Digitalk 2022 Inteview: Cloud solutions bring a competitive advantage in all sectors.

At Cloud Office, we've chosen to use the Google Cloud toolkit to build new processes and enhance existing products for our clients.

Mr. Pavlov, would you introduce yourself and your company to our readers?

Dimitar Pavlov, Executive Director of Cloud Office: Our experience is directly linked to serving customers, understanding their needs, and implementing solutions that add business value. At Cloud Office, we've chosen to use the Google Cloud toolkit to build new processes and enhance existing products for our clients. As a Google Cloud partner for Central and Eastern Europe with a primary focus on Bulgaria, we're delighted that over the past 2 years, more than 170 companies in the country have entrusted us with integrating Google Workspace and/or infrastructure projects on Google Cloud Platform.

What are the key trends in office software at the moment?

Ivo Zimbelev, Commercial Director at Cloud Office: Trends in office suites and software development are relatively consistent - there's a demand for fast and easy communication among teams, an environment that allows intuitive collaboration on documents, presentations, and projects, and tools that work anywhere, whether in the office or remotely. When developing software products, the aim is usually for a more efficient and faster cycle from initial idea to market release, ensuring reliability and speedy content delivery to end-users. Achieving these goals without using a global cloud provider is extremely challenging. Additionally, we see more clients building their applications cloud-native, utilizing infrastructure as code and fully managed services.

What are your observations about the Bulgarian market? Are there any specific characteristics?

D.P.: The Bulgarian market, as well as the broader Central and Eastern European market, largely follows the trend seen in Western Europe and the USA. I would divide the market into two fundamental segments:

Traditional businesses, encompassing well-established industries such as wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, communications, finance, and more. Despite efforts, this segment is still relatively slow in adopting new technologies due to the scale of organizations, complex regulatory frameworks, and generally slower decision-making compared to the other segment.

Digital companies (Digital natives), which are companies created in the last decade with their products or services, or those providing technological solutions to other companies. In Bulgaria, this community is highly innovative, creating software products used worldwide. When we engage with companies in this segment, they have a very clear idea of what they need or don't need and are characterized by quick (but not rushed) decision-making. This is the segment we work with the most.

I.Z.: We observe a constant trend towards a hybrid work model. This is where the need for tools created in the cloud, providing opportunities for team collaboration in both remote and office work environments, becomes prominent. In our view, Google Workspace is the office suite that addresses these and many other challenges in a secure information environment.

How do the changing political and economic conditions affect companies' adaptation to cloud technologies in Bulgaria?

D.P.: Specifically at Cloud Office, we've seen growth of approximately 2.5 times in 2021 compared to 2020. In the first quarter of 2022, we've maintained growth of about 2.5 times compared to 2021. The ongoing needs for fast and secure cloud-based solutions, big data analysis, modern infrastructure, and artificial intelligence have been augmented by local issues such as delayed deliveries and electricity prices. These additional factors have created even greater demand, which fortunately, we've been able to meet.

What are the key considerations that enterprises should keep in mind when choosing a collaborative work solution?

I.Z.: First and foremost, the technical solution should not only meet current needs but also align with future development plans. It should comply with the relevant security standards and be user-friendly. In all cases, companies that choose to use local solutions, whether as an office suite or infrastructure, will face increasing challenges in remaining competitive with companies in their sector that use cloud technologies.

As a company operating in the cloud technology field, do you have an office or do you work entirely remotely?

D.P.: As of a few weeks ago, we're in our new office at Campus X. Over the past two years, we've alternated between working from home, having our own office, and adopting a hybrid model. The space provided by Campus X is on a global level in terms of office amenities, meeting rooms, dining areas, coffee facilities, and leisure areas. Furthermore, it's created a community of like-minded individuals who help, support, and exchange ideas. This is the ideal work environment for us, and it's a community that we're sure we can contribute to.

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