#Avanade20Years: Why some of Avanade Spain’s earliest employees stuck around for two decades
- Posted on January 22, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
We continue our #Avanade20Years special series on the blog in celebration of our 20th Anniversary on April 4, 2020. This week, we’re looking back at the earliest days in our Spain office. Ramon Miranda, Silvia Tejedo, Ricard Pinol and Juan Carlos Escalante are four of the 13 employees hired in Spain in 2000 who remain with Avanade today.
Silvia Tejedo remembers her first day at Avanade perfectly. The year was 2000, and her new job was as an executive assistant to the general manager. She arrived at 9 a.m. to an office full of boxes from Accenture and started to unpack them.
“Later in the day, around 11, the general manager arrived,” she remembered. “He was traveling back from the U.S., and he arrived with plenty of chocolates from San Francisco. So that was my first day at Avanade – boxes and chocolates. Not a bad first day.”
As they joined a brand-new operation, employees worked to put things together and figure out what Avanade would look like. Hired as a systems engineer, Ricard Pinol remembers a camaraderie between the early employees as they passed physical modem cables back and forth, trying to download the materials they needed. That memory is fresh for Ramon Miranda too.
“We had to create everything from scratch – presentations, offerings – everything needed to be built. The collaboration was amazing,” Ramon said. “We were trying to move so fast. We were connected on modems. In three months, we moved from eight people to over 50. We grew very fast and aggressively.”
That growth wasn’t unique to Avanade’s beginning in Spain. Ricard pointed out that there are over 700 Avanade employees in the country now. And though that growth has required the company to change, in many ways, Avanade feels the same to him.
“I still have a few colleagues who joined at the beginning, and this is something we discuss,” Ricard said. “The spirit of people today is the same as what we had 20 years ago. We have the same level of excitement. Twenty years ago, we had this feeling of excitement because we had the resources of Accenture and Microsoft and the support to pursue any challenge you wanted as a professional. That’s the same today.”
Silvia agreed that the endless opportunity is what has kept her at Avanade for two decades now.
“I have grown as the company has grown,” she said. “I started as an executive assistant and took on more and more responsibility. And I’m still growing and learning. Just last year, we added a Portugal office, so since last April, I manage marketing and comms in all of Iberia. In 20 years, I can’t think of one day that I was bored. Never.”
This constant change and growth appealed to Juan Carlos Escalante, who also joined Avanade in 2000 as a systems engineer: “Avanade gives you the opportunity to reinvent on every project. It’s a great company where you can reinvent yourself every year.”
Each of them can look back at 20 years and see Avanade’s clear progression – and how they played their own part in it.
“I’m the proudest of what I’ve contributed,” Ramon said. “I look back at when I created the Xplore sessions in Spain in 2012, and I see how that idea that I had grew and was adopted company-wide. That’s an incredible feeling.”
That belief that any employee can make a meaningful impact by taking an idea and running with it is at the core of who Avanade is – key to a culture of innovation.
When asked what they hope for Avanade in the next 20 years, many of them laugh, mentioning that they hope to be retired. But they want now what they wanted back then: continued growth, innovation, and support for the people that make it all possible.
“It’s been 20 years,” Ricard said. “If I look back, it’s a lot of time. But my perception is that these 20 years have been shorter than the seven years that I spent in my job before Avanade. It’s been a rush. That means it hasn’t been tedious. It’s been a unique experience. It’s difficult to synthesize 20 years in a few words, but I feel like it was yesterday that I joined Avanade, and I think that’s a good thing.”