About the company
Sente creates ERP systems – programs that aid companies across industries in process management and reaching their business goals. The company has been active since 2000. It has implemented 100 projects fostering the productivity and growth of companies across Poland.
Sente founders, who are major tech enthusiasts themselves, initially thought that the best ERP system is one that offers as many functionalities as possible. They realised rather quickly that leaders seek solutions that are customisable to their unique business model and that impose no limits on growth. This is the approach Sente took when creating its proprietary management system – Teneum.
Teneum X is an innovative approach to creating ERP, CRM, WMS and DMS systems. The ERP solution designed by Sente meets the needs of modern businesses looking for constant improvement and adapting to the changing business environment.
Currently, Sente has over 200 team members who work together every day from the four offices: in Wrocław, Poznań, Rzeszów and Starachowice, as well as from their own homes. Employees decide if they prefer home office or hybrid work. The flexibility is what attracts the best specialists from all over Poland, and thus allows the company to grow faster.
At the same time, a dispersed team faces certain challenges. Sente decided to equip its employees with tools for efficient communication and cooperation, allowing them to focus on the core of their work: creating innovative software.
At first, the company used tools from different providers, including Outlook and Thunderbird. As the company grew, its needs started to change. In 2011, Sente began testing Google tools. They turned out to be so efficient, the company adopted them for good.
At the time, the main reason the company chose Google Workspace (G Suite at the time), was synchronisation through a shared calendar and adding resources to it, including conference rooms with a reservation option. Sharing documents was also an important function.
At first, the company acquired its licenses directly from Google. When Sente crossed paths with FOTC, the two companies launched a cooperation that has lasted for years now. By moving their instance to FOTC, Sente gained reliable technical support and additional discounts on Google Workspace licenses.
We chose to work with a partner because we can always count on their support. I think it's beneficial for us: if not for FOTC support, we'd need an employee trained in Google tools. It's not within the scope of our business so we don't want to do it. Instead, I can always write to FOTC and I will receive a reply to my query. Usually, it happens very quickly. A few months ago, we levelled up from the Standard version. I was in constant communication with our FOTC account manager and I received a discounted offer. We saved a lot on that discount when you account for the entire company.
Google Workspace tools are mostly used for fast and effective communication at Sente. The company uses them for meetings (Meet), brainstorming (Jamboard), dealing with everyday business (Chat and Spaces), and even recruitment (Forms). Creating documents is easier when several people can work on them simultaneously (Documents, Sheets and Presentations).
Ongoing communications in text communicators
Sente employees communicate over text communicators. Chat is used to discuss current, everyday business. Interestingly, team members use text chat not just with people working in remote locations, but even with colleagues working in the same building. A rapid exchange via Chat is more effective than climbing stairs to talk face-to-face.
Google Spaces serve the role of an internal helpdesk. Sente created several thematic Spaces with dedicated moderators. If an employee needs information, they can ask their question in the right Space and a qualified team member will respond.
Jamboard engages more people in conversation
When the written word is no longer sufficient, Sente employees can use the video conference tool Meet. They use it to clarify and settle more complex matters, as well as to meet in a larger group.
Google Meet is used for regular meetings where company results and plans are presented. The tool is also used for employee onboarding – meetings on the first day of work are online.
The Sente team goes beyond that, though. During video meetings, employees often engage in brainstorming sessions where moderators use interactive whiteboards available within the Jamboard application. How do these meetings go?
When a team is working on a solution and needs to make a decision or discuss options, employees connect via Meet. Then they launch Jamboard – the moderator writes the topic at the top and each participant can place sticky notes with their ideas or comments. The team uses colour-coded stickies. A red one meets something to be corrected. A yellow sticky note contains options and a green one – actions that have been green-lit for implementation.
It is easier to moderate a meeting with Jamboard. If you have 20 people and everyone wants to add their input on the subject, it is much easier with a sticky note than by speaking over several other people. It's easier to write down, collate and assess each proposal.
Verifying candidate knowledge with Forms
Sente is also proud of how it uses Google Forms. Even though the tool is designed for questionnaires, Sente uses it for recruiting new employees.
The IT department verifies the skills of candidates for different positions. After a positive CV verification, the recruiting manager creates a form that serves the purpose of a test. It consists of several questions at different levels of difficulty. These could be closed-ended or open-ended questions, single or multiple choice. Sometimes code excerpts are attached.
A test file is shared with the candidate and sufficient time is allotted for its completion. The manager can easily analyse the answers they receive, both for a single candidate as well as by comparing several candidates’ performance. Bar graphs show how many candidates replied to each question. The results migrate to Sheets where they can be analysed further.
Oftentimes it makes no sense to create new tools. Instead, you can find existing ones. If they are tired and true, why not use them?
Discussion groups and Gmail automation save time
Gmail is used for corresponding with clients, business partners and people outside the organisation.
Sente uses company email potential to the fullest. Mailing groups have been created to deliver information to people who are interested in the topic. For instance, the group “Employees” includes all emails of people employed within the organisation. So instead of entering each email individually, the sender only needs to enter one group address.
Gmail has been integrated with other tools used by the company. The right people are notified automatically when a process is complete, when something needs to be improved, or when a security incident occurs.
Office tools and Calendar still work great
The story would be incomplete without mentioning the software that convinced Sente managers to implement Google Workspace in their organisation 10 years ago.
Documents, Sheets and Presentations are still heavily used in the company. These office tools have developed greatly since 2011. One of the biggest upgrades was embedding communication tools within files. Working together on documents has become easier since the built-in Chat and Meet window opens within the file itself.
The Calendar is a great tool for time management. The app can also be used to reserve conference rooms so that each team member knows whether a room is available. It makes planning meetings much easier.