Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Pedro Beltrão and I'm from Lisbon. I studied IT engineering, essentially computer science. I've been working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM for 17 years and was one of the first people in Portugal, and probably also in Europe, working with these technologies. When I started my career, Microsoft Dynamics was a new technology and people who joined projects didn't know much about it yet. I got more responsibility so from a young age, I started managing that team which started growing over the years.
When I joined IG&H the idea was to overcome a similar challenge: building this Microsoft competence inside the platform delivery team. I've been working with these Microsoft technologies and following their evolution ever since, which is also how things we do at IG&H came to be like the Power Platform and Power apps.
Besides tech, I'm very passionate about animals and am a vegan for ten years for that reason. In my free time, I like to decompress and just take a moment to do "nothing" and sit somewhere in the sun to enjoy the world. My extremely active Dutch colleagues have recently been a source of motivation; I started running and taking surfing lessons. Showing places to people is another thing I love to do. When we have a colleague from the Netherlands coming over to Portugal, I make sure to take them to dinner, show them the city, maybe a surfing lesson. People joke that I'm the IG&H Lisbon tour guide.
What drew you to IG&H?
After almost two decades of working on delivery projects, I wanted to do different things in a new, broader environment. The Dutch approach to working is something I enjoy; everyone is direct and things are clear. I don't like having to read between the lines or fill in the gaps myself. Another factor was the flat hierarchy. At the end of the day, we're all just people. I believe we all wake up with messy hair, probably one eye more open than the other, trying to get out of bed. That applies to everyone from the intern to the CEO.
That's why I like an environment like IG&H where I know my mission, what I want to accomplish and that I can roam freely to achieve that. The IG&H people-first mentality also means no micromanagement. During the recruitment process, you can gauge whether people are capable and trustworthy. Once you've established that and hired them, you must trust that even if you don't set up lots of rules, the person will work towards that goal.
What is your role & what does it involve?
My role is showcasing what we can achieve with Microsoft technologies, also known more formally as internal evangelism. People should understand the technology and when they turn to their customers they know 'Ok, this is what we can do and it's a good opportunity for us!'
The three main things I do are hiring and managing the Microsoft competence team, building the bridge between the practice teams, sector teams and platform delivery and finally, supporting them in the execution once they find something like an idea or opportunity to bring to a client.
The goal is to understand the organization, which is made of the people who work there. It's very important to understand how they work together and the dynamics of the organization. This can range from explaining something to the team, learning what we do at clients, at IG&H or supporting the sector teams with brainstorming ideas for potential projects, supporting them in the technical part regarding offers for the client.
What do you enjoy most about working at IG&H?
The people. We have genuinely nice and proactive people who like getting things done. For example, with initiatives like ESG, the IDEA team. There are so many interesting people to talk to and get to know. That makes me excited to work here. It's not just a Great Place To Work because it says so on the website. I'm past the employer 'honeymoon phase' already and I can honestly say I always go to work feeling motivated.
What has been your proudest moment at IG&H?
It makes me proud that after just a year and a bit, the organization understands what we can do with these technologies. I really appreciated that being recognized. Personally, I'm proud that although I'm a bit of an introvert I got to step outside of my comfort zone and got to know hundreds of colleagues. Having people greet me at the Utrecht office for example is such a nice experience!
How does the partnership with Microsoft look like, do you have a vision?
I believe one of the biggest developments we will be seeing in the upcoming years is replacing shadow IT with low-code. Here, Microsoft power platform will come into play. In my experience, many organizations are still resistant to change. It takes a long time for them to recognize the benefits, for instance of replacing old excel files used to manage many of their business processes. Studies show that within six months to a year, it's not uncommon to already see a return on investment when replacing these outdated apps. Time and costs can be reduced with low-code that replaces these manual processes. We have bold ambitions: IG&H wants to be one of the best Microsoft partners in Europe, from the quality of our work to the projects we do.