Schmitz has had an extensive career as an entrepreneur, business developer, and advisor while leading Amazon’s European expansion. Now he is actively involved as a Chair of the Board with four rapidly growing startups.
HELSINKI, Finland (October 20th, 2022) ONEiO, a specialist in the automated integration of IT services and business applications, has today announced Olaf Schmitz as their new Chair of the Board. Schmitz has an extensive career as an entrepreneur in the software development industry, as well as various executive roles including Amazon’s Business Development & Expansion Leader for Europe. For 25 years he has also navigated large family businesses through their generational transitions.
“Almost all companies are planning or are in the process of migrating to the cloud. Together with the general cost pressure, this leads to a rapidly growing need to integrate and automate business applications to enable companies to work more seamlessly with each other, whatever tools they use. Therefore, we see huge market potential for scalable and automated integration solutions like ONEiO,” says Schmitz.
“I look forward to the task of transforming ONEiO from a steadily growing to a very fast-growing company together with a strong management team. We will develop ONEiO into a real hyperscale that expands sustainably and will avoid the usual growing pains.”
Schmitz had his first steps into entrepreneurship at the age of 16, when he established his first company. The software development venture grew to 100 developers by the time he was 19, after which he decided to move into other business areas to develop his skills further.
With experience from management roles in various industries, he now shares his knowledge in different advisory and board roles. Before joining the team, he requires the technology to have a potential market for 1000-10,000x growth. He also expects founders to have a good work-life balance and know how they can execute work at a high level while also taking good care of themselves and their employees.
“The chair needs to drive the strategic process, driving the long-term vision and mission, while holding people accountable for executing strategy. You need a strong appetite to help people. I work very closely with my founder and management teams and their directors, and I am always available for them. This isn’t my retirement work, this is my passion,” says Schmitz.
In ONEiO, he sees huge potential to solve a major problem that affects all big companies. A cloud-native solution that seamlessly integrates people, processes and tools is a great example of how technology can remove barriers to productivity and growth. Integration services are a great example of tasks that shouldn’t be done by humans in the first place.
“The economic downturn is not an excuse to stop working – on the contrary. Now is the chance for good companies to set up their business and product for growth when the markets rebound. I am not here to say what founders should do – I offer them one or more points of view. I expect them to collect multiple different options and then tell me how they want to proceed. That’s how I keep learning, and they learn to make their own decisions. Of course, sometimes those decisions turn out to be wrong, but that’s the name of the game. Without failing and making mistakes, we don’t grow,” Schmitz concludes.
“We are changing the game like Amazon Web Services (AWS) did back in the day. ONEiO is the only European provider in this space. As we are now moving into markets dominated mainly by the big US-based integration platform providers and their traditional project-based business models, we are excited to have Olaf and his hands-on experience at our disposal. He has an excellent track-record and expertise in transforming companies from startups to hyperscalers. With his support, we are confident that we can show that Europeans can also build successful and disruptive enterprise cloud-services and be game-changers,” says Juha Berghäll, CEO and co-founder of ONEiO.
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Alexandra Sevelius, CMO
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ONEiO is an integration service provider for IT service providers. Using their integration automation platform, they help IT service teams collaborate better with customers and vendors — and best of all, prevent integration headaches forever. ONEiO is on a mission to unleash organizations, teams and people from technological restrictions by empowering them to collaborate the way they want, using the tools they want.
ONEiO was founded in 2011 by Juha Berghäll (CEO), Janne Kärkkäinen (CPO), Kai Virkki (CTO), and Olli Nuortila (CFO). ONEiO currently has 55 employees and 85 clients, including TietoEvry, CGI, Telia, Basware, Sofigate, Bayer, and Volkswagen. It has offices in Finland, Germany, the UK, and in North America.