Abaco evaluates the installation of competence centres in Portugal after the purchase by the German Valantic

joao moreira abaco consulting ceo

João Moreira
CEO, Abaco Consulting

João Moreira, CEO of Abaco Consulting interviewed by Pessoas/ECO [PT Only]: https://bit.ly/3qv8RMf

Abaco is evaluating the installation of skills centres in Portugal following the purchase of the Portuguese management software consultancy SAP by Germany’s Valentic. The company, which will maintain a hybrid working model in 2022, is studying moving its Porto headquarters to new premises to accommodate the team that it plans to strengthen with 50 more people. The new office may require an investment of around 500 thousand euros, João Moreira, CEO of Abaco, tells Pessoas.

“Abaco Consulting, together with Valantic, will take advantage of its organized structure of the support and maintenance centre, strengthen the investment to endow it with conditions to assume the role of international support and maintenance centre of the Valantic group, based in Portugal”, adds João Moreira. “We are evaluating the creation of competence centres, in specific areas, which may have mixed configurations of location, in some cases, and others to be concentrated exclusively in Portugal”, reveals Ábaco’s CEO.

With the purchase by the German Valantic, the Portuguese consulting company with SAP consulting skills – it is a SAP Gold partner – also wants to strengthen its presence in the foreign market, taking advantage of the 35 territories where Valantic already operates. But not only that: “Internationalisation is an important part of Abaco’s future in the medium and long term. With the exception of Brazil, Valantic already has a presence in Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which, in our case, will be reinforced. In other words, we intend to maintain our presence in different locations, nationally, in Porto and Lisbon, as well as our international operations, London and Geneva, with a large reinforcement in Central Europe, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands”, explains the manager.

“Our strategy will always be based on exploring the vertical sectors where we are strong and on winning international clients for our support centre in Portugal,” reinforces João Moreira.


Abaco is recruiting: it has 50 vacancies

The manager believes that this operation will also bring a return for the company in the Portuguese market. “The increase of the offer portfolio, new areas of specialisation associated to the dimension, as well as the financial capacity, will allow us to grow also in the national market, namely with bigger clients, offering the experience of a team that works with clients worldwide”, considers Abaco’s CEO.

Recruiting is not an easy task as we still lack qualified professionals in the IT sector, both in Portugal and worldwide. We will continue our investment in the Abaco Academy with the aim of training new consultants, both to integrate our staff and for the market in general.

A growth impulse that should be accompanied by the reinforcement of the team in Portugal. At the moment, the consultancy employs around 150 employees. “In 2022 we will maintain the growing trend of recruitment processes, particularly in the areas of innovation and research, in order to strengthen the development of vertical solutions by business area. Next year, we aim to incorporate 50 new talents throughout the year”, says the manager.

Human capital development & management, operational management controller, architect & business analytics solution designer, as well as for the different consulting areas, with particular focus on production and logistics are the most sought-after profiles.

“We know that recruiting is not an easy task as we still lack qualified professionals in the IT sector, both in Portugal and worldwide. In this sense, we will continue our investment in Abaco Academy in order to train new consultants, either to integrate our staff or for the market in general”, points out the CEO. “This investment will be further reinforced as Valantic also has its Academy and the goal is to develop joint programmes taught in Germany and Portugal”, he highlights.

João Moreira anticipates, given the high demand for tech talent, that this will be reflected in an increase in salary pressure. “Whenever demand is higher than supply, the cost always ends up going up,” says the manager. “There is a worldwide shortage of talent, above all, in these IT areas, and although it is already not enough for all the companies operating at national level, we are also competing with international companies, which end up being able to present higher salary offers and now, with the ease and imposition of telecommuting, this dispute for the best talent has become even worse.”


Hybrid model is to keep…

Next year, Ábaco intends to maintain the current hybrid working model. And João Moreira explains why. “The ‘obligation’ of physical presence in the office no longer makes sense, so we are reviewing the programme to adapt to the new demands in order to integrate it into the company culture, to redefine the roles and competencies it needs for the future and to seek more feedback from our clients. Since last year we have defined that, although the pandemic is not yet over, we would not wait for its end to chart our course and we have done so and will continue to do so in the future. Navigating in uncertainty, but with our course set. We may take a little longer on the way, but it is important to define where we are going and what we need to do to get there,” he says.

The ‘obligation’ of physical presence in the office no longer makes sense, so we are reviewing the programme to adapt it to the new demands in order to integrate it into the company culture, redefine the roles and competencies it needs for the future and seek more feedback from our customers.

“We continuously seek to share the company’s culture (mission and values), so that talents integrate more quickly into the company culture”, describes the manager about how the company is integrating the new talent in this new hybrid organisation model.

The employee will be assigned a Team Leader, having “always someone in specific who can accompany them and give them the support they need to adapt to our remote work support platform, Abaco Digital Workplace”. There are also “daily video calls with the team to help them with the processes, to put them at ease to ask questions and, last but not least, to foster team spirit”.


…and studies new headquarters

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Porto – as offices in Lisbon, São Paulo, London and Geneva – the company is studying a move to a new space. “We are studying new premises for our offices. Although the working model adopted for the future is hybrid, given the perspective of activity growth and in particular with the hiring of new consultants, it becomes necessary to grow in space, on the one hand, and adapt the conditions to a new reality that even in an office requires more space for remote work, namely with our colleagues from Valantic”, explains João Moreira. The estimated investment will be around 500 thousand Euros.