We talked to Luca Silvani of Sablab about developing online projects, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Luca Silvani: From a strict health point of view, I would say, well, the pandemic is putting a strain on the spirit, but fortunately, none of us got sick.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Sablab.
Luca Silvani: My training is classical humanistic: I graduated in Philosophy in 2009 at the University of Roma Tre with a thesis on free software and copyright in the digital age. The choice of the topic was dictated by the approach in 2004 to the GNU / Linux world, which has now become the cornerstone of my work, as with my company Sablab I deal with the management of the publishing infrastructure of client projects and the realization of projects and ad-hoc solutions based on open-source technology.
How does Sablab innovate?
Luca Silvani: The sector in which Sablab operates is that of highly customizable web-based systems: starting from the needs expressed by the customer, we build tailor-made platforms capable of responding to any need in an effective and scalable way. The innovative scope of such solutions lies precisely in the high degree of customization, a key factor for the evolution of a production process established from static to again efficient and natively interfaceable, opening up new business prospects.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Luca Silvani: From our point of view, the actual work processes have not changed: having always dealt with customers even very far from our headquarters, both the operations and the turnover have fortunately not been affected by the pandemic situation. Sensitive for prolonged periods as unfortunately happened to other sectors.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Luca Silvani: Also, in this case, our operational structure has shown good resilience, and we have remained on track without any cuts to collaborations. In any case, leaving aside the obvious and heavy economic repercussions on many sectors, I believe the greatest lesson is to be recorded at a social level: this pandemic has taught the world that thanks to IT tools, some social and work paradigms considered until recently long ago unchanging, although they require a decisive regulatory adaptation, they can be easily modified, with potential improvements in terms of quality of life, savings on mobility and optimization of results, both for companies and for the workers themselves.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Luca Silvani: The relationship with our customers has remained solid, both because we have been able to continue to offer our development, assistance, and support service on a regular basis, but also because in several cases, we have had to design, develop and implement solutions precisely in the face of the new operating methods in smart-working on our customers.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Luca Silvani: We benefited from some funds initially made available by the government, but fortunately, only for the first few months when everything was completely blocked. After that phase, today, we are among the few categories of activities that can be economically supported without the need for further government aid.
Your final thoughts?
Luca Silvani: We sincerely hope that the discomfort of this pandemic does not continue for long. The best way to get out of it all as soon as possible is to follow the directives of the experts, avoiding abandoning ourselves to discouragement and making available to each of us what we can, both in terms of time and resources.
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