We talked to Ariel Gesto, founder of InvGate, about improving IT services and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ariel Gesto: It’s been a rough year for everyone. A lot of plans and dreams have been delayed. But we focused on staying healthy, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and protecting each other.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded InvGate.
Ariel Gesto: About 15 years ago, after working in the IT department of one of the largest newspapers in Argentina, I decided to become an entrepreneur. After pivoting from my first business idea, I realized that most organizations were struggling to manage their IT assets, like servers or workstations, and the existing solutions were way too expensive. This is how I started coding the first version of what now is InvGate Assets and after two years the MVP was ready. A couple of months later I signed our first client, a logistics company. And the rest is history. We now serve thousands of organizations around the world with our service desk and asset management solutions.
How does InvGate innovate?
Ariel Gesto: We innovate by listening to our users. Not focusing on the competition but on the daily conversations, we have with our clients who use our products to make their companies more efficient. Our solutions allow strategic departments like IT and HR to support the organization with better communication channels, accountability, and easy to access information. We listen, we plan and we ship. The fastest the better.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Ariel Gesto: The pandemic accelerated the need for software that could support a distributed workforce, a situation that the pandemic forced to adopt to most companies around the world. The goal of a service desk is to provide the organization with all types of services, from IT to HR support from a centralized point of contact. So the demand for our solutions increased considerably.
During 2020, we offered InvGate Service Desk for free, to SMEs that needed to adapt to the new situations and didn’t have the tools or resources to do it.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Ariel Gesto: In late 2019, we inaugurated a brand new office to support our planned growth for 2020. While we were able to continue with our plans of investing in talent, our offices were a key part of our culture, and that was suddenly out of the table. While most of our headcounts are engineers who are used to work remotely, we had to adapt to the reality of not sharing the same space, or connecting sociably the way we were used to. It demanded a lot of work from our leadership and HR to maintain the company’s positive culture. I believe that after 12 months of this situation we are in a good place.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Ariel Gesto: We leverage our solution, InvGate Service Desk, to support our clients. This lets us assign a responsible person for each account at different levels, assuring that clients are receiving the support they need and we are accountable for that. As most interactions are through digital channels, we automate processes like request management and customer engagement. Customer experience is in our DNA and we work daily on improving the way we and our clients work.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Ariel Gesto: No, we didn’t.
Your final thoughts?
Ariel Gesto: 2020 was a year that required us to evolve as individuals and as a company. While I believe things will slowly start to come back to normal, many new habits are here to stay. The future is full of new opportunities for entrepreneurs.