Fabio Ronga, CEO beqom
Von Helmuth Fuchs
Moneycab.com: Mr. Ronga, I have a list of many things that make my people or me happy, commission- and compensation-software is not one of them. How do you deliver on your claim “to make your people happy”?
Fabio Ronga: You are correct: money doesn’t bring happiness. We had many opportunities to validate this principle in corporate compensation management.
What seems to be bringing happiness is the clear understanding of the following four elements:
- the overall direction/effort (the company strategy),
- the definition of our personal role in this effort,
- how we will be rewarded and recognized if we successfully complete our piece of that overall effort and finally
- the conviction that this reward is fair compared to peers (colleagues, friends, competitors).
Beqom delivers on its claim by providing clarity on these four elements.
„As a Sales employee, don’t you want to see all your compensation and rewards aspects in the same statement? Don’t you want to see the total value your company puts on your role/person?“ Fabio Ronga, CEO beqom
While sales commissions is quite straight forward, employees’ compensation seems to be more complex. What is the reason to embed both functions into one solution?
As a Sales employee, don’t you want to see all your compensation and rewards aspects in the same statement? Don’t you want to see the total value your company puts on your role/person?
It is more efficient: Having one solution will also ensure consistency across performance criteria used by all compensation elements. It will also avoid the duplication of performance reviews.
It is also more effective: Having one solution will allow the manager to use any compensation aspects to drive the expected behavior. For example, a Sales manager could leverage stock-options to drive long-term behavior and retention.
Money is the obvious element of compensation, yet the majority of people, if asked what is most important to their satisfaction with work, have other priorities. What are in your experience the most important drivers for happiness at the workplace and how are they reflected in your solution?
Each employee has specific expectations in term of what will make her happy.
This is one of the reasons most large companies need a solution like beqom, to multiply the compensation plans based on very targeted employee populations. Populations management is one of the key elements of the beqom platform.
„We only provide beqom as a service on the public Cloud, in a very sophisticated way to be compliant with the strictest rules.“
For the technology platform you have chosen Windows Azure. What was the reason for this choice, why not go for example for a pure Open-Source platform?
Compensation processes and data are misson-critical and very confidential. On top of this, we are working with the largest companies in the world. We have to be compliant with a phenomenal amounts of rules, some established by the companies, some by governments. We simply could not afford any compromise and went for the best Cloud platform available for Large Enterprises.
A lot of companies are moving their IT for cost- and resource-reasons at least partially to a cloud-environment. How do your clients most often implement your solution (on site, in a private cloud or a public cloud)?
We only provide beqom as a service on the public Cloud, in a very sophisticated way to be compliant with the strictest rules. For examples, we do provide state-of-the-art data encryption and Data Residency Option (DRO).
The NSA disaster enforced the discussion about privacy and security. Switzerland could offer interesting perspectives as a secure location for hosting sensitive data. Which role has Switzerland in the development and expansion of your services (for example cloud services located entirely in Switzerland)?
We can offer options to allow our customers to chose the country in which their data center will be located based on company and governments governance rules. So far we have seen few such requests, but for example private banks in Switzerland are having strong security guidelines.
To stop the growing gap between the lowest and highest incomes in some of the biggest companies, people ask for more transparency. How do you assess the correlation of transparency and a fair compensation?
As a global company working across all industries, we try not to take position on such topics. Practices differ a lot based on culture/geographies and industries. At beqom, we make sure we allow our customer to become fully transparent if, and only if, they are ready to take that step.
„Some customers are allowing their employees to compare their performance and earnings with peers.“
Transparency could also mean that every employee has real time access to his compensation plan and his actual performance, so he or she knows exactly what is due to achieve or overachieve the goals. How far are companies in giving their employees this kind of information?
Such transparency clearly exists for most of our customers using beqom to drive their Sales channels. Some of them provide data in real-time. Some allow their sales people to simulate how much they have to sell in order to reach a special commission. Some are allowing their employees to compare their performance and earnings with peers.
We make sure we can go as far as the customer is ready to go with transparency.
Besides the internal sales force, some companies also use partners and other external channels for their business. How does your solution handle external compensation and Royalty management?
Many beqom customers use our solution to manage the sales performance of external channels, including the calculation of commissions or royalties. Some of our customers in the telco or software industries are using beqom exclusively for such external channels.
To link compensations and benefits to a business strategy and its fulfillment, there must be an underlying model connecting the two areas. Do you provide these models as part of the solution and how easily can they be adapted as the business changes?
beqom is integrating Corporate Performance Management systems as a data source to have access to such data. Once this data is available in beqom, users will be able to leverage it in any individual goals and compensation plans. Users will also be able to analyze correlation between business results and compensation plans, and finally run simulations on such data.
Beqom is headquartered in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Where do you see the biggest growth potential in the coming years and how do you acquire the talents you need for developing the company?
We have been since day one a truly global company: We started the company directly with subsidiaries in 8 countries. As a result, while our HQ is in Switzerland, 80% of our workforce is in the markets we are operating it. We are doing well in Switzerland; for example the 3 telecom operators have deployed beqom. That said, our largest market is the US, it represents about 50% of our activity and that proportion continues to grow. On the other hand we still have a great potential in Switzerland and the domestic market should contribute significantly to our growth strategy as well.
„We have been since day one a truly global company: We started the company directly with subsidiaries in 8 countries.“
At the end of the interview you are granted two wishes. What are they?
To see our software having a growing positive impact on the daily life of the people working at our customers. I would love to see people asking a potential employer: “Are you using beqom? Because I need to know you will do everything you can to make sure I am happy…”
To see all beqom employees being happy.
Our mission is to make your people happy. If you are looking to address performance and rewards needs in a complex organization, looking at beqom makes sense as your requirements probably lay at the center of our core expertise. After you have established the solution fits with your requirements, success becomes dependent on the people you are engaging with. At beqom, we directly link our success with the successes of our customers. This culture is our #1 asset.