June, 18, 2020
Roger Gullhaug, Head of Development of RamBase, a Hatteland company, shares his thoughts with us on commencing their partnership with 99X Technology, the experience of working with virtual teams and more. As the trusted development partner to Norway-based Hatteland for over seven years, 99X Technology together with Hatteland remain dedicated to providing best-in-class technology services to multinational Fortune 500 companies.
What does the Hatteland company, RamBase, focus on?
The Hatteland company that I work for, RamBase, focuses on building an ERP system targeted at production companies and wholesale companies. RamBase is a very large system consisting of a lot of different modules for sales, procurement, finance, production, logistics, auction, service rental, HR – basically, a lot of different modules that should support most of the operational needs of companies in our target market.
What about your journey at Hatteland and your current role?
I started in Hatteland 18 years ago, so I’ve been working with the RamBase ERP system for a very long time! I started as a developer, working with technical stuff. I also worked on our robotic warehousing system for a couple of years and then came back to RamBase where I’ve been working for many years as a developer in different roles – architect, lead technology architect and now, head of development.
What led you to evaluating and engaging with an offshore partner in Sri Lanka?
We started looking for a partner like 99X Technology and to be honest, started looking into companies closer to Norway. But then we got in touch with 99X Technology, with Hasith and Prasath, who visited us and made a really good impression. We understood that they knew technology, were familiar with our way of working and importantly, understood our culture in a very good way as they had been working with Norwegian companies for very long, so that made it an easy choice for us. We’ve now been working with 99X Technology for seven years and it has been working very well for us. We started with five people, now up to eight and we are very happy with the three different teams we have here.
Your thoughts on 99X Technology’s technical talent?
We choose to use 99X Technology for many of our technical projects because there is an excellent technical understanding and competencies within their teams. Most of our most challenging technical projects come to the 99X Technology teams.
How important would you say the culture fit is when working with virtual teams?
I think it’s important that we understand each other, that we can speak freely and that the 99X Technology team is not afraid of telling us if we are doing something wrong, if we should do better, if we should change things. That was actually one of the things we were cautious about in the beginning – that 99X Technology would just accept everything we said and not question our viewpoint but they have been very good in that regard and we are very happy with that.
Looking back, would you say that engaging with an offshore partner was a good idea?
It was absolutely a good idea for us and it’s hard to imagine that we could continue without 99X Technology now. Absolutely.
Any lessons you have learnt working with an offshore team that you would like to share with other companies like yourself?
I think a lesson learnt is that to get this kind of arrangement to work really well, you should not write specifications, send it over and get a product back. You need to engage within the teams. We have mixed teams – some developers in Norway and some developers in Sri Lanka working together and what we have seen is that working collaboratively is much better than just writing some specifications, sending it here and waiting for two weeks to get something back.
Any pointers you would like to share on managing tech teams?
The most important thing when managing a team is to be able to motivate the team. As long as they are motivated, things will work very well, so you need to give the team freedom to check out new technology, find new ways of doing things and try not to control things down to the smallest details – this will bring you good results.
You’ve been to Sri Lanka several times – what are your thoughts on the country?
We have been to Sri Lanka many times now, this is my fourth or fifth visit I think. It’s always very nice to come here, especially during wintertime in Norway! The people here are amazing and the team, we have been working with them for so long, they have become friends as well as colleagues, so it’s always a good experience. We also try to take the Lankan team to Norway for them to be able to gain that experience as well.
About Hatteland: Hatteland delivers innovations that make your business more efficient, reliable and secure. It started in 1971 selling electronic components, which was very successful but with it, brought its own challenges. To solve these challenges, Hatteland developed its own solutions and reliable business systems that are now recognized and used by multinational Fortune 500 companies.
About 99X Technology: Headquartered in Sri Lanka, 99X Technology is a technology company co-creating well-engineered, innovative digital products for the Scandinavian market. Its expertise has been proven through a portfolio of over 150 impactful global digital products developed since 2004, together with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). 99X Technology employs over 300 technology and product specialists, who are high achievers, creative thinkers and team players. The company was adjudged one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2019. 99x is ranked among Sri Lanka's 100 Most Respected Entities by LMD Magazine and has been named a Best Workplace in the country for seven consecutive years
Photo caption: Roger Gullhaug, Head of Development of RamBase, a Hatteland company