This year we celebrate our anniversary with 10 years of building brands. A milestone that inspires us to reflect on our past, appreciate our present and take a sneak peek into our future at Vibe Group. In short, here are 5 takeaways on our shared culture by Diane Kwakman representing Tergos the Netherlands, and Vladimir Vets representing Tergos Belgium:
- Know your clients and candidates in order to give good service and build relationships
- Growth is inevitable as long as the Vibe is right and strong holders remain on board
- Mutual respect is key for team work: we should always talk to instead of about each other
- Setbacks are inherent to the staffing profession so our doors are always open for support
- Connectivity & security are the foundation for digital capabilities like working remotely
Does this interest you? Then make sure to read every letter and discover the full story of Tergos.
Diane, what do you say everyone should know about Tergos as a brand?
“Tergos is established to handle all IT infrastructure and cybersecurity requests. Our founders Bernd & Daniël have seized the markets demand as an opportunity to start a new brand, purely specialized in IT infrastructure and cybersecurity.
IT infrastructure is the entirety of IT facilities required to support organisations in business processes such as finance, logistics, planning, reporting and communications. Having a qualitatively strong IT infrastructure is vital, because it's the foundation of digital capabilities. Companies that have a strong infrastructure do not run the risk of major errors in certain business processes.
Since our inception, we have built up a strong reputation as a reliable staffing partner and I would like to keep the name of Tergos pure.”
Sounds clear! Of course, setting up a new brand is quite the challenge. How did it all start for you?
“Well, I did not apply myself, since Mennold approached me for this role. To be honest, at first, I didn't think I was the right person for this job due to my lack of experience. I had worked four years as a technical recruiter in the oil & gas industry, so I didn’t know a thing about the fast-paced world of IT recruitment, let alone positioning a brand or managing a team.
Nevertheless, Bernd & Daniël don’t shy away from taking a risk and offered me the job. Together with Mennold and later Boudewijn, they equipped me with everything necessary to make this challenge a success. My journey is basically an extension of their vision building a multinational empire from a small office in Amsterdam without external investors.”
Wonderful, so how did you manage building Tergos from scratch?
“I started at Tergos as a team manager in March 2017 without any consultants in my team. In the following months, the team slowly began to expand. Of course, we were eager to achieve our first successes. Therefore, we first had to determine which (sub)niches can be distinguished for Tergos. Not knowing anything about IT infrastructure myself, I had to do research on what the market encompasses.
By reading a lot I concluded the market could be categorized in Networking, Security and Cloud. Together with my team, we then approached specialists within those different disciplines and asked them how they'd structure the market in different disciplines. Everything we heard in one conversation, we verified in the following. As a result, those frameworks were defined as three different sub-teams, each with its own focus area: Team Cyber Security, Team Cloud & DevOps, and Team Hosting & Connectivity.
A 4th sub-team has now been added: Team Modern Workplace. Flexible, remote work is here to stay, and with it come security challenges for our clients. But most of them don’t have the skills in-house. We can help by providing interim specialists.”
And then ofcourse the billing began. How did this work out for you?
“I had to determine what niche I was going to specialize in. I chose cyber security, because it felt closest to me and cyber security was a hot topic in every newspaper, giving me the idea that I would be most successful in this niche. However, the joke was on me, because I ran into some unexpected challenges.
Most challenging was dealing with the character of security specialists, who are naturally very suspicious due to their line of work. All day they are concerned with safety and if you are who you say you are. This way you can understand that it takes much longer to build a relationship of trust with certain specialists. To work as efficiently as possible, the goal was to create opportunities to get directly into contact with the CISO’s for a top down approach instead of networking myself up the tree.
So we came up with 'About Security', a blog site about cyber security that shines a positive light on the cyber security industry. You see, normally, a lot of stories about cyber security are fear based due to all the dangers, so the idea was to interview CISO's and specialists about what it means to be active in this domain.”
How did ‘About Security’ make impact on the growth of Tergos?
“The blog really accelerated putting Tergos on the map, because we started publishing blogs with, for example, the CIO of Schiphol. All these interviews were shared on LinkedIn with a reach so large that when I called candidates, they mostly knew my name already.
At first this created a situation in which I was known from the interviews, and not as a recruiter. However, as a result of me asking technical questions, all these professionals started to wonder how I had so much in-depth knowledge on the matter, giving me the opportunity to tell I also did mediations for cyber security specialists. You understand that it all starts rolling once the CIO of Schiphol says: “You should contact our lead security specialist, because you might be able to do something for us.”
Unfortunately, the blog kinda bled to death over time. It is a very labour-intensive work, so no one has yet picked up the baton. It would be nice if someone breathes new life into this knowledge platform, but it's just not a top priority anymore.”
Go ahead and tell us more about the top priorities of Tergos then.
“Two words: Tergos Monopoly! We want Tergos to be such a household name in the market that parties first come to us with whatever IT Infrastructure application. There are virtually no other parties that use exactly the same niche focus with a specialist approach as we do.
In recent years we have built up a lot of knowledge about the different domains within IT infrastructure. As a result, we are well able to advise our relations and to quickly familiarize new team members with their niche markets. In fact, we are getting better at everything we do and that makes it more fun.”
Isn't ‘fun’ one of the core values of Vibe Goup?
“It sure is, so more than ever it's important to keep our Vibe alive with a mentality that ‘culture’ is a verb. In the words of Bernd and Daniël, “the results will come as long as the Vibe is good.” As a team manager I am really proud of the culture we have created together so far. My team consists of down-to-earth, committed, hard-working employees.
In terms of growing together, I think mutual respect is key. Ofcourse, conflicts are inevitably sometimes part of our team dynamics, but we know how to deal with them properly. Under my flag, people should talk to each other instead of about each other. We always have to work it out together directly for everyone to enjoy coming to work. No one is greater than our shared culture, so I don't let it happen that one person ruins the atmosphere in the team.”
No one is greater than the culture, indeed! Is there something you can add to Diane's powerful words Vladimir?
“Let's say our growth is inevitable as long as the Vibe is right and most Vibers remain on board. This is essential, so everyone needs to know that they have an important role to play in the current phase. After all, some are also the future managers who form the foundation for the continues growth of Tergos. I think if we build on this principle, it's easier to scale up, because it won't work if we have to replace our strong holders once in a while. In the end, we write the story together.
In my experience there is a nice balance between collegiality and friendship, which personally gives me a lot of energy. We try to maintain central interpersonal contact between teams by bringing Vibers together through different activities. Although we are active in three different countries with our triple niche focus, we have not become 300 islands in the Vibe Group, which is a nice takeaway.”
A big compliment to the founders, managers, and Paul Scholte! You joined Vibe in August 2019 for the start-up of Tergos Belgium with 8 years of hands-on experience in IT infrastructure. Can you tell us more about how you experience Vibe Group so far?
“Vibe Group is an employer where everything is possible due to the minimization of bureaucracy. There is great confidence in the future, a lot of freedom for manager's to take responsibility, and big challenges are being tackled. We are an organisation that invests in its people. This is why we are selective in the Vibers we hire nowadays. We have a very sharp growth ambition, but hiring new consultants must not go at the expense of quality.
In addition, every consultant that joins us is trained to be the best possible consultant in his or her sub-domain. We have a lot of resources in house together with TA, L&D, Marketing, and the managers to get new people up and running. We provide a lot of support in how someone new to Vibe knows what we stand for and what it takes to be a successful sales consultant.
This is the reason why managers are very approachable at all levels. Vibers should always feel that we are there for them when it comes to personal development or private matters. It's a sure fact that all managers at Vibe will put their hand in the fire for team members. Setbacks are inherent to the staffing profession, so our doors are always open for everyone in times the sun doesn't shine.”
So Vibers are really prepared for everything to come. What does the future hold for Tergos?
“We are just getting started! Most projects often spring from with infrastructure driven changes, so our niches are hot. Because organisations want to accelerate innovation with the help of IT, the IT infrastructure of companies is becoming increasingly complex. Connectivity is becoming more important as more and more people want to be able to work remotely.
Besides, everything surrounding IoT (Internet of Things) means that a lot of strong network connections are needed because data must be available within milliseconds. Take for example self-driving cars: strong connectivity is required to share all data at all points to keep everybody safe. So 5G will be added, and these are all aspects in which infrastructure will continue to play a role.”
The rapid growth of technological innovation that adds value to ordinary life seems unstoppable. What does this mean for everyone in terms of data security?
“Digitization in recent years has brought the need for data security closer to everyone as a person. There is something in the news every week about a security breach, data breach, hacking, phishingmails, you name it. This used to be a ‘far from your bed show’ 5 years ago for many people, but now it is 100% reality for everyone. Especially for companies, if customers or employees can't trust you with their data, this can seriously damage your brand or image.
Additionally, managing and securing information flows is becoming increasingly difficult due to the explosive growth in the number of devices and IoT applications that are connected to the network. More than ever, we depend on the availability of systems and information. And because the IT-landscape should preferably also be scalable, cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular. Our specialists can help with the above issues and we are happy to mediate.”
Work at Vibe is knowing a lot about a little
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More about Tergos?
Want to find out more about Tergos and the current opportunities? Read more on our website for careers in IT infrastructure and security