Sharing Economy on the stories of AltexSoft, Viseven, and Artjoker

IT Cluster IT Cluster

Ukraine’s IT sector has always been marked by its high level of innovation and readiness to adapt quickly to changes in the industry. However, the war has created new and extremely difficult challenges for this promising sector.

Foreign investors and customers are becoming more cautious when considering entering into deals and extending existing partnerships with Ukrainian IT companies. This limits export opportunities and participation in international markets for Ukrainian IT companies. The loss of qualified personnel and the geographical dispersion of teams across the country and beyond have become challenges for the sector.

This new reality is forcing Ukrainian IT companies to rethink their business strategies and look for new approaches to operating in the face of economic recession and war. In line with this, the way they provide services and support to businesses is also undergoing major changes.

In the summer of 2023, Kharkiv IT Cluster took the initiative and announced the launch of a new project called “IT Cluster in the Cloud”, which is supported by the USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine Programme. The goal of this project is to support small and medium-sized IT companies that partially locate their teams across Ukraine and around the world.

To date, Kharkiv IT Cluster has become a clear example of how a community can strengthen its unity and resilience even in the face of relocation, economic difficulties, crisis, and war. Kharkiv IT Cluster unites more than 270 companies and partners. This is a testament to the resilience of Ukrainian IT companies and their ability to withstand challenges.

Stability of companies’ operations

Following the events of 24 February, many companies and their teams faced challenges and used various strategies to ensure stability and continue their operations. For some of them, it was a very difficult task, but for others, who showed a high level of reserve, they quickly managed to restore their operational capacity.

AltexSoft impressed with the speed of their recovery. By 28 February, 85% of their employees were in different locations where they could work safely. This amazing figure reached 92% just ten days later. Just two weeks after the start of the full-scale invasion, the company’s operational capacity was restored to 95%.

altexsoft-414x233 Sharing Economy on the stories of AltexSoft, Viseven, and Artjoker

AltexSoft team

Like Viseven, they stated that they did not stop their normal operations immediately after the events and continued to hire new employees, which shows confidence in their business and the belief that a solution will be found and the situation will stabilise. About 60% of people have already returned, which also demonstrates the internal stability of the company and the trust of its employees.

The share of employees returning to their hometown varies from company to company. In the case of AltexSoft, part of the team returned to their hometown, in particular to Kharkiv. Up to 10% of the company’s employees are now based in Kharkiv region. Poltava region hosts 8% of employees, Lviv region – 7%, and Kyiv and the region – 3%. The rest of the team is dispersed throughout Ukraine and partially abroad.

It took about two weeks for the Artjoker team to relocate and get back to normal. The company has a large office in Kharkiv, so most of the team had to travel.

According to Natalia Brynza, Artjoker’s COO, in the first days of the war, they expected everything to stop soon. But with each new day it became clear that it would not. The war started on Thursday, so on Monday the management started to bring the team back to work. At that time, there was a large portfolio of Western projects and commitments to clients, and the company had to keep them even in such extremely difficult times.

Today, about 45% of Artjoker’s team members remain in the Kharkiv region. An even bigger part of Artjoker is based in Kyiv, and the rest are all over Ukraine.

Working with a distributed team and hiring foreign specialists

In today’s world, many companies are faced with the need to work with a distributed team, where employees are located in different cities or countries. This can be the result of various circumstances, including global events such as a pandemic or military conflict. In such circumstances, companies face challenges related to ensuring stable and productive teamwork, as well as hiring foreign specialists.

AltexSoft is an example of successful work with a distributed team. According to their representatives, they were ready for this kind of relocation due to their previous experience and training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they already had experience working remotely, which made it easier to relocate the team to different cities. However, one of the most challenging aspects is maintaining emotional connection and team spirit while working remotely.

Regarding the hiring of foreign specialists, Olga Gusarova, Vice President of Operations, noted that this may require attention to legal and financial aspects, as well as time zone management, as the difference in geographical location can create certain difficulties in the internal organisation of processes.

Viseven also faced similar challenges. Yevhen Dyachenko, Chief People Officer, shared his experience of the need to maintain an emotional context and organise offline meetings to maintain communication and team engagement. When it comes to hiring foreign specialists, this may require attention to cultural differences and internal communication, as well as taking into account local realities and secrecy regarding possible mobilisation risks.

Hiring specialists in Ukraine can also come with its own challenges, as Olga Gusarova pointed out. Convincing clients that their employees are ready to work in the face of unrest, rocket attacks or other challenges can be a challenge. Cultural differences and language barriers should also be taken into account when working with foreign specialists.

Working with a distributed team and hiring foreign specialists requires certain approaches and working tools. According to Nataliia Brynza, COO of ARTJOKER, the main difficulty in working with a distributed team is building convenient and efficient processes to ensure communication and collaboration between remote employees.

artjoker-414x313 Sharing Economy on the stories of AltexSoft, Viseven, and Artjoker


The covid pandemic has taught many companies to work in a relocatable way, and ARTJOKER emphasises the importance of providing instructions to employees. They recommend writing guidelines for employees on how to work remotely, who to contact with questions, and how to use collaboration tools. Guidelines simplify interaction and help employees navigate the new environment.

To ensure communication and interaction in a distributed team, ARTJOKER uses chats, shared project management services (such as Jira), and other tools that help create a favourable working environment. In particular, constant contact and the ability to ask questions are important for IT professionals.

It is also important to maintain communication and coordination between different team members, including those in other countries, and to create conditions for interaction and online collaboration. Working with a distributed team requires a different organisational approach and the use of specialised tools for communication and collaboration.

Modern companies must work with a distributed team and hire foreign specialists. AltexSoft, Viseven, and ARTJOKER demonstrate that technical readiness and attention to emotional connection in the team are important for successful work. Hiring foreign employees requires addressing legal and cultural aspects, and an integrated approach and the use of appropriate tools.

Relations with clients and partners

Following the events that occurred after 24 February, many companies in Ukraine have faced changes in their relationships with their clients and partners. This includes both foreign and local customers and partners. Some of the changes caused by global events may have an impact on business in 2023.

Olga Gusarova noted that most of their foreign customers have shown support for Ukrainian businesses. However, with global risks on the rise, some new customers are requiring labour that does not necessarily have to be from Ukraine to reduce their risks. Customers also greatly appreciate open communication about the status of offices and employees, as well as the measures taken by the company to ensure the continuity of all departments.

In 2023, although this issue may no longer be as relevant, new customers and partners may continue to ask questions about the company’s readiness to work in the face of global risks.

AltexSoft also expanded into new markets in 2022-2023. They entered the markets of Australia and Africa, and attracted new customers in Europe, Japan, and North America. The new circumstances have forced them to decisively expand their horizons and look for new opportunities.

Evgeny Dyachenko’s answers show a different reality. They withdrew from the Russian market, which affected their clients and partners. This led to difficulties in cooperation with global customers who continued to operate in Russia. Thus, the company had to look for customised solutions to stop providing services in the Russian market.

Even if Viseven has not entered new markets, they have expanded their presence in some regions where they were previously less present.

As a result, relationships with customers and partners after the events in Ukraine can have a major impact on businesses. The agility to adapt to new conditions and the ability to expand geographically can be important success factors for companies in these extraordinary circumstances.

Natalia Brynza said that their relationships with various clients and partners have largely remained unchanged, but have reacted differently to the circumstances.

Western partners showed different reactions to the situation in Ukraine. Some partners supported the company and continued cooperation, even offering financial assistance. Others asked for a “time out” and suspended projects. It was important to show flexibility and understanding in relations with partners depending on their attitude to the situation.

It was easier to work with Ukrainian clients, as many businesses simply stood still for a while. However, over time, the Ukrainian market began to pick up, and Artjoker adapted to the new realities by changing its approaches to cooperation and budgeting.

Speaking of markets, Artjoker focuses on the same countries with which it has historically partnered. However, the team has plans to conquer new heights, of course. The team remains committed to its existing markets, but is considering entering new markets through existing projects and partnerships.

Maintaining good relationships with clients and partners, as well as adapting to new conditions, play a key role in ensuring the company’s stability in times of change and crisis.

Marketing and communications

Marketing and communications are key aspects of doing business for Ukrainian IT companies. Three leading companies, AltexSoft, Artjoker and Viseven, share their strategies and approaches to these issues.
Olga Gusarova, Vice President of Operations at AltexSoft, noted that in their practice, there have been cases of bias against Ukrainian IT companies due to the risks of a military invasion of the country. To overcome these prejudices, the company used two strategies.

The first strategy was to provide a safe place to live and work for its employees and their families, as well as to provide them with the necessary infrastructure, such as electricity and the Internet.

The second strategy was to communicate with customers in a constant and open manner about the situation in the country and the company’s plans to address the risks. This helped to build trust and convince customers to continue cooperation.

Regarding communication at the international level, Olga Gusarova emphasised that the Ukrainian IT community is ready for any challenges and shows positive dynamics of its work. The key messages are resilience, creativity, adaptability and hard work.

At the national level, it is important to support the frontline and the state. Olha Husarova noted that they actively support the army and charity projects, promote the economic front, and develop software for the army and the state.

Yevhen Dyachenko, Chief People Officer at Viseven, said that their company faced bias against Ukrainian IT due to the risks of war. They have been actively working to ensure the safety and working conditions for their employees and their families, as well as diversifying their work locations.

viseven-1-414x276 Sharing Economy on the stories of AltexSoft, Viseven, and Artjoker

Viseven team

Marketing messages for an international audience should emphasise the resilience and professionalism of Ukrainian IT specialists.

According to Natalia Brynza, ARTJOKER COO, there are clients who express concerns about further cooperation with Ukrainian IT companies due to global events and instability in Ukraine. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate to customers your ability to continue working, even in times of war.

In general, the national information space in Ukraine should show Ukrainian IT companies as reliable and important players in the industry, helping to support the country’s economy and provide jobs for numerous specialists. Ukrainian IT companies are important for the development of the technology industry both domestically and internationally. A common message for the national information space should emphasise this contribution and the importance of the IT industry in Ukraine.

In summary, to successfully do business in an emergency, it is important to have a clear marketing and communications strategy, ensure the safety of employees and partners, and actively support the state and army.

Related Posts