Just after 17 years at Microsoft, Paul Rellis has put in the past 4 decades heading up the Viatel Technological innovation Group. He sat down with Ann O’Dea to talk about top via a pandemic, electronic transformation and the upcoming of business enterprise.
The very last time I sat down to interview Paul Rellis, he was nation supervisor for Microsoft in Ireland. So I was eager to capture up on his most recent journey as CEO of the Viatel Technology Group, where by he has viewed the indigenous company’s crew triple in size and increase, including via the acquisition of Digiweb and ActionPoint.
We started out our conversation by hunting again at his 17 yrs he invested at Microsoft, equally in Eire and overseas. “Microsoft was an totally fantastic experience, a amazing company and wonderful people today,” he suggests. “I figured out and created so significantly, and I think we seriously undervalue what providers like that have accomplished in Ireland for so a lot of men and women. They’ve invested in folks, used so lots of, developed so a lot of persons and it is been, for me individually, a wonderful journey.”
Rellis joined Microsoft in 2000 from Coca-Cola in Germany, where he was dwelling with his wife Lisa, mainly because, he suggests, he wanted to join a “leader in the technologies industry”.
Eire was a incredibly different country then, and the ‘born on the internet’ giants like Google and Facebook had not still arrived. “If you go back 20 decades it was incredibly significantly Intel, IBM, Dell, Microsoft, a pair of major world-wide corporations. Of class, now that has exploded into lots of organizations supplying tons of services and numerous of them are housed below in Dublin,” states Rellis.
“It’s wonderful, the possibilities people have nowadays to pick business X or firm Y. It implies you can concentration on making an attempt to come across the ideal fit for by yourself and it forces organizations to be better organised far too, and to be a lot more open to all sorts of people, all kinds of skills, because if they really don’t, they just won’t get the people today.”
Rellis thinks Eire and Dublin are really well positioned now in the world-wide economy. “The matter I’d adore to see extra of is individuals moving out of the more substantial organisations over time and into Irish providers, and taking all the learnings they have from there and kind of bringing it to lifestyle in other companies. And that is happening more and additional.”
And of program it is not just Dublin, as Rellis can testify. Viatel Technological innovation Team has groups in Dublin, Dundalk and Limerick these times, with organization predominantly focused in Ireland, but its sights are established on relocating further more afield in coming 5 decades, he claims.
Specified Viatel’s enterprise in telecoms, information centres and infrastructure, it was of course specified a ‘key industry’ throughout the pandemic, so whilst so a great deal of the globe switched off, considerably of Rellis’s group were being hard at work. “A whole lot of our people, our workforce, had been out there trying to keep the lights on in excess of the previous two a long time in the hardest of times for our business customers and consumers, so we actually feel like we’ve played a massive function in undertaking that,” he suggests.
Viatel commenced life as a telecoms business 20-odd a long time back and was brought jointly by way of acquisition and growth of companies. “It has a incredibly successful consumer brand known as Digiweb, a extremely effective small business brand name known as Viatel, and we obtained Action Place, a extremely productive managed services and cloud computing partner in Limerick last year,” clarifies Rellis. “So we’re rising exceptionally perfectly, which is excellent.”
These days, Rellis oversees a team of some 300, a trebling from 100 when he first joined. “It seems like it was all plain sailing and all quite simple, and of course it was not,” he claims. “The initial two years of my time there, we truly experienced to concentrate on acquiring ourselves right, obtaining the group right, the merchandise ideal, customer company, all those people factors.”
It was a method that was profitable, he suggests, and now he thinks the company has the proper merchandise and answers for the time we are in. “There’s extremely couple periods in small business wherever you have that really excellent emotion of momentum behind you, and that is the sensation we have ideal now.”
Lessons in leadership
With various decades in management roles, the interview is very well value a view for some best leadership lessons he has acquired, but one particular is about using a really hard look at your self as a chief.
“I’d be strongly encouraging every chief to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and really take individuals to heart and try and make improvements to on those over time, so that they’re strolling the discuss,” suggests Rellis. “Because when persons see more senior folks or leaders concentrating on themselves, hoping to make improvements to by themselves, taking all their vacations, being energised, doing all the proper items, it actually actually will make a difference.”
It is one of a number of positives that could arrive of out of the challenging pandemic many years, he tells me. “I consider, ironically, it could be really good for organization. Possibly we experienced kind of arrived at peak efficiency and leaders currently being so centered and sort of forgetting about them selves. So it is likely to be interesting to see the result in the coming a long time,” he says.
View the whole interview above. Paul Rellis has fulfilled his truthful share of excellent and lousy leaders in his a variety of roles in excess of the yrs, so he has loads of invaluable learnings to share.
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