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Happeo: Building a Best in Class Internal Communications Platform

Some weeks ago, Damson Cloud’s Fintan Murphy had the chance to sit down with Perttu Ojansuu, CEO and co-founder of Happeo. Bringing us into the new year, we follow up on that fascinating conversation, discussing the roots of Happeo and bringing the business from mere ideation to a fully operational product. Access the full interview via the above video, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe!

Initial Challenges

As the conversation begins, Fintan casts Perttu’s memories back to the earliest days of Happeo, when the product was undergoing its first demos. Discussing the timescale between conceiving the idea and bringing it to market, the Happeo co-founder admits that it was a lengthy process, largely attributable to the product’s complex nature. “Building both the front end and back end of the product took several months, and we were running the consulting business at the same time. We always intended for those businesses to become separate, but that process did take some time,” he shares.

According to Perttu, separating consulting & product-based businesses represented a challenge in itself. However, the fact that this move was long-planned allowed for a smoother, more cohesive transition. In addition, it was communicated that everyone in the organisation knew that at some point these two companies would be separated and the cultures evolved already before the change in direction. “They were different organisations and different dynamics, and that was clear to us from the beginning. Everybody got it,” he adds.

Life in the Google Ecosystem

For businesses such as Perttu’s, tasks such as keeping abreast with Google require a constant effort. “When scaling a service business, you have different dynamics to a product business, where it really has to scale quickly. You have to do things even better. At the same time, you’re facing competition,” he reflects. “It’s riskier, but it’s all part of it. For us, we just wanted to do this. We knew there was going to be a market for our product.”

For both Fintan and Perttu, the benefits of existing within the Google ecosystem are vast. Whilst Microsoft currently boasts a huge ecosystem composed of hundreds of thousands of partners, Google’s remains relatively small in comparison - and therefore harder to get lost in. This has its own ramifications in companies such as Happeo, where organisational structures are less top-heavy and employees are ‘part of the conversation’. Fintan argues that championing such cultural change is central to leading firms within the IT space, highlighting the business mantra: “be the change you want to see”.

“Internal comms has been waiting for a long time for an application that is easy to use and easy to admin. We saw our own objective as making people happier at work, and companies are starting to understand the power employees have. Providing those tools and those platforms is essential to finding new talent,” states Perttu. Indeed, Fintan suggests that such an approach shows that “game changer” firms such as Happeo wish to influence their space, rather than merely occupy it.

Where does Happeo set its sights in future years? Perttu highlights that Happeo and its founders currently see themselves as having only reached around 15% of their total product vision, with lots of new features on the horizon. From productivity-boosting features to integrated tools and global search, Perttu argues that the evolution of Happeo is far from over.

More About Damson Cloud

Damson Cloud wants to send a massive thank you to Perttu Ojansuu for taking the time to discuss his business journey. Feel free to follow our blog for more industry-leading insights on changing the way we work, and don’t forget to subscribe, like and share!

As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialise in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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