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IT Outsourcing

Client Testimonial: Fintech Start-up Boosts Growth with Team Augmentation

Serghei Goloborodico
Serghei Goloborodico
Senior Technology Consultant

In August 2019, when Pentalog began collaborating with SumUp, a leading global financial technology company, our main objective was to ensure an efficient team augmentation to meet the company’s ambitious goals in Berlin. Therefore, some of our most skilled engineers working in Pentalog Chisinau joined the talented SumUp squad specialized in developing intuitive and inclusive financial solutions.

SumUp’s rapid growth required fast and efficient support, and this is exactly what Pentalog is all about. Pentalog uses team augmentation, as part of an outsourcing strategy, to respond to the company’s business objectives and offer leaders a helping hand by lifting the pressure of in-house recruiting off their shoulders.

Pentalog’s developers quickly joined the client’s team. They took over marketing acquisition solutions and customer support tools, allowing SumUp to continue executing the roadmap without delays or even accelerating their plans.

To get a grasp of the SumUp – Pentalog partnership, here’s what Andi Zink, VP of Engineering, and Erik Schünemann, Product Manager at SumUp Berlin, shared with us:
Hi guys. Tell us, why did you decide to seek external support to develop some of your products?

Andi: During the last two years, SumUp has been doubling about every year when it comes to revenue, number of customers, as well as employees. During this time, we learnt how hard it is and how much time it takes to hire good software engineers as we have been needing to hire to keep up with the growth. We are competing with other big companies like Amazon and Zalando, as well as dozens of fresh startups in the Berlin talent market. Furthermore, often when you find a good candidate, it takes months before they can start as they may have a three month notice period or need to first relocate to Berlin. Therefore, we sought talent outside of these constraints.
What prompted you to start a partnership with Pentalog?

Andi: In my previous job, I have already worked with Pentalog and had very good experiences. It was for the same reasons then – challenges to find people with specific skill sets fast enough, long notice periods for local candidates and visa/relocation time for international candidates. Therefore, Pentalog was my first choice, when time-to-market is important and our team needs to grow a lot.

SumUp Team Augmentation Outsourcing Strategy
How has it been for you working with remote team members from Moldova?

Erik: For the first three months, our Moldovan colleagues came to Berlin for two weeks each to collaborate onsite with the team. This has been key to establishing team rituals, pair programming, but most importantly, to breathe in the SumUp culture. Having team lunches every day, a few after-work beers, and a team event helped us get to know each other beyond work and appreciate our differences. I have many good memories already with our Pentalog colleagues: I.e., last summer, we had a great time out on the river for our team event.

Before COVID-19, which forced all of us to work from home, our Moldovan colleagues would come to Berlin for one week every month after the first three months. We timed these weeks to coincide with our sprint review, retro, and planning. These ceremonies can be quite long but have always gotten much more enjoyable when our Moldavan colleagues unpacked Moldavian sweets to keep the energy high.

Our Moldovan colleagues are not just great from a team fit perspective, but also professionally. I continue to be amazed by how they contributed to the team by solving some of the hardest problems and always pitching in when anybody in the team needs support.

Initially, we thought that we would be giving most of the easy tasks to our Pentalog colleagues that they could work on independently. After all, they probably would not understand the entire business context and other SumUp specifics. This had been a very wrong assumption. There is no difference between the Pentalog and SumUp engineers in the squad. Everybody is just as much engaged and cares for SumUp and the product we work on.
How do you perceive the overall collaboration with Pentalog?

Erik/ Andi: We have been quite diligent in finding Pentalog engineers that match our team’s skills and attitude. Pentalog has been very supportive in making sure that we find exactly the right people that we needed.
I love that it is very obvious that Pentalog has internalized that they are only successful if their clients are successful. Pentalog has proven to be very responsive and flexible with our requests.
How do you foresee the future of the collaboration with Pentalog, when things will hopefully go back to normal?

Andi: We will continue our partnership if not even extending it. We are hoping at SumUp that we will recover quickly, launch new products, and continue our hypergrowth with the support of Pentalog and its excellent engineers.

Erik: Speaking for the entire squad, I hope that we can continue to work together with our Moldovan colleagues long term.

Find out more about how the Pentalog team helped SumUp continue with their plans.

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