Professional services organizations, or PSOs, always need to be on their toes when they are working with customers. VOGSY, a fast-growing company spun out of Swedish company AllSolutions, is giving folks working in that field a platform that will feel familiar if they have used G Suite.
VOGSY CEO Mark van Leeuwen had a chance to speak with us about the company’s technology and what problems they are solving. The CEO also told the humorous story of what their name means.
Also, VOGSY is hiring! Click here for all of the company’s job openings.
To start off, I’d like to learn more about your background. What were you doing leading up to the founding of VOGSY?
VOGSY’s customer centricity comes from my focus on changing things for the better throughout my career. In the past, I’ve worked on process redesign to bring about greater business efficiencies. I witnessed that while things can be made more efficient, the exercise does not necessarily “change the world” or make clients’ lives easier. That type of deeper, encompassing progress requires a more systemic approach. I’ve worked in several roles in the software industry, tech, consulting, as well as a large bank, helping take organizations through the cultural, as well as digital changes needed to be faster and make clients’ lives better.
Tell me the story of VOGSY. What was the ‘aha’ moment?
There were several and some are gradual; it was clear for some time that today’s users don’t want to engage with ‘software’. Rather, people expect tech to ‘just be there.’ People manage their lives through social. Any business application should be just as instant, connected, familiar and shared. I suppose one of our ‘aha’ moments stemmed from the Google Chromebook and G Suite. You open it up, it’s ready to go – no installation, no IT, no waiting. One access point to create, share and collaborate. That’s what we aim for. And that’s why we run on Google and leverage those apps in our product.
Where did the name come from?
VOGSY is an acronym that stands for “very old guy staying young.” It’s a personal and humorous take on experienced executives exploring new ways to remain on top of their game, relevant and competitive. Professional services is continually evolving and you can’t rest. You need to always examine how you work, be ready to refresh established processes and embrace ways that’ll improve productivity. And that’s how an organization stays ahead, too.
What are some of the core problems VOGSY is solving through its offering?
In simpler times, marketing agencies, management consultants, law firms and other professional services organizations (PSOs) were successful if they supported customers. Now, their customers are more well-informed and targeted aggressively with competing offers - more is required to retain and profit from their business.
PSOs need to be agile and every individual on a team needs to follow suit - the ability to plan and act quickly and efficiently is crucial. This applies to all areas, from hiring to developing talent, resource management, planning, sales, delivery, finance - the lot! And professional services automation (PSA) is needed to eliminate time consuming tasks, free-up personnel and get everyone moving in the same direction.
Streamlining and enhancing the business means removing complexity and empowering individual performance. VOGSY is the only PSA solution built on the Google Cloud Platform - it’s simple and powerful. It’s focused solely on the many PSOs and project-based organizations enlisting G Suite. It’s recognizable to Google users – they open it up and are ready to go, much like the simplicity of G Suite itself – providing the agility, collaboration and lower overhead decision-makers want.
How have the company and solutions evolved over the years?
By staying true to its roots and mission.
VOGSY founder, Leo Koster, is also CEO of AllSolutions, the parent company and a player in professional services automation (PSA) software for enterprises. Koster believes inspiration and profit go hand-in-hand; if you’re doing only one, you’ll lose the other.
It means providing tools that are enjoyable to use and empowering to the individual and company. Further, Koster even literally moved VOGSY out the shadow of its parent company and into the heart of Amsterdam’s startup scene to cultivate its own unique culture and empower employees. And now, we’ve expanded in Boston with its thriving tech and innovation ecosystem.
Who are your customers? Any examples you can offer?
Our customers are innovative and disruptive companies delivering an array of professional services. We help marketing agencies drive better cost and financial management by improving time and cost allocation, invoicing, identifying the most profitable clients, pricing of projects and service proposals, and cash flow management. Customer Kirkman Company, a management consulting firm, uses VOGSY as a real-time all-around business tool to run the company and provide everyone immediate access to business insights. Specialisterren, a software company, uses VOGSY to enhance and optimize the way they run their business as they continue to expand. We also support customers such as law firms, accountants and architects.
What are some of the cool things you’re working on right now at the company?
We just announced a new release for VOGSY. Following some recent UI improvements, projects have been redesigned to make the UI more consistent for better user experience. We’ve also improved navigation to help people move quickly between project planning or calculation and resourcing for projects, among other improvements.
What comes next for Vogsy?
We are continuously working to support even more agencies, consulting groups, law firms and other PSOs. So, we need qualified experts to help our clients on their journey.
What kind of positions are you hiring for right now?
Currently, we are hiring for a Customer Success Specialist, which will be based in our Boston location and close to the great downtown scene. Applicants should have experience in a similar role, knowledge of PSOs, awareness of the basic financial concepts of quote to cash and excellent collaboration and communication skills. Interested applicants can apply on our career page.
Images courtesy of VOGSY