It’s all about innovation – both commercially and technical.
Story by Mariane Berriot (Founder and CEO of Sentinelles du web).
How can you make an impact on the world around you?
We are internet craftsmen. Sentinelles de web is our name and our mascot. The meerkat is a well-known animal for its ability to form group solidarity. We are always on the lookout for new ideas and challenges, just like them. We avoid the mainstream and seek out new routes and ways to explore. Our headquarters is located in Douarnenez on the shores in French Brittany. This is a beautiful place far from the hustle and bustle of cities. However, we also have an office at Brest for younger members of our team who prefer the excitement of a larger urban environment. Although projects are not always easy, deadlines can be short and competition fierce. Technology is constantly evolving and nothing is ever certain, we only have one life and want to live it well. We work hard and live hard. We want our work as a positive contribution to our lives. This is why we infuse both our work environment and our work with humanity.
What would you call Real Work?
More than half our projects support innovation, commercial or technical. It’s a great day when we are working on a breakthrough project that will improve our customer’s business or our IQ. It is rewarding to feel part of the process, and that there is more than just a commercial relationship. It is a joy to do things that really matter.
I get up at 5 a.m., when everyone is still asleep. After a large coffee, I read my email and check for any urgencies on the websites or apps of customers. Send a few emails to adjust or organize the team’s work patterns and priorities. Customers and partners can be reached by email. I enjoyed watching the sun rise and listening to the seagulls tell the city it was time to get up. It is time to get to work and begin assessing the progress of projects with the team. The fun part of the day begins at 9 a.m.: clients, partners, customers, and new projects. Every day brings something new and exciting. Our job is unique because we travel the world with our clients. It doesn’t get any easier than this: an innovative project here, a community project elsewhere, or new technology elsewhere. Okay, so I have to sometimes go to the bank or speak with the accountant (work is not always fun). But because I am the technical expert/leader, my business partner handles such tasks most of time. I am very fortunate to be able to spend most of my time on brighter side of the moon.
How does ActiveCollab fit in to your day?
ActiveCollab is our foundation. We have 16 permanent staff members or collaborators at nine sites, in three countries, some of which work remotely. We manage approximately 100 projects per year across Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia. Without a good project management and communication tool, our organization would be a mess. Every project has a few basic recurring questions: Who, What, Why, When and Who? These questions are stored on ActiveCollab and are continuously updated. We cannot only work with email. Emails can be used for communication outside of the project or in the early stages. Once a project has begun to take shape, it is important to store all documents and exchanges in a secure and well-organized cloud-based environment. To set up meetings, track progress and ensure that the right messages get to the right people, we need to be able to access the agenda of each collaborator or employee. Our profession is greatly aided by our project management system.