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The returnees: Thomas and Marko see Sofigate as a place with good people

Marko Saarinen and Thomas Aalto both left Sofigate just to return. In addition to meaningful and challenging work, they were drawn back by people and our workplace spirit. As Marko says, that goes a long way.

Sofigators Marko Saarinen and Thomas Aalto have three things in common. They are both Sofigate returnees, they both work with the Salesforce platform, and they both describe each other as one of the good people.

“It didn’t take me long to notice that Marko is a true professional who is also an open and warm person. I can honestly say that at Sofigate we have really great people at work and a truly good workplace spirit,” says Thomas smiling.

“I couldn’t agree more with what Thomas says about the Sofigate spirit. And what comes to him as a colleague, you can always rely on Thomas. He delivers what has been agreed on with professionalism, but he is also a good person. In general, that goes a long way,” Marko adds.

Even though both Marko and Thomas work with our Salesforce team, they rarely meet in terms of work projects. Marko’s work as Business Executive, Head of Salesforce Finland revolves more around leadership, business and practice, and sales cases while Thomas executes actual customer projects as a software developer.

However, their paths at work have crossed because of their status as returnees.

“When I returned to Sofigate, I think it was actually Marko who eventually informed me that I was hired. That’s how we first met,” Thomas laughs.

“I haven’t regretted returning one bit”

Thomas started his career with us already in 2018, when Sofigate acquired his previous workplace Csolutor. Marko’s Sofigate career is a bit shorter: he started in 2022.

“One by one several of the people I had been working with joined Sofigate and they persuaded me to join as well. Though of course I went through a separate recruitment process before starting,” Marko explains.

Of the two, Thomas was the first to leave. In 2020, he decided to take a sabbatical to pursue his own projects, spend time with his growing family and to develop himself both in a personal and professional sense. And that he did.

“Working in this industry requires you to develop your skills constantly, but to me it is also a passion. I’ve been coding since I was 15 years old and it has always been something I want to do in my free time as well,” Thomas says.

After a bit over three years the time was ripe for returning to a conventional worklife. It was good to be back.

“I have always considered Sofigate a really good place to work. And I haven’t regretted returning one bit. On the contrary, I’ve really enjoyed the challenges and development opportunities the work has offered me,” Thomas says.

Not too big to lose our human touch

Marko decided to try something new at the end of 2022, after spending a year with us. Though it took him only a few months to return, Marko says that what drew him back was the diversity of both our people and opportunities.

“It requires a variety of competences and capabilities beyond the technology platform and applications in question – be it Salesforce or something else – to successfully execute broad, transformative, multi-disciplinary development programs around customer engagement and enterprise resource planning. At Sofigate, this comes true,” Marko explains.

He also appreciates Sofigate as a community that sees value in its employees. In addition to the company’s core values and commitment, he links this to the size of the company.

“We are big enough to have credibility, but not too big to lose our human touch. Our people are not just employee numbers. They are appreciated as people,” Marko describes.

Sofigate is worthy of its people

Marko’s role changed quite a bit from his original position when he returned. Before leaving, his focus was on business development and sales, and lastly as Chief Technology Officer. When returning, he switched solely to focusing on developing our Finnish Salesforce business.

Thomas, however, continued where he left off – as a software developer.

“I’m a software developer to the core so that’s never going to change. But even though my job description hasn’t changed, I feel there are more opportunities for development within my reach. There’s always a bit of movement to a new direction going on,” Thomas says.

One of Marko’s responsibilities is to ensure that the team recruits the talents needed and meets its recruiting targets. He points out that even though Sofigate is an advisory and business technology company, its business fundamentally revolves around from people.

“It is important that we recruit the right people with the right potential, competences, and attitude, but it is even more important that those people want to work with us and feel that we can offer them meaningful work and a chance to advance in their career. This is the trust we need to earn every day. We need to be worthy of our people.”

Name: Thomas Aalto

Title at Sofigate: Salesforce Advisor

Education: IT and software development

Work history: Software development

My superpower at work: I’m always open to new things and ready to improve myself and my skills.

Name: Marko Saarinen

Title at Sofigate: Business Executive & Head of Salesforce, Finland

Education: MBA, Marketing and IT. Studied in the U.S.

Work history: First half of his career in American software companies working with business development and sales and product marketing and management. The second half of his career in Finnish consulting and IT services companies.

My superpower at work: My motto which is “become inspired, inspire, and accept the responsibility”.

The most important thing I’ve learned this year: Don’t assume that everyone can keep up with you. Truly ensure that they do.