Colombo-based WSO2, a ‘middleware’ (software that connects computer programmes) production firm is on a steady growth path and looking to expand its business to Europe and Australia, according to officials. (In the computer industry, middleware is a general term for any programming that serves to "glue together" or mediate between two separate and often already existing programmes.)
“WSO2 is on an expansion mode. We want to go to Europe by late this year (maybe we will operate from Netherlands),” Sanjiva Weerawarana, CEO WSO2 told the Business Times, adding that expanding to Australia will start before the end of next year.
WSO2 has impressive customers such as eBay, Deutsche Bank, Prudential, etc. Recently the company was recognised by two independent analysts - Forrester and Gartner. For the fourth year in a row, the SD Times, which is the leading news source for the software development industry, identified WSO2 as one of the “top leaders and innovators” in the international middleware industry. The company, which started operations six years ago in 2005, credits its success to great team work, passion and commitment resulting from modeling the organization around a strong conviction to human development and an employee-centric work environment.
“We have built a global brand and a superb set of technology that our customers really take to. All this was possible mainly due to a team of very young people who took the challenge to heart and simply made it happen,” Mr. Weerawarana explained. By the year end WSO2 plans to increase its staff strength to 175 from the current 125 due to the expansions.
Mr. Weerawarana added that while WSO2 has that corporate structure, the employees motivate themselves. He said that his team doesn’t have specific work hours. “Innovation doesn’t happen between 9 to 5pm. We cannot force the employees to innovate during a ‘specific’ time as we’re in the business of innovation. It’s fine if it’s a factory,” he explained.
Still on the discussion of staff motivation, he said that all team members at WSO2 are encouraged to actively contribute towards every aspect of the company by communicating openly without fear of recrimination. This in turn nurtures WSO2’s sense of working in small, integrated, global teams that has helped take problem solving and innovation to a whole other level.
Mr. Weerawarana emphasised that the great team work and group cohesion has helped WSO2 successfully compete against industry giants such as IBM, Tibco and Oracle. He stressed that the company encourages personal brand building of each staff member. “It’s a major part of the personal development and we also encourage them to participate in conferences, training, etc., globally so that they are aware of the platforms that they are required to compete in. He also added that this has enabled people not to be fearful of competing globally and this is advocated as a culture at WSO2.