Building up Piros Nordics is a dream come true!
Stefan Blom was already obsessed with Red Hat solutions. But he wanted to do more than sell software. He wanted to be entrepreneurial, to set up a new IT company. And then suddenly that dream came true when Piros contacted him. If he would be interested in building up Piros Nordics in his home country of Sweden? Oh yeah!
“In the mid-1980s, my friend’s father looked after the computers in a gymnasium in Stockholm, where I still live. His dad needed a helping hand installing hard drives, something he didn’t like doing but my friend and I were fascinated by.”
Later, as an adult, Stefan discovered a second passion: sales. “I loved getting to know people and solving their challenges — something I still do today, but within the Swedish IT community. In 2019, I started as a business accelerator at a Scandinavian IT company, Atea, developing software sales. After a year I became temporarily responsible for the sales of Red Hat licenses. So I became more and more interested in the open source community, how open source works, and how Red Hat found a solution through selling a service rather than a product.”
“Together with Arrow ECS and Red Hat, we went to the market and achieved outstanding sales figures for Atea. For the last three years, I’ve been sales manager of a smaller team that focuses on sales to smaller, private companies.”
Despite this rewarding path, Stefan finished up in December 2022. “This was never what I wanted to keep doing — I didn’t get enough satisfaction out of it, and I wanted to create something myself.” He let his network know that he was open to a new challenge, and in the spring of 2023, he received a message from Piros via LinkedIn. Was he interested in starting a new company?
“I had already known the gang at Piros for some time by then. We’d met several times during Red Hat training and summits and even worked together once at an event. We were clearly on the same wavelength. So we meet in Brussels, with the CEO of Piros and a colleague of his.”
“And I have to say I still pinch myself regularly until I almost leave bruises [laughs] because what Piros offered me is a dream come true. Today I’m responsible for the development and launch of Piros Nordics. This is exactly the opportunity I was looking for to build something completely new.”
How does Stefan handle this?
“On the one hand, I am actively building relationships with Red Hat, Arrow ECS, and other partners. On the other hand, I’m seeking out new customers. And it’s going well, really well. I’ve had to rewrite my plans several times because things are progressing so much faster than I ever dared to dream. Many old and new contacts are interested.”
“In terms of customers, I initially focused on smaller companies, businesses that are starting with RHEL and OpenShift environments but don’t have the necessary expertise to manage them — or companies that have partnerships with that kind of customer. So I’m mainly looking for new business rather than poaching customers from other providers.”
Unlike in Belgium, Piros and the Cronos Group are still largely unknown in Sweden. “So I’m using my own name to open doors and put us on the map in Scandinavia. First in Sweden, then probably Finland, and later maybe Norway. It’s the start of a new chapter for Piros and the start of a completely new book for me!”
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