the trust we were given, we allocated two fully functional teams to work on two different projects.
This, in turn, allowed us to pursue our end-to-end development approach so that we can fully immerse in the business and deliver tailored and tested solutions.
With genuine enthusiasm on both sides, the knowledge gaps were soon taken care of via a learning plan that offered our engineers the necessary skills to work with the Siemens Mindsphere platform and deliver top-notch IoT solutions.
Although Siemens Mindsphere was a completely new technology to our engineers, that didn’t stop us from accepting yet another challenge, learning and eventually embedding it into our vocabulary to deliver the same quality standards.
Believe it or not, this was a priceless way in which our rebel character was reflected - acknowledging our gaps and being visibly eager to acquire new skills.
In a span of 5 months, the Grundfos Digital team scaled our collaboration from 2 to 4 teams working on 4 separate projects to continue delivering thriving digital solutions within the IoT ecosystem.
The key here was being equal partners, assuming full ownership and organically integrating our way of doing things - being there every step of the way, throughout the end-to-end process.
This would not have been possible without the overwhelming level of acceptance that the team of Grundfos welcomed us with. We have been treated as part of their team and were given the chance to actively contribute to their communities, working and growing together.
But to ensure that we understood the impact of our collaboration and the heritage of the devices we were about to augment using technology, Grundfos invited us too into their headquarters.
We spent there (5 days) with our first two teams. While the cultural shock had its say through LEGO houses, actual houses, the Danish hygge and Liquorice, it was fascinating to see just how comfortable we all felt there, talking, and working with a group of nice people whom we just met.
We felt a deep sense of belonging and a refreshing boost of enthusiasm seeing how aligned everyone was at Grundfos, working towards a common goal of, you guessed it, making the world a better place.
The trip to Denmark was nevertheless a motivation impulse to every team member and a confirmation that we were working on something bigger than ourselves. Literally. We got a proper induction into the company culture, went on guided tours through the factory and the museum (talk about heritage) and got to see the huge water pumps, the one evergreen device that stood at the core of the business.
This offered our team the right context to do what we know best and bring to the table our true way of working - not implementors, but consultants who pay undivided attention to every stage of the process, improving and optimizing along the way in each area where there is a need to accelerate and or develop much more efficient processes.
Coincidentally or not, we figured that our development process was similar to Grundfos’ way of working, which was a great starting point for our collaboration.