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Some of our developers challenge the argument that the flexibility of the AppHaus leads to more collaboration and a better product
development. They maintain that they need a quiet place in order to develop their complex algorithms and that the noise generated in an open and
collaborative working environment disrupts their concentration. As one developer put it ‘At 9am I put on my headphones’. It is undisputable that their
point is true. Having listened and understood this message, the management team in Budapest still decided to make the bold decision to move all Suite Engineering development units into an AppHaus.

Budapest is growing this year to accommodate the need to support customers within the European Union upon the basis of newly introduced data privacy laws. In addition to the growth in product support, Budapest is in the lucky position to build a brand new cloud operations team designed to monitor and support our software-as-a-service products. This means a net growth of over 300 employees clearly going beyond the limits of our current facilities.

As a young ambitious development manager, I saw this as an opportunity rather than a challenge, and fortunately my direct manager and our
local Managing Director saw it the same way. Since I brought design thinking to Hungary in 2012 and added a design thinking space to the location, I had been in discussions to go a step further and follow the Dublin AppHaus example which was one of the first of its kind. But of course lobbying is a long-term game and opportunities to act are few and far between. But in 2014, the opportunity was there to be taken, and we took it.

Last week, we were extremely pleased to welcome Clas Neumann, head of the Labs Network and Dilipkumar Khandelwal, head of our development unit Suite Engineering, to Budapest to celebrate the opening of our brand new AppHaus. We combined this celebration with a panel discussion on Working Culture of the Future to discuss the trends in the Industry and the benefits of a collaborative environment. While Clas did share the view which the developer
stated above, he also admitted that ‘Working culture in IT carries huge responsibility for customer and multi-billion dollar businesses’. Dilip built on this idea by supporting the premise that an AppHaus is a great platform to ’focus on ground up innovation as a company. It gives us the space to collaborate in
combination with customer input’. These statements strengthen our local belief that our approach to working culture and co-innovation will be the basis for
our future success. The panel discussion was further strengthened by local guests such as the Dean of the ELTE University who also shared with the
audience details of the university program he put in place to enable young millenials to experience collaborative project work in order to prepare them
for their future working environments.

Budapest does not claim to be special; we just want to move forward in line with the trends. The young talents entering our working environment do expect a more collaborative environment, the studies and trends show this. Dilip emphasized an important point ‘People no longer just accept the offer, they want to know what they will work on, they want a passionate environment with opportunities’. The AppHaus is not the answer, but it is a step in the right direction. We want to enable them as they will be leading co-innovation projects with our key customers. The AppHaus is also a change management project, but one that is worth going through as it teaches us to work as a collaborative unit leveraging the power of design thinking and customer co-innovation while responding to the challenges of shorter development cycles and the ever-changing personal responsibilities of our developers. The answer to the question of what makes a perfect working environment will hopefully develop through initiatives such as the one we started during the opening day workshop. The participants of the workshop on working environment where the participants identified a potential quick-win in the form of an idea to introduce a Project Market: use project choice as a form of reward. 

I believe in visions and opportunities and this working environment can help instill this attitude.

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