The year 2020 is a memorable year for many reasons and one of the positive ones, I feel, are our advances in the APAC region! The Valo expansion regarding the new office that was established in Melbourne at the start of the year, a grown amount of Valo Partners and a bigger local Valo Team around Australia!
Even though the year was truly eventful for the whole Valo Team globally, I especially wanted to highlight all of the amazing work and actions that took place solely in the APAC region fulfilling one of our business goals for 2020. How many of these do you remember?
A new APAC headquarters in Melbourne in 2020
APAC is by no means new territory for us: the first Valo project was delivered to an Australian customer already when the first Valo Partners from Australia joined the Partner Network in early 2017. Therefore, to better serve our growing base of partners and customers, we decided to move forward with the plans for the APAC region, and establish APAC headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. The local business, Valo Solutions Pty Ltd, was registered in June 2019.
The local Valo operations were ramped up in a staged manner, and the first team members started in the Melbourne office at the beginning of the year 2020. Personally, I had the pleasure to take the business lead role and relocate to Australia to build the local team and regional operations. Also support engineer and SW architect Jouni Pohjolainen joined the ranks in Melbourne in early 2020.
A growing local team
Over the course of the year 2020, we had four recruits joining the team! The first ones in the first half of the year were Shira Friedman as a Marketing Specialist and Daniel Anderson as Partner Manager for the APAC region. Soon after we recruited Mark Powney as Technical Partner Manager and Product Owner. The latest addition to the team is Hanna Hakio, who just recently joined the Marketing team in Australia.
Since joining the APAC team in the beginning of June, Daniel has taken on the role of Local Team Leader as well, as I’ve returned from my assignment continuing as an APAC Business Lead from Finland.
Having a local team in Australia allows us to deliver 24/5 global technical partner support, partner management service and marketing activity on the time zone that is more convenient to our APAC partners. And of course, with the Aussie twist; see for instance Daniel’s weekly “Quick Tip” videos on how to use our digital workplace product suite.
Wider Partner Network in the region
Closer proximity to our partners and customers on the region helps and in general have built closer connections to the partners in APAC and build business together. We have been fortunate to build relationships with a bunch of new Valo Partners in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, and make the Partner Network regionally more encompassing. Our partners in APAC have been doing a truly amazing job in taking the Valo message of the best digital employee experience to customers.
Also, Valo Partner events have been held online this year. The only exception was the Partner Meetup we had in conjunction with the Ignite Tour Sydney in February. But for instance, our Valo Partner Summit APAC was held online in November, with the annual and regional Valo Partner Award ceremonies held online as well. Partner of the Year award was given to Digital First and the Valo Contributor Hero award to Richard Ing from Atarix.
Exciting 2020, a brighter 2021
The year 2020 has certainly brought unexpected developments as well. The global pandemic set challenges for many businesses, and certainly also we had to adapt the ways of doing business. For instance, pre-pandemic we did lot of conferences and community events, but obviously, now all that was moved to digital channels.
As an example of new online events launched in 2020, in June we organized the first-ever Valo Fest, a 24h global online event around digital workplace topics (coming again in 2021, keep an eye out!). From Australia we had three wonderful case stories presented by our partners: Murdoch by Insight, Liverpool City Council by Nexon and STEMShare / NSW Department of Education by SharePoint Gurus.
The general interest in developing digital workplace environments is probably now bigger than ever. For this demand we are delighted to be able offer solutions for our customers – together with our awesome partner network in the APAC region. Looking forward to 2021!