Stefanini and hepster collaboration
hepster is a growing business with its headquarters in Germany and sells digital insurance products for everything – from electronic devices and bikes to sports equipment and pets. Operating in Germany, Austria and France, hepster needed an IT service provider that could support its ambitious growth plans.
Having held a screening for nearshoring vendors, hepster ’s CTO, Peter Schöning, selected Stefanini based on its strong track record in helping businesses scale. He credits Stefanini’s speed at adjusting to hepster ’s changing requirements as essential for the success of the partnership.
“Stefanini is a business that knows how to scale, which is important for hepster because we’re also scaling – which means we constantly need to ramp up really fast with new teams based in new markets. The speed at which Stefanini has been able to adjust to our requirements has been crucial for us. Throughout our partnership, Stefanini has been fast, flexible and highly professional, supporting us at a genuinely excellent level,” explains Schöning.
The Stefanini team
Stefanini’s growing team of six developers based in Bucharest carries out maintenance and development on hepster ’s existing web and microservice applications. The team codes, tests and debugs applications, solves customer problems, identifies how existing systems and applications can be improved, and recruits and evaluates potential candidates for all hepster development teams.
Ovidiu Gaiță, Principal Delivery Manager at Stefanini EMEA, says: “We like to think we’ve become an extension of the hepster team – we have a deep partnership in which we’re entrusted to make a real difference to the systems and applications in place, while also shaping the hepster development teams of the future.”
Responding to Covid-19 disruption
Another key factor in the success of the partnership has been adapting effectively in the face of disruption caused by the pandemic.
“A lot of businesses collapsed in the face of the pandemic simply because they lacked the flexibility to respond. They weren’t set up to become fully remote and they couldn’t transform the way they work to the extent that the situation required. That was never an issue with Stefanini; they know how to operate effectively with remote teams all over the world,” explains Schöning.
Karin De Man, Business Development Director, Stefanini EMEA, says: “Covid-19 never posed any significant challenges for our relationship with hepster. Not only was our operational team able to work entirely remotely, but we also were able to meet up via video calls regularly and had a very lean governance model. Although we had to communicate via video calls, we built exceptional relationships across the team – and we’re delighted that we’re now able to build on these by meeting up in person, too.”
The personal touch
These personal relationships have been another significant factor in Stefanini’s partnership with hepster, with Schöning valuing that someone from Stefanini is always available for a quick call where needed.
“Relative to the size of our business, Stefanini is a very large corporation, but the experience of working together has significantly underlined that it’s possible to be a company the size of Stefanini and still build deep, personal relationships and to remain accessible to clients. There’s always been someone who will make time to talk to me if I have any issues and the speed and flexibility, we’ve received has been extremely valuable to us, especially during stressful times during the pandemic. When there’s that trust and a genuine relationship has been built, you get to the point that your collaboration is a real strategic partnership.”
With a strategic partnership in place, it’s possible to confidently plan for a long-term collaboration, according to Schöning: “We’re already looking ahead to five years or more because we’ve learned so much together and had so many great experiences. Ultimately, we can assess the partnership and confidently say that we have a bright future collaborating with Stefanini.”