It's not every day I talk to a Ukrainian company where the CEO casually tells me that on the 24th of February last year, as staff were frantically on the move to safer places, the sales department was doing a deal from their car.
"Fortunately, the internet was working perfectly during the beginning of the war. Even on the road, you had a connection, even though everyone was scared that Russia would break it."
The company is Aimprosoft, a custom software development company with 17 years of market presence, offering full-cycle development services from DevOps to QA and business analysis with the potential for out staffing, full-cycle teams and outsourcing. I spoke to CEO Maxim Ivanov to find out more.
It started in 2005 with two developers wanting to create something by developers and is now 350 people strong.
Ivanov shared that the company has had many customers for over a decade, with many "still using code which I wrote myself."
How do you secure 20 years of data?
While the company was originally in-office, COVID's remote work got people used to an out-of-office workplace. Ivanov shared that it was of utmost importance to pay special attention to data security:
"For example, we work with the healthcare and finance domains, which contain sensitive information we must protect."
When news hit of Russia's plan for a full-scale invasion, Aimprosoft already had safeguards. Ivanov advises.
"Keep all of your eggs in a different basket. If you have the infrastructure, let it be in the cloud services. We moved all our servers from Ukraine to cloud services in Germany over a decade ago. Aimprosoft infrastructure and our customers' code are stored in one data centre and the backup in another.
This distribution is reasonable and helps protect your business from force majeure accidents like war but also natural disasters or fire, which are less predictable."
Aimprosoft set up hostels for people to have somewhere to stay while looking for someone more permanent to live. When Russia started to destroy energy infrastructure, the company also set up resilience offices with power generators and Starlinks.
Ivanov sees power and internet independence as critical to the future of Ukraine. He notes that
"Digitalization is of utter importance. Especially in the public sector. Imagine what would happen if we didn't have Diia?
It enables our citizens to download personal identification documents into an app, change their place of registration, register a business or modify their place of registration to pay taxes, and much more.
Throughout the war, our banking sector has never failed, although there have been massive hacker attacks on the banking sector as well as the public sector. I guess that says something. It means something."
The reality is that only one sector of the economy is growing during the war -- IT. Despite all the hardships that hit Ukraine last year, clients choose Ukrainian developers.
All of Aimprosoft's customers stayed and almost all decided to pay for the missing time while the company was moving premises. And the team compensated clients by working at weekends. "So it was like a synergy between our clients and us.
In September 2022, Aimprosoft received a request for a business web portal with a mobile presence. The customer wanted to hire namely Ukrainian developers despite the country being at work, and this was proof of the IT sector efforts been making for years to gain a good reputation
"The ability of the Ukrainian tech sector to build a strong foundation for the economy is demonstrated by its resiliency in complicated situations."
This article is part of Tech.eu's highlighting of remarkable Ukrainian startups on the one-year anniversary of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Read more ...