In April 2020, SD Worx acquired Adessa Group, a specialist SAP and SuccessFactors partner with 65 employees. With the addition of the SAP departments at SD Worx, the acquisition of launch! in 2021 and a huge effort in recruiting, the company grew to 584 employees, with operations in 17 European countries. During the summer of 2021, Bas Ossewaarde was appointed to lead the company, which was rebranded to ‘Adessa, an SD Worx Company’, to become nr 1 partner for SAP-based Technology and Services across Europe. We sat down with Bas to discuss current status and plans.
“Adessa is the brand within the SD Worx group. SD Worx is a strong company, Adessa is a strong brand. “
Interview with Bas Ossewaarde, Managing Director of Adessa, an SD Worx Company
We are approaching the end of the year, which is always a good time to pause and look back and at the same time look forward to the year ahead and the plans that go with it. First, let’s look back at 2021. You have been with Adessa as Managing Director for almost six months. How have you experienced these months?
The first word that comes to mind is ‘impressive’. I have been enormously impressed by the strong culture, the quality of the people and the service, but above all the enormous passion and commitment of the entire team. I also get this feedback from conversations with customers.
You have also travelled a lot to get to know the employees. How were those moments of getting to know each other? What do you remember most?
Besides the things I just mentioned, what struck me most was the openness with which people discuss everything. That is something really valuable.
In the beginning of 2021 we have created a vision for Adessa and we’ve communicated about it to the employees. This is our ‘Adessa flag’ and what we represent. Since this was created before you joined Adessa, do you agree with the message? And in your opinion, have we stuck by it? Were we able to achieve realisations according to this Adessa flag?
Definitely! In fact, one of the reasons I said ‘yes’ to Adessa was because of its human-centred culture and entrepreneurial spirit. In my view, everything starts with taking very good care of the people, who in turn ensure very satisfied customers. The business is a result of that. Monitoring that philosophy and culture is part of my job every day. And in the plans for 2022, too, this Adessa flag will be a guiding theme.
Adessa has not stood still. It was a very busy year. We recently reached an important milestone: Adessa, including launch!, now has nearly 600 employees. That is already quite a lot. How do you see the evolution? How important is this growth in staff numbers?
Having enough employees, capacity and skills is crucial in our business. On the one hand, to be able to handle the workload and, on the other, to be able to continue to grow. Growth gives people opportunities for deployment and development. In other words, recruitment is a very important focus for myself and the members of the Adessa Management Team.
And are we set to grow by the same amount in 2022? Are there any acquisitions planned, for example?
Primarily, we want to grow in terms of the number of colleagues, as mentioned before, to maintain the enormous workload and offer opportunities for development. As far as acquisitions are concerned, we closely follow the market and the possibilities. There is no preconceived plan: we will consider on a case-by-case basis whether we want to go for it and whether it is responsible in terms of integration and other aspects.
2021 is also the year of the acquisition of launch! Was the marriage between Adessa and launch! a match made in heaven?
I personally was not involved in the acquisition, but a super job was done here. These two organisations have great similarities from a cultural and entrepreneurial perspective and on the other hand they are completely complementary territorially. That is great from a business perspective, but even better for the development opportunities of people.
The further integration of launch! is therefore already a very important event in 2022. What are the other plans?
Becoming ‘One Adessa’ will also receive a lot of attention in 2022, along with (even) more attention to recruitment and retention, as well as a uniform way of working in the various units and countries.
You very often emphasise “One Adessa”, but at the same time we are part of SD Worx. This might cause cause confusion for some people. Are we Adessa or are we SD Worx?
We are “One Adessa”: Adessa is the brand within the SD Worx group for all SAP related services. SD Worx is a strong company, Adessa is a strong brand. This brand specialisation is also important to the market. There are examples where SD Worx is not approached for SAP-related work, but Adessa is.
“Fun’ is also very important at Adessa; after all, we all need to some fun moments together. But it is hard to meet each other physically at the moment. You mentioned that earlier during this conversation. What would you advise people to do in the coming year to keep on connecting?
That is a diabolical dilemma. Adessa people are, from their DNA, ‘collaborators’ who attach great importance to ‘real’ contacts and connections, something that has undeniably changed in the digital world. We all struggle with this, but I am also enormously proud of how our people time and again man up and walk the extra mile. This resilience makes me proud and even more combative. The times ahead will be uncertain, but thanks to the intrinsic strength we have as a team, we will certainly overcome them.
And as we approach the end of the year, perhaps a final message to the Adessa family:
First of all, again a word of thanks. We have shown that we can stand our ground even when things aren’t going our way, and that does us credit and fills me with pride. Let us all ensure in every way that we remain ‘one’. Let us support each other when necessary and ensure that we all stay healthy. This is more than ever something special that we must realise and cherish. Let’s take care of each other, take care of our loved ones and take care of our customers.
Thank you very much for these wise and beautiful words, Bas!