Our client interview: Christophe Durrieu, CEO of Fructidor (France)
How can you be sure that you do all your best for the clients? The most reasonable and obvious thing you can do is to receive their sincere and timely feedbacks. Well-established communication is a vital condition for your partnership to succeed, of course. But what is even better is to invite customers to visit your office.
Recently, our client Christophe Durrieu (Fructidor, France) has visited our office. In addition to solving work issues, we interviewed him and asked how he had liked the cooperation with New Line Technologies. Since the decision to make an interview was spontaneous Christophe did not see the questions beforehand, so his answers turned out to be even more valuable for us.
The video was recorded using the Cinamaker.
0:19 – Introduce yourself and your business, please.
1:04 – The next question is about cooperation with our company, with New Line Technologies. Why did you choose us?
3:51 – What was the main task you gave to New Line Technologies? Was it maintaining the project or building something new?
5:52 – Really great to know we can cover your needs. We know there will be a release soon. What can you say about the cooperation process and total results?
7:52 – Another question is about project management: daily process, estimates and etc. How do you like it?
9:33 – What would you say about the team and people who work with your project? What are the main points for you?
11:32 – Do you have some advice for our improvement? Are there any areas we could be better?
13:15 – What is the most powerful part of our partnership? What is the most valuable for you?
15:08 – What are the future plans for your project? How do you see further cooperation with New Line Technologies?
16:44 – What would you advise our potential customers?
Christophe, hello. It’s really great to meet you here and ask you a lot of questions and find out a lot of interesting information. So, let’s get started. Introduce please yourself and your business.
My name is Christophe Durrieu. I am the owner of a media company with headquarter in France. We used to be a publisher, like B2B publisher of Yellow Pages, and now we are moving to internet platform with multi-services for professionals of the fruits industry.
The next question is cooperation with New Line technologies. Why did you choose us?
In our business and industry, the internet is something disruptive, and we needed to find experts in order to step-by-step move to internet expertise. In this case, I used to work with a local company. But in the last years, the service we built was not so good. Then I investigated to find some alternative solutions.
I have some partners in your country, so it was obvious that I would choose Ukraine. When I got an opportunity to travel to Ukraine for business, it turned out that there was much more experience than we in Western Europe thought.
“It was obvious that I would choose Ukraine”
Then the point was to choose a good partner – I hope I made a good choice. So far we are satisfied. For me, it was important to have a company that can understand our needs and will be able to follow our development.
I have worked with the last IT company for 20 years. In our business, we need to be stable – our company is 85 years old, our customers like that. It is only possible if you find the partner involved in the same terms that you can be. That was for me important criteria to choose NLT.
What was the main task you gave to New Line Technologies? Was it maintaining the project or building something new?
We had a big challenge because as we are the old company, we started with internet 20 years ago, in 1997. It was a beginning. At that time we had very old software, and year after year, we have been putting some layers of software on the existing ones. When we spoke with NLT, they said: “Ok, in a first step we will maintain what we got, and step by step we will change and add new language and new technology to your software”.
I think it is worth for the software company because they need to put hands in some part that is very old and nobody wants to work with. It’s the most difficult case for a software company to accept, to follow the constraints of the customer in order to say: “Okay, that’s what we have today. Step by step we will make the changes”. We need this discussion to understand what will be the best platform, the best technology to make the next move. That was the point why we started to cooperate with NLT.
It is really great to know we can cover your needs. We know there will be a release soon. What can you say about the cooperation process and total results?
It’s a middle-term project and final results haven’t achieved yet. Cooperation is very easy, professional, trustful, reactive. For me, as an owner of the company is important to have a kind of informal conversation with NLT owner, as I am focusing on my industry and sometimes we don’t know what’s going on in another industry. This informal discussion every time I came in Kharkiv gives me some ideas about how my platform can be in the future, what is more difficult to do and what is an easier step to do.
Another question is about project management: daily process, estimates and etc. How do you like it?
The daily process is very easy. NLT makes a lot of things even without me, for instance hiring Project managers speaking French which is better for my team because they can discuss tasks easier – not all my team is English speaking.
I would say we have very reactive project management which enables us to exchange information – when there is something urgent we have quick feedback, I asked about weekly reports and they are very precise – it is very convenient to receive them every Friday.
I make my best to come here in Kharkiv three-four times a year. That’s so far it seems to work well.
What would you say about the team and people who work with your project? What are the main points for you?
This is the ability to cover different aspects of the project. The way NLT is organized, the size of the company, too, makes it possible to have very strong expertise in different modules, different important parts of the project. And by the way, they are very pleasant people.
It’s a strategic move for us. We know if we had made the wrong choice we would have lost the company. It took 18 months to make my research and to talk with other NLT customers before. That’s why I’m here.
What is the image of Ukrainian IT
Do you have some advice for our improvement? Are there any areas we could be better?
It’s difficult to say. What surprised me the most is the difference between the image of Ukrainian IT expertise in France and in the Western world and how it is when you are here, when you see how people work and so on. I think the question of the image will be more brilliant in the years that are coming. But it is a general thing about Ukrainian expertise. Regarding NLT, so far I really don’t have anything to complain. They have been working well for us.
What is the most powerful part of our partnership? What is the most valuable for you?
The most important part is the capacity to cope with my “old” software. A lot of software companies don’t want to work with it, and NLT said: “We will find a way, we will find solutions”. I don’t think they like it, of course, but they manage it, maintain it.
That’s the most important – adaptivity to what exists today. I appreciate direct information exchange with the owner of the company because you have some expertise. But also it’s a question of a person and what we want to do together, how much we trust each other. This exchange gives me the key information about in which way the technology is going, what is the next step, and what we should put attention to in order to anticipate this move and to be able to think what will be the next step. So, this kind of informal information is very important to me.
“Cooperation is more the question of a person than the question of contracts”
What are the future plans for your project? How do you see further cooperation with New Line Technologies?
We have a lot of ideas, our customers have a lot of problems to solve, and there are so many things to do. Of course, middle-term and long-term cooperation make sense for me. And I’m sure, NLT has a lot of skills to make it good. Cooperation is more the question of a person than the question of contracts, signature and whatever. So, I am confident, we can share, discuss and take opportunities we have on the market.
What would you advise our potential customers?
I can say – make it easy for your customers to meet you. I was coming to Ukraine for business, so I had nothing to lose. I was in Kyiv and said – okay if the meeting was not good, I would lose 1 hour. It was not a big deal. Once I met people, I’ve seen the way they were working – like taking contact again, not pushing, not saying “we are here to help” – then I was more and more confident and sure that it was a good move. And when I came here, in Kharkiv, when I saw people were working, I said – okay, I liked that.
“Make it easy for your customers to meet you”
Decision maker needs to see that, to feel that. You can have a good brochure, a nice video, whatever. But I need to see how people work on their side. NLT makes it very good and open, saying: “You are free to come. We will open for you every office we have, so you can see everything”.
A company can say: ‘’We have 100 developers”, – but where are they? Are they in China? In India? Working on a farm? Where are these people? And how is it working?
So, we need to see that. We need to see all professionals, we need to see the kitchen where everyone is having lunch and then we can say: “Okay, what is the value of the company?”. So, it was very important to me. NLT management and sales team said: “No problem, you will come, see and stay as long as you want. And when you will be ready for the next step, we will do that”.
I am not the one to give any technical advice. It’s a strategic thing. The way you present your company, make it easy for your customers to meet you. So, if the one is not able or wish not to come to Ukraine, maybe you should organize some keynotes or webinar in a hotel, in London or in Paris or wherever in order to make it easy for them to see you, to meet people. And I’m sure once they will see your professionalism, they will be more confident to come to Ukraine.
Christophe, thank you for the conversation. It was nice to meet you. Have a great day!