Starting at Sofico as a Business Consultant (and then came corona)


'After almost 20 years with the same employer – the first after my studies – I felt it was time for a change of environment. But ideally, I wanted to take these 20 years of knowledge and experience with me.’ Peter Poot tells his story.

Twist of fate

I came into contact with Sofico quite by chance because a former colleague of mine was going to work there. ‘Sofico, never heard of them. What do they do?’ And so it all started...

Via LinkedIn I discovered to my amazement that I knew someone else there. And just for the fun of it, I took a look at the job vacancies page: IT positions, nope. ‘But what about this, they are looking for Business/Implementation Consultants, too. What does that actually involve, in their context?’

To get answers to my questions, it seemed a good idea to have an exploratory talk (and that piece of good fortune (!) came fairly quickly). It clicked on both sides and suddenly that was step one of a job application process. Ten weeks later I was part of Sofico. I started as a BC/IC on 1 February 2020.

Welcome on board

It soon became clear the people start at Sofico on a regular basis and they have a real ‘onboarding’ process. This process consists of various training courses, both conventional sessions and self-study, by and with Sofico colleagues from every region. And there are a few colleagues with specific onboarding roles: a learning coach, a job coach and of course the unit coach. They provide guidance/assistance during the start phase.

Landing at the workplace

It started well straight away: a five-day functional training course to get to know the Sofico software package, Miles. In the week that followed I visited the Ghent office to get acquainted there and have a few introductory training courses.

Thanks to the warm welcome from my new colleagues in the Netherlands, I ‘landed’ smoothly in my new work environment. I soon found my way around the office and learnt about the main tools.

Getting to know the product

In my third week, configuration training was on the agenda; the in-depth analysis of and familiarisation with the Miles package. You learn how it can be set up flexibly to adapt optimally to the customer's wishes. This course lasts two weeks, with a week’s ‘rest’ in between. (For me it was a week’s holiday, because it coincided with the winter sports week.)

Miles offers a wide range of configuration possibilities, so the training is extensive. I see it just as an initial major and far-reaching familiarisation, because it is a lot (!) to be able to place in context and absorb directly. After a total of five weeks at Sofico, including three weeks’ training and one week’s holiday, it was ‘really’ going to start.

Now for real!

As a member of team A, I take part in their scrum flow: daily stand ups, two-weekly refinement, retrospective and planning consultations. Suddenly there is so much flying around (customers, tickets, repro-cases, development and more) and you try to place it all in the big picture.

Slowly but surely, it gets better and better: with the assistance of the job coach, an experienced colleague from the same team, I soon become more knowledgeable overall.

Can we sometimes work from home?

With a little experience of the working method of Sofico and ‘my’ team, I head into the second week in March. Suddenly it's all about ‘corona’. A virus with the name of a beer? How serious could be it?

But it appears with a vengeance in Europe, too, and soon new hygiene measures come into force and we maintain a cautious distance. A few days later, everyone is working from home. And now? You are new at Sofico. You don’t know the people, the in-house ways and the material well enough yet and even looking over someone’s shoulder is out of the question.

You can learn remotely

It soon becomes clear that we can deal with things properly from a distance. The daily scrum – which we already did partly on line because some colleagues work on site at customers or elsewhere – was perhaps even more efficient.

Everything that was initially an ‘exception’ is now standard. For everything: training courses, coordination with coaches, team meetings ... everything happens on line. And it goes better than expected: no technical hiccups, all the necessary tooling is already there. The ticket system and all the knowledge was already on line, a lot of the training courses were already digital and there are excellent possibilities for calls.

For instance, the ‘line’ to the job coach and colleagues is far easier for me than I expected and I can carry on seamlessly with the onboarding process. Following courses, studying by myself and picking up tasks ‘simply’ go ahead. Of course you have to get used to it, it calls for discipline and a ‘decent’ workplace at home.

Naturally I’m looking forward to being able – in a reasonable manner – to work together at the office gain, making outside appointments and tightening social contacts.

The digital way of working that Sofico enables (and that we are shaping together) makes coronavirus-proof onboarding a great experience!

Far better than I could have imagined beforehand.

​​​​​​​Peter Poot
Business Consultant
Sofico Service Netherlands

#WeAreSofico #JoinTeamSofico


Share this story  —   Facebook     Twitter

More life at Sofico