Daktela and digitalization of HR: Interview with new CEO Jiří Havlíček

Daktela and digitalization of HR: Interview with new CEO Jiří Havlíček

Technology company Daktela, a leader in customer care solutions, is experiencing change. Jiri Havlicek, who was previously the company's CTO, joined as CEO in February. What does he expect in his new position? And where has Daktela moved over the past few years in terms of digitalisation? Read on in this interview.

One app for all customer communication. That's the motto of Daktela, a company that develops cloud-based contact center software that enables companies to provide perfect care to their customers. The company, which has been on the market since 2005 and is active in 7 countries, has a new boss since February. The new CEO is Jiri Havlicek, who is in his sixth year at Daktele, the last two as CTO.  

What does this change mean for him and what does he want to focus on in his new role? What were his beginnings at Daktele and how has the company changed over the years? And how are they doing as a technology company with digital? We asked Jiří about that too in this interview.

How and when did your journey in Daktele start? In what position did you start?‍

I started at Daktele more than 5 years ago. David Hájek and Richard Baar (note: Daktela founders) approached me for the Customer Success position. Basically it was about providing a bit of VIP service to our key customers. In practice, this meant that when a larger customer came in and said they needed to adapt Daktela to their processes, I stepped in. I handled the whole case - from initial analysis, through development, to deployment, and often did much of the work directly.  

How has Daktela changed over the years? After less than 4 years you became CTO, what was the genesis behind your promotion to the leadership position?  

First of all, we've really grown up a lot. That's a pretty big change in itself, and it's impacting in all areas. Starting with the fact that you don't know everyone as well as you did when you were 30. Otherwise, I would say that we still retain that core culture and principles. In terms of my progression to CTO - the stepping stone was the Smart Quarantine project, which I spent almost 2 of those 4 years on. It was a very successful project for us technologically.  

You have been a part of Daktely's management for a long time, so what has changed for you since your transition to the CEO position?  

It's a completely different position. Suddenly you are responsible for the overall financial and business results of the company. So you need to get to know all the business reports and figures step by step, in 7 countries plus our entire indirect network. However, I'll still get to the technology. We're still a technology company, it's our core focus.

The product is still one of the most important things for us.

Is there anything you want to focus on specifically in your new role?  

In the beginning I focused mainly on marketing. We are now working on a new concept, how we want to do some things, preparing a new website and so on. For example, performance marketing is a very important topic for us now. However, we are not only improving marketing, there is still a lot of work in every area.  

Daktela is growing not only in terms of sales and number of customers, but also in the number of employees. Was it a natural growth? Have your HR processes to accommodate this growth?

I think it can still be called natural growth, although in some years it was a bit faster. In terms of individual years, covid has strengthened us a little bit in that respect. Our cloud solution is the ideal model for remote-first organizations, which at the time was pretty much everyone day-to-day. So there was a leap in interest in our solution at that time.  

In addition to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Daktela is also active in other markets. Does each market have its own HR department? Do you manage to have all HR processes unified across all markets?

The number of departments in each country is determined primarily by the size of the branch. HR is not exactly one of the first departments you will set up in-house if you enter a market. Those HR processes that you need on a small scale can be outsourced at the beginning, or are handled by the country manager.  

You are a technology company, so digitizing processes is probably natural for you. How are you doing with digitalisation in general?  

I would say that most of the processes that can be digitized are no longer done on paper. In fact, our own solution helps us a lot, where we approve documents, transfer contracts between us, or fill in travel orders, for example. Daktela is very flexible in this respect, and you can model such procedures in it. If there is something that is holding us back, it is more likely to be legislation or unfinished legislative processes.

As CTO, you were involved in the project HR digitalization agenda. Did any particular situation lead to the decision to purchase HR software, when you decided that you could no longer do without HR software?

In general, I think that if you have more than 50 employees, for example, Excels and similar tools are just not enough anymore. Whether it's record-keeping or, for example, leave and leave approvals, you'll gradually find that having dedicated HR software means a lot of time saved.

Having dedicated HR software means a ton of time saved.

What role did you play in the HR software selection process? Did you give the opinion of the HR department in the final decision? 

Back then, as CTO, I had more of a technical advisory voice. The HR department had a decisive say, and I helped them evaluate each platform from a technical point of view.  

As CEO, can you also assess the contribution of Pinya HR to Daktel? Is there any specific feature ofthat makes your job easier?  

It helps me a lot just because we all look at the same current data, we can see who has what hours, salary, vacation statuses, etc. I think anyone who still runs this all in excel spreadsheets knows full well the mess and how many different versions of each record can be produced. Being ready for the European countries where we currently operate is also a big advantage for us.  

What are your plans for the future? Does Daktela plan to grow also in terms of number of employees?  

We definitely have growth plans. However, one of the main priorities for us now is to expand more and more abroad. We are responsible for 7 countries. In most of them, we still have a huge potential to acquire a large part of the market. With this, of course, comes an increase in personnel.

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