The time has simply flown by! Campana & Schott is turning 30. It feels like only yesterday that I was sitting in a lecture hall with my friend, longstanding companion, and business partner Christophe – and now here we are, celebrating our company’s 30th anniversary this year. That’s good reason to take a look back.
When we started out, Amazon didn't even exist yet (they launched in 1994), and neither did Google (founded in 1998). The first website at CERN went live in 1990. The standard means of communication in business were the phone and fax – and even Telex was still around.
But one very interesting point was that a few years before the business was founded, I had been involved in the European Strategic Programme for Research and Development in Information Technologies (ESPRIT), which ran from 1987 until 1992. Together with various organizations in Europe, the EU tasked us with considering how IT would shape communications and cooperation in the business sector in the future - e-mail was only just emerging as a technology, and we talked about whether videoconferencing would be a useful medium.
In retrospect, I am quite surprised to realize that we also put a lot of thought into how business processes might be supported with what we were already calling collaborative work tools. Some of the initial solution scenarios we came up with at the time are a bit amusing now.
But I did bring my passion for the subject with me when I founded Campana & Schott. It’s incredible that now, 30 years later, this is the topic of the day. As one example, a couple of young consultants showed me last week how we are accelerating the development of critical medications at a number of global pharmaceutical companies. We have integrated processes into MS Teams to accelerate the required clinical trials and connect those involved in such a way that new contributors can be familiarized and integrated much faster. With a similar app in Teams, we are supporting researchers around the world in working together to find the scientific publications relevant to them, assessing those publications with ratings and comments, and incorporating them into drug development together. “Better together,” instead of everyone just reading on their own.
Thirty years back, I didn't yet have the imagination (or the experience) to think about medical applications. I had selected project management as a business process as part of the EU project. In my view, working on projects was also a good fit for support from collaborative work tools.
This was the start of my passion for project management. But more on that in my next post.
If these topics and our background information interest you, please feel free to attend one of the anniversary talks we are organizing at all our locations. Or perhaps I should say celebrations instead.