IT Leadership

“The little engine that could”

January 3, 2024

by Nicolai Krarup, COO

Global Mediator

Looking back this year, we got inspired by an old children’s story about a little tank engine that with hard work outperformed expectations and pulled a large load over a hill. In the face of the challenges, Global Mediator`s team proved that even the seemingly impossible becomes achievable with a dedicated effort. So, rather than just looking at 2023, let us go even further back to the beginning of 2020 with the onset of Covid.

In this period, we have doubled the business, become a Gazelle growth company for the fifth time, and even managed to grow our business by some 35% since the start of Russia’s illegal aggression last year. A rather unique development of an organization with the majority of the team based in Ukraine. But it is actually the work that has been done on top of that to further secure our business, which is more interesting.

Taking security seriously

We managed to get ISO certified in June 2020. This not only helps with our own processes, but it has strengthened our focus on the Secure Development Life Cycle i.e., how we view authentication, vulnerabilities, and secure code. We even engaged an external partner for penetrating testing to help us verify that our efforts are not in vain and that our products are safe for our customers to use.

In marketing, we adopted MACH Alliance principles (Microservices, APIs, Cloud, and Headless) for our own online activities. In our view, this is not only the modern way to do e-commerce, but it was also the best way for us to move away from an insecure PHP platform and give the marketing department the tools they needed to do their job.

"Global Mediator’s team proved that even the seemingly impossible becomes achievable with a dedicated effort. We will continue to improve where we can and continue to grow when we can – maybe even with some of our new solutions."

- Nicolai Krarup, COO at Global Mediator

Taking new steps

We went to both Microsoft AppSource and Atlassian Marketplace, what a ride that has been in 2023. Maintaining a transaction app online (our Jira Connector) made us acutely aware that we needed to focus on CI/CD (AL-Go), QA, and test automation, ensuring that we could maintain our solutions and release new versions every day if needed. This knowledge has been put to good use in many of our other projects.

To our surprise, the biggest learning for us came when dealing with all these online systems. Only when you work with this daily can you learn just how challenging an AppSource run by an engineering organization like Microsoft can be. We have a renewed respect for organizations that have made this a central part of their business.

Hard work outperforms expectations

Taking your own medicine

Every one of our internal systems has been redesigned with a Single Truth in mind. This means that there should be no more than one version of operational data – which is, of course, backed up – and that spreadsheets containing "their own truth" should be removed. An entirely new way of thinking is necessary for this.

In our case, the Single Truth is anchored on Dataverse, Atlassian Jira, and Business Central – of course with Power BI as the main visualization tool. In the process of doing the above, we ended up building a set of tools and solutions that can even be offered to other technology houses as a help to run their business.

Taking care of your community

Realizing that we had become a "hybrid organization", we joined the knowledge-sharing organization Running Remote, increasing our understanding of how to create a strong distributed organization. It wasn’t just about the separate locations, it is more important to us to build bridges and create a sense of connection between diverse teams. To support this synergy, we have built our own in-house HR system, called Global Galaxy, in Power Platform on top of Teams (becoming an ISV Success partner in the process).

As an organization, we support our community in any way possible. Still, without the commitment of our fantastic customers and the focused effort of our team to continue to deliver above expectations, we would not have been able to do all the things we have done over the past couple of years.

As we look ahead on our continued journey with these "crazy amazing people", we will continue to improve where we can, and continue to grow when we can – maybe even with some of our new solutions. In parallel, we will continue to work for and support peace as much as we can – we hope that you will partake in this objective.

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