Ten years after Johan Backman and Anders Vängbo opened the US branch of Data Ductus, we find out how it all started, what lies behind its success, and what the plans are for the future.
Just over a decade ago, Johan Backman and Anders Vängbo sat in their respective homes planning their next moves. A combined total of 36 years at Ericsson US had come to an end after the network equipment and services provider pulled its operations out of Boulder, Colorado. Over the years the two of them had worked with many communications providers and mobile communication systems, and met with Data Ductus, who had been involved in developing the Tail-f network orchestration system – known today as Cisco NSO.
Aligned stars for the US market
“Let’s just say the stars were aligned,” says Johan from the Data Ductus Colorado office. “We had so much experience in this field and here was this amazing consulting company in our homeland of Sweden with the same expertise, the same type of clients, but without a foothold in the US market. They’d even been involved in the development of the network orchestration system that we were implementing and integrating for clients. So, to make a long story short, we started Data Ductus North America, brought in some great people, including Ruiying Zhang and Scott Barvick, who have been instrumental in our success, and we’ve run and grown the business ever since.
Long-term Cisco partner
Over the decade, Data Ductus has grown organically, opening offices in Longmont, Dallas and Boston, while staying true to the Data Ductus culture, core values and core competencies. The consulting company continues to support local and global communications companies with network automation and orchestration. In part, this is driven through a close partnership with Cisco, its resellers and its system integrator partners.
The Data Ductus way
“I’ve always believed that success comes down to three things. Being passionate about what you do and wanting to share that and help customers. Being good at what you do and having the desire to get even better at it. And, having empathy and trust in those around you. These have put us in good stead with our customers and our coworkers. Diversity, collaboration, sustainability, a good life-work balance, these are the things we’ve practiced for a decade. Today, these are a must for companies that want to attract people, for us, it’s always been a choice to run the business this way; the Data Ductus way.”
Filling the network-software gap
Much of Data Ductus’ success in the US can be put down to its talented software consultants who can fill the gap between networks and software. Working predominantly with large communication companies, they implement and automate services that allow clients to focus on their core business.
“Over the years we’ve supported many of the biggest communication providers in the US as well as some of the more local ones close to our offices. Obviously, the scale of assignments differ per customer, as does the level of system maturity. But what remains the same is a need for automation, which is something that we can deliver for any organization looking to improve their network systems.”
Continued growth built on expert services
Looking to the future, Data Ductus US is expanding just like the rest of the Group, as demand for its expert services continues to grow. Over the past ten years, their client base has grown to include some 50 companies, many of them household names both in the US and abroad.
“Our aim is to keep growing but at a pace where we’re in control. We don’t want to have to sacrifice the Data Ductus culture or our delivery standards. We want the best people who are happy to work in a company that takes the best parts of Swedish and US culture to provide an inspiring and innovative environment, one where we can make time to meet up for our weekly Swedish Fika among other things.”
To celebrate a decade of growth, people from all three US offices got together in Colorado for a few days of workshops, meetings, and social activities, both in and outdoors. The celebrations provided the ideal opportunity for the team members to get together for the first time since Covid restrictions were lifted and enjoyed some of the best of what Colorado has to offer!