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Collaborative Sourcing – investing in a relationship

Collaborative Sourcing – investing in a relationship


Over the past decades, the dependency on external suppliers has exploded: the larger corporation, the larger dependency. High-efficiency industrial models rely on a network of suppliers and specialist deliveries. IT is a relatively new part of this mix but stands out because of its complexity.

As the dependency on IT grows, well-working and smooth relationships with IT suppliers also increase. Lock-in effects, scarcity of skilled resources, no alternative suppliers, and market conditions can lead to almost a monopoly.


Collaborative Sourcing unlocks the benefits of the suppliers full potential. 


The importance of establishing and nurturing a good relationship with the supplier base, including mutually symmetric and transparent sharing of information, has never been more significant. We do have a recommended approach to unlock the full potential.

Collaborative Sourcing is a model which can and should be applied selectively for complex challenges, when the situation requires a more profound and exhaustive grip, to comprehend needs, functionalities, possibilities and constraints – mutually and with a 360-degree perspective.

There are different models to adapt to Collaborative Sourcing, of which Vested Outsourcing is one established concept. Based on a North American context, Vested Outsourcing evolved from a win-lose mindset to a more balanced approach. In a European business context, collaborative thinking has a generally stronger foothold.

The fundamental benefits of collaboration and a well-functioning relationship are undeniable. Drawing from Opticos extensive experience, we firmly believe that Collaborative Sourcing is a clever and long-term efficient way of procuring new services.

Collaborative Sourcing caters for the deepest possible knowledge about the services and deliveries. Through a Collaborative Sourcing model, the Customer can adapt to and understand the most standardised and efficient way of consuming the service – to ensure business value for both parties.

Collaborative Sourcing fosters a relationship based on trust between Customer and supplier. It does this through a deep understanding of the procured services, tested cooperation with the supplier delivery units, and allows for the suppliers most efficient standard services with minimal changes.

Adhering to the Collaborative Sourcing process is more time-consuming than a conventional procurement process. However, based on experience, we see the following:



The procuring organisation and the business it serves need to obtain a detailed understanding of the purchase made. The process is iterative and in close collaboration with the supplier, enabling an in-depth understanding of the solution’s functionality and fit for client organisations.


Standard services procurement allows the Customer to receive all standard development and enhancements in the suppliers base standard services – harvesting the ideas of everyone that contributes to enhancing the services eco-system.


Collaborative Sourcing with a close iterative process strengthens the relationship between the parties. As a result, the supplier is more likely to invest in the relationship, not because the supplier must do it – because they want to.


The Customer can procure the most streamlined services by adapting to suppliers standard deliveries, making the least possible adaptations to the Customer-specific situation. It will drive the procurement towards commercially available products and leverage suppliers expertise and most efficient solutions.

Opticos provides expert knowledge and guides organisations in Collaborative Sourcing, with selective parts in a differentiated approach, to develop successful and tailored sourcing strategies.

Get in touch with us!

Anders Gullbrandson

Selma Topalovic

Jan-Vidar Hugsted


PHOTO: Lucas Favre, Unsplash

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Ny betalningsinfrastruktur - vad missar bankerna?

Ny betalningsinfrastruktur – vad missar bankerna?


I samband med transformationen till ny betalningsinfrastruktur finns stor potential.


  • Banken har möjlighet att utveckla sina produkter men samtidigt också stärka sin marknadsnärvaro. Kan låta självklart men det är en vanlig miss.
  • Banken har möjlighet att effektivisera sina interna processer för att uppnå en Lean Enterprise med effektiviserad IT-miljö. Idag har många banker diversifierade IT-miljöer eftersom de har byggt upp sin IT-miljö i takt med sin produktutveckling. Därmed har olika system för olika produkter skapats internt – och dessutom parallellt med olika partnerbanker för olika produkter.
  • Bankerna har under lång tid utvecklat sina produkter i olika team inom banken. För att effektivisera detta och att uppnå en mer homogen IT-miljö, krävs inte bara en plan på längre sikt. Det krävs en plan som går att genomföra.

Vi rekommenderar att banken genomför en strategisk planering och samordnar transformationen till en ny betalningsinfrastruktur med andra initiativ i en road-map som kan starta direkt. Detta gör det möjligt att ta ett steg tillbaka, lyfta blicken och sedan göra ett medvetet beslut hur du som bank bäst kan dra störst nytta av de kommande förändringarna.

Vi har utvecklat metoder för utvärderingar som tar allt från 20 min upp till 4 veckor. Opticos arbetar nära sina kunder hela vägen från analys med business case till genomförandet av förändringar i verksamheten.

Hör av dig till oss på Opticos för en kostnadsfri snabb assessment.

Maria Ekberg

Opticos är ett konsultbolag inom Management. Många av våra seniora konsulter har djup kunskap inom Bank i kombination med IT-management, Data management, Digitalisering, Cloud-strategi och Sourcing-strategi som används för att ta fram bankens strategiska planer. Opticos har hjälpt banker i deras strategisk planering.
Photo: Raphael Andres

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Digital Transformation - are you wasting your money?

Digital Transformation – are you wasting your money?

On a global scale, we spend billions on digital transformation. Looking at Sweden, 21% of the total IT budget focus on transformation initiatives (1). At the same time, only 30% turn out successful (2). But what is the key to a successful digital transformation journey? In this short article, I will look back and reflect on what I think is essential to succeed.

First some take-aways

Being part of the IT industry for the last 30 years, I got my fair share of digitalisation projects. As a result, I have found these common denominators for a successful outcome:

  • A dedicated and motivated cross-functional project team
  • Stakeholders believing in the end-product
  • A strong will to explore and make the most of available technology
  • A target audience ready to embrace new ways of working

And please – do not under any circumstance underestimate the power of having fun within the team!

Digital Transformation – is it a new thing?

Let’s look at some of the projects I’ve been involved in to illustrate different types of digitalisation.

  • Digitisation, making digital out of analogue: In the Publishing Group, we scanned the comic strip Ernie and used it in our printed newsletter to bring some fun into the reading. We had one PC in the office that had the software required…
  • Digitalisation, using new technology to simplify the work: A custom-built, client-server market administrative system replaced the old mainframe 3270 black-green screens to modernise the management of articles, suppliers, and customers.
  • Digital transformation, changing the way business gets done: An internal bank solution as a true disruption of the monetary flows, cutting away dependencies on banks. A salesforce automation solution showing one view of customer engagement, combining information about different products, simulating pensions, and turning the proposal into a contract. Updating the base systems from a new front-end and digitised the health declaration interpreted the answers to set score.

All these projects were performed in the 1990s, ages ago. It took time and resources to develop the solutions. Always starting from scratch, using available and not so sophisticated tools, writing lots and lots of code over and over again.

In my view, it’s the increased customer focus that is the big new with digital transformation of today — understanding the customer, finding new ways to interact and do business using new digital products and services – often fuelled by identified customer needs.

A reflection; do not forget about the internal customer! Digital transformation is an attitude – your co-workers deserve an experience as good as your customers.

Now to some serious facts

Significant investments are being made in digital transformation. 21% of the total IT budget for Swedish companies in 2021, 36 billion SEK, is focused on transformation initiatives (1). However, only 30% of digital transformations are successful (2).

There are many options and decisions to be made in a rapidly changing environment. So how do we know that we are doing what we can to succeed?

Opticos has developed a tool for assessing an organisation’s ability to perform digital transformation initiatives. The outcome is a holistic view of digital maturity and critical development areas. This outcome potentially could be the key to a successful digital transformation for your organisation.

Are you interested in assessing your company’s digital readiness? Do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of my colleagues at Opticos!

Sources: 1) Radar 2021, 2) BCG 2020

Anna Wilsby, Director & Head of Digital Transformation Capability

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How to prepare for a soft spot in the Cloud

How to prepare for a soft spot in the Cloud

Answer three questions, and your first step to a successful cloud adoption journey is done. This short article is about the questions, and how to manage the answers.

Let us conclude that nothing is new about Cloud – and that most companies already embarked on their cloud adoption journey a while ago. However, if not carefully prepared, the journey could take you on a bumpy road – or even worse, lead you to a place where you really do not want to be.

There are three key questions to address to prepare for a successful cloud adoption journey, enabling business value realization.

Why Cloud?

The obvious question, but sometimes the hardest. First, Cloud should be seen as a means – not a goal in itself. Consequently, clarifying ”why Cloud?” is the first step in the right direction.

Articulate your ”why cloud” in terms of business drivers and expected business value, preferably with internal priorities. For example: ”scalability to be prioritized over cost reduction”.

The ”why cloud” should be broadly anchored across management since this will serve as a foundation for the cloud strategy. This will continuously provide guidance in making priorities and decisions to ensure a business value-driven direction.

What should the cloud strategy look like?

Formulate the cloud strategy as an enabler for your business strategy rather than a technology shift.

The cloud strategy should align with the business strategy and ensure a balance between business value and risk management by:

  • clarifying the key benefits associated with cloud service consumption within the organization,
  • the approach to managing corresponding risks,
  • and needed capabilities,

all mapped against business objectives.

The cloud strategy should naturally address the service perspective/approach for delivery models (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS), cloud flavours (private/public/hybrid), and a potential multi-cloud approach.

Finally, the cloud strategy needs to be accessible, engaging to read to create the everyday awareness required to minimize a future of ”shadow cloud”. Special attention needs to be paid to how to communicate to make an impact that sticks.

How to govern the cloud adoption journey?

A governance structure and the right skill set to match its needs is fundamental. There is, however, a best practice approach available to achieve this. Establish a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE), a centralized governance function to drive and support cloud adoption.

An effective CCoE include small, highly-skilled, supportive and cross-functional teams (e.g. cloud services and enterprise architecture, security and legal). The purpose of the CCoE is to build the necessary capabilities and provide tangible guidance in cloud adoption based on business priorities and turn the cloud strategy into practice.

Having all this in place – an understanding of why, a strategic direction defining what we aim for, and an active cloud governance function to support the how – you should be equipped for a smoother journey into the Cloud.

The rest is just hard work.

Maria Nelsson, Head of Business Development at Opticos is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Accelerating your Cloud Adoption Journey

Accelerating your Cloud Adoption Journey

To say that Cloud-based services enable new business models would be to kick-in open doors. Let’s add that Cloud also provides exciting new ways to consume and work with applications, infrastructure, data, and we have something interesting to explore.

To name a few; Rapid back-end infrastructure scaling; mixed pricing-models using both committed capacity and pay-as-you-go; and purpose-designed offerings covering both infrastructure and application layer like ERP on cloud hyperscaler.

In retrospective, on-premise ERP solutions used to be the only alternative for global corporations. Today, Cloud ERP is a real alternative for global corporations. Yet, considering cloud ERP is not simply a question of comparing SaaS against on-premise.

Let’s take SAP S/4 HANA, as an example. Deployed in different flavours, yet very different in their nature and characteristics – each can claim to be Cloud ERP in some sense.

Most businesses already consume cloud services; however, as companies consume more cloud services, they realize that it exposes real challenges and difficulties to manage.

What does your Cloud Adoption Journey look like?

Every organization make its own Cloud Adoption Journey, with a unique set of challenges, priorities and needs.

Effectively supporting an organization to succeed with Cloud, it is crucial to understand where they are on their Cloud Adoption Journey.

Pin-pointing the current position in an overall Cloud Journey context, from Strategy, Foundation, Sourcing, Transition to Operation, will make it easier to understand the next steps.

Think about what your organization’s Cloud Journey. What areas would be next to address? What drives your Cloud Journey?

A key success factor in any Cloud Adoption Journey is to explore and understand the drivers and expectations of the business value waiting to be unlocked. There are many reasons for making cloud investments. Identifying and clarifying those reasons are essential to set priorities right and make informed decisions on a cloud journey.


A few real-world examples: 

  • Technical Development Teams often praise the value in the flexible and fast infrastructure scaling opportunities provided by hyperscaler cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Business Development Teams can see value in providing customers with new offerings, through new business models such as subscription-based services. New cloud-based applications/services such as Zuora can leverage this new market niche for subscription-based services.
  • Large organizations often struggle with complex and time consuming traditional business systems upgrades and see value in new SaaS platforms. SaaS applications can provide value by offering customers opportunities to stay “evergreen”, always running on the latest release version.


Opticos Cloud Offerings

To help accelerate your Cloud Adoption Journey, Opticos provides a set of cloud service offerings, to leverage and complement your internal capabilities.


Cloud Strategy

  • Strategy Definition
  • Operational Readiness
  • Strategy Review

Cloud Foundation

  • Cloud Architecture Review
  • Application Landscape Review
  • Cloud 2nd Opinion

Cloud Sourcing

  • Cloud Sourcing Advisory
  • Contracting
  • Market Analysis

Cloud Transition

  • Application Migration
  • Workplace Transformation
  • Infrastructure Migration

Cloud Operation

  • Cloud Governance
  • Contract & Vendor Management


Opticos is an independent advisory partner to help you navigate the Cloud Journey. Being an independent partner, Opticos represent you and acts in your best of interests, with your existing and future Cloud Service Providers and System Integrators.

To learn more about our four offerings most relevant to your needs – do not hesitate to reach out, and our team of experienced Management Consultants and Sourcing Specialists will help you out.


Peter Schill, Senior Manager at Opticos currently works from his home on Tjörn just north of Göteborg.

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Building a team online


The pandemic made us all re-think everything. Using public transportation, going to the dentist or just shopping for groceries – it all changed almost over-night. We quickly adopted as individuals and as organisations. For some, it was an easy change, for others practically not a change at all.

Tools like Teams and Zoom were already there, but suddenly they made a massive impact on our everyday life. These collaboration tools quickly became the backbone of what we do and how we do it.

Leaving us with no other alternatives we quickly adopted, and now after months of uncertainty – we find ourselves having new perspectives on teamwork and how to interact with our colleagues. The involvement and openness with colleagues are changed.

Even before the pandemic we had learned, the hard way – that being conscious of company cultures is of great importance. Years of working in many different organisations and experienced all sorts of ways of working – we have seen it all.

The pandemic did not change that. We still regard a few critical enablers to have a significant impact on collaboration and teamwork, regardless. Let us dive into four of them before we look at the online team experience.

  • Team composition
  • Common view and direction
  • Rules of engagement
  • Transparency and communication

Team composition

Ensure the right mix of competencies to get a balance of perspectives. The idea is to provide a holistic view when the team face a task or challenge. Teams only with members of similar competences tend to agree with themselves, all the way to failure.

Case: It’s such an advantage to have a mixed team of consultants and client representatives. At least in assignments with consultants. Not only for knowledge sharing but also for a more hands-on approach supporting an execution that goes beyond PowerPoint.

Common view and direction

A clear direction for the team is critical. Have the team agree to a common picture of where the team is going. Possibly add a few carefully defined goals on the way to get there. The goals will help the team to make the right priorities. Naturally, time spent to agree on what makes the team effort a success for both the team and the customer is well spent time.

Case: A goal in a project was to “improve the process for new Service Development”. By breaking down the goal, an acceptance criteria was defined, “we have a process/way of working for capturing demands for larger development of our services and/or new services”.

Rules of engagement

Some fundamental rules of how people interact in the team are also essential. How to behave in digital meetings, how to behave during a conflict, how to overcome cultural difference or just plain disagreements.

Case: In a project with people from various cultural backgrounds (Sweden, India, UK and US), a cultural etiquette matter escalated.

To avoid open conflict due to misunderstandings – rules of engagement was introduced. Team members received a checklist to follow before making any escalation. A few examples from the checklist; 1) contact the person/team where the issue originates 2) clearly express how you experience the issue without blaming or criticising 3) listen to your counterpart to understand the full picture.

Transparency and communication

Find the right communication channels for the team or project and do not be afraid to try out different ways of working. Communicate, change and improve as you go. As teams are now more disperse and digital, being clear on what technology to use and be persistent sticking to tools like Teams, Zoom, Miro, Slack, Sway or any of the collaboration tools that fit the needs of the team – might be success criteria.

Case: In a transformation program with many stakeholders, rumours and anxiety affecting the team was observed. Weekly morning FAQ meetings, onsite and video, was set up. The idea was to have stakeholders ask questions and for the team to share information. Quickly the team openness improved trust and acceptance, which helped to ease the previous anxiety.

Ok, so much for what we already knew about enabling teamwork before the pandemic. The question is, what we can do to enhance the team experience online?

Here are our key takeaways and success factors, enabling a collaborative culture that goes beyond the physical meeting.

  • Go beyond booked meetings
  • Master technology
  • Involve everyone
  • Video is fun
  • Be there for the team

Go beyond booked meetings

Don’t just have formal, booked calendar appointments! Chat, call, video call your teammates even out of the blue. Imagine you are at the office and want to ask your colleague a quick question. No need for email or meeting. Again, for remote teams, technology is essential. But don’t underestimate that you need to nudge and train to establish a potentially new behaviour within the team. You might need to be the “pain” sometimes.

Master technology

Master the technology by learning all the functionality necessary for hosting and participating in an online meeting. Before being completely comfortable, preferably set up the appointment before it starts so that you can test the sound and video quality.

Involve everyone

Ensure interaction by including all participants, e.g start with a check-in with the participants and get them to rate their mood with emojis. Then ask for feedback and plan the meeting with break-out sessions to ensure you include everyone’s view.

Video is fun

Encourage everyone to turn on the video feed in meetings. It creates engaged and interactive meetings. Pay attention to audio and visuals and simple tricks can do wonders for everyone’s experience. Putting some books or a small box under the laptop to provide a better angle makes a big difference. Use a window with daylight and audio can be improved by just a few minutes of googling.

Be there for the team

Now is the time to reach out to your team members and colleagues to check on them. How are they doing? Listen more, talk less. Be aware and empathetic to other people’s different situations and well-being.

By aiming to maintain a sense of togetherness, we also nurture and provide fuel for the team. We can do this for many reasons. Not only for the sake of delivering and being productive – but for the sake of our sanity during extraordinary times!

To know more, please reach out to us info@opticos.se

Article by Maria Ekberg in collaboration with Natalie Mellin

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Yet another pair of trending buzzwords?

If you are not able to tell the difference between doing digital and being digital, rest assured – you are not alone.


A lot can be achieved by digitization, no one disagrees. Does it help to scale up the digital transformation? Well, that is a topic in this article.

It’s a no-brainer to build an app, but to stay successful, companies must be prepared to rethink their entire business model. There are numerous examples of how new scalable business models are challenging traditional – Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Klarna are just a few.

It’s all about delivering sustainable value over time. The mindset should be “we’re in for the long haul”. That is why many transformation initiatives die an early death, they simply fail to deliver sustainable value over time.

Taking a step back looking at the world around us – we see companies all over embracing a sudden surge of initiatives and massive investments being made, as practically every organization is focusing on transforming themselves into a digital organization.

And rightly so, the track records from some of today’s most valued companies have proven how customer-centricity in combination with technological advancements can create a paradigm shift in the business operations.

Let’s take COVID-19 as an example. Yes, the pandemic has surely dampened the thrust in some aspects but has served as an accelerator in others. Regardless, the pace is continuously picking up, faster than ever before.

So, what makes Digital @ Scale so interesting and important? Let’s explore this further. Digital @ Scale leads to two major considerations – “Digital” and “Scale”. While Digital is relatively easy to comprehend in the context of each company, the art of scaling it is what makes the major difference.

Technology has been assisting businesses to perform faster, better, and cheaper and will continue to do so. There is a plethora of technology options to choose from and a lot depends upon the past investments, existing solutions, company strategy, and sometimes even personal preferences. What matters the most is how the technology is put to work. Digital transformation is about leveraging opportunities in technology to drive the business forward.

As said initially in this article – about the difference between doing digital and being digital. It’s an area of concern and confusion. It is, however, a key distinction. We can achieve a lot by digitization, but does it help to scale up the digital transformation?

It’s all about delivering sustainable value over time. That is why many transformation initiatives die an early death, they simply fail to deliver sustainable value over time. It is easy to build an app, but to stay successful, companies must be prepared to rethink their entire business model. There are numerous examples of how new scalable business models are challenging traditional – Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Klarna.

Simple observation reveals that the focus has gradually shifted, first from Operational Excellence to Enterprise Agility and now towards Client Centricity. The scaling of digital transformation can only be achieved when each and every part of the company starts acting in unison with common objectives and having a single focus in mind – their Clients. And being digital for clients – anytime, everywhere.


But how do we achieve this?

At Opticos, we recommend starting with a digital readiness assessment, to deliver:

  • A high-level overview of prerequisites for change
  • A common view of, and alignment, around the current state
  • Risks to address
  • Prioritized initial actions to take.


Our Digital Transformation Readiness Assessment Framework takes a broad and pragmatic perspective on digital transformation by assessing areas such as:

  • Business Direction
  • Innovation & Customer Centricity
  • Capabilities & Workforce
  • Technology & Architecture
  • Ecosystem & Partners


The assessment is focused on the organization’s ability to prioritize, scale, and execute on set ambitions and provides a starting point and foundation for an accelerated digital journey and successful transformation.

To know more about Digital @ Scale and to explore how to assess your organization’s readiness and potential benefits, please reach out to us info@opticos.se

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Creating value for people is to create value for the organization

Creating value for people is to create value for the organization, not the other way around. That is really how I see it even in an ERP-implementation or with IT-sourcing. But, let’s take a closer look.

A few years ago I had this client assigned to leading a large change project. Let’s call him Peter. The assignment was vague and stakeholders had contradicting views on what should be achieved. Peter was about to panic when I asked him to calm down sit down with me in a gloomy HQ conference room.

This is what I did to help Peter to sell a completely new approach, take back the initiative and unite the stakeholders.

  • Identify “what good looks like” – paint the picture of where we want to be.
  • Simplify the message by crafting a storyline that people (actually) can relate to
  • Break it to the main stakeholders gently – Start with the simple stuff to get traction and momentum – wait with the hard stuff (only detail things that need to happen early)
  • Find good examples from other corporations where they faced similar challenges and what they did to tackle them
  • Plan for an early pilot or a proof of concept (POC) to make the first steps look reasonable and easy to understand – present sketches and do not work for perfection
  • Identify and describe the pain to the people we solve the problem for – if we can make them validate the problem – we will get the buy-in for what we can do – to make it happen


Why did all this work?

I helped Peter by understanding him and his challenge to unite his stakeholders. I helped him to break down complexity into pieces and put the focus on activities early on the timeline. The pilot did exactly that. By only promising a low complexity pilot very early and not describe a flagship in the distant future made it easy for the stakeholder to buy the direction we wanted to take. They could almost feel the pilot. They loved it. Peter loved it.


What I did for Peter from a people perspective

I gave Peter the tools and confidence to facilitate exactly the right discussions with the stakeholders. The steps above made the scope clear and most importantly; the first few steps created results.

This is what makes it fun to work with people. Making Peter the hero and making him grow is a sustainable way of growing the business. It’s also something that tends to make the business come back. To pay it forward. Peter knows how I work and often talks about how much pain he avoided through this approach.

Creating value for people is to create value for the organization, not the other way around. Value creation starts and ends with people. That is why connecting with people and creating value for people is our core business.


Håkan Liedman & Martin Steffen

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Opticos Challenge 2020 - with a Covid-19 twist

I have to be honest – for me, the most important part of our organization is my colleagues and I care about them. Only a few years ago we were small and I knew everyone in the company. But, with new offices and an increasing number of colleagues, it’s difficult to maintain a sense of “One Opticos”. Especially in today’s technological and always-connected environment. We can all work from anywhere which allows for great productivity. However, it could potentially isolate and take time from the face-to-face experience. Why not combine something that is healthy with something we can do together?

Opticos supports a healthy lifestyle and we have found that a good way to connect with each other is to exercise together. May it be a joint workout at the gym nearby during the lunch break? A morning run before work, or in this case, train for and run a race together. We believe running is a great way to step outside of the formal environment at work. It’s a great way to get to know each other and informally discuss what is on our minds, whether it is work-related or not. Many of us meet on a weekly basis, but still, we don’t necessarily know a lot about each other. Running enables us to foster deeper relationships and to show a different side of ourselves. Our incentive for this challenge is to engage with each other in a way that isn’t related to our day-to-day work.

That’s why I and a group of colleagues decided to train for the New York Marathon. Well, that was before it got canceled. During the time leading up to the race, which normally takes place in November, we planned not only train individually but as a group as well in order to encourage each other, as this was the first marathon for many of us. We planned to have structured training sessions following training programs that are individually adapted to each colleague’s goal for the race. Some of us have long experience of running and have a target time in mind, while some of us are relatively new to it and are fine with running the 42-kilometers at an even pace. We are all at different levels but it’s something for us to bond over. That’s the great thing about running, it is not only a personal challenge but also very sociable. As you know the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from going this year, but it did not stop us from training for it! Now we have gained an additional year of training and we look forward to standing on the starting line 2021 instead.

We are using an app as the main platform to log our training sessions. The idea is to follow each other’s progression, get inspired and encourage each other. Research shows that exercising with friends, colleagues or even strangers is contagious (pun intended), so by spreading information – we hope to see the team grow. That is still a good idea – even due to the cancellation of not only Göteborgsvarvet, but also New York Marathon 2020.

At Opticos, we want to go from being individual runners, running to stay fit or as a hobby, to start running together and as a team at different races. As Christopher McDougall wrote in his book Born to run“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other.” For us, it’s not so much about the race itself but the journey to get there.

In times of change and Covid-19 we need to inspire ourselves and others even more, we will be posting updates in the future about our journey leading up to different races, so stay tuned to find out how it all went once we have crossed the finish line – wherever that finish line is.

Richard Orrebrant

Fun facts: Opticos, founded 10 years ago in Gothenburg. The city is well known among other things for hosting the most popular half-marathon, and second most popular road race, in the world; Göteborgsvarvet (also canceled in 2020). We thought it only fitting that for our 10th anniversary take on the challenge of participating in the most popular road race in the world; The New York Marathon. It is a bit ironic that the marathon never did make it to the 50th anniversary this year but we are looking forward to next year instead.

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Unbeaten Ambition

Already from day one, we aimed for building a premium brand management consultancy firm. Not to build another one – but to build one that could listen more to our clients than talking to them.

Looking back – thinking about Anders and me sitting at that coffee table 10 years ago and how we talked about managing pretty complex sourcing programs – it’s good to reflect on what we did to make all this happen.

Back then, we knew it would not be enough to bridge that gap between the buyer and seller of complex services – representing the buyer. No, we would need to facilitate and enable win-win situations to build long and strong relationships. Just like in any personal relationship, a partnership needs to be built on transparency, joint and known objectives, an understanding of priorities – to enable a long and prosperous relationship. We could see a need for a new sort of sourcing advisory firm – and we started Opticos.

We wanted our clients to know us for listening more than talking. Aiming for what was right for them. Succeeding we made things happen. We called the way we helped our clients “the Power of knowing” and with “Make things happen” – they became our taglines. This grew into our values of Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity & Humbleness.

Having a strong belief in that we all need to contribute to a better world beyond talking about it – we decided to be a company taking on social responsibility, promoting diversity and integrating sustainable practices in everything we do.

Today 10 years down the track, we provide IT-enabled business transformation and sourcing advisory services, making it happen to our large base of clients in the Nordics. I think we can be really proud to say that we are delivering on our promises second to none and in accordance with our values – and having fun together doing it!

This was our #unbeatenAmbition looking back. Looking up and into the future – Let’s Make it happen for the next 10 years as well!

Fredrik Hallberg & Anders Gullbrandson

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