Meet Mikael Dahlgren, founder & CEO at Agama Technologies
15 April, 2021
Who is Mikael Dahlgren?
With a continuous interest to create new solutions to the market’s different challenges, I started my first company when turning 18. It was in the area of systems development for measurement and automation, a domain in which I continued after graduating from the university.
I was employed by a multi-utility company working with preparations for the deregulation of the Swedish electricity market and innovation projects. I gathered valuable experience in large organizations, creating new markets and taking care of all the challenges it imposes.
The year 2000 and the rapid growth within the IT domain created an opportunity to yet again form a new consulting company. In an era totally focused on web page development, we actively selected a more technically challenging specialty of distributed embedded systems, where one of the applications was the emerging IP-based video systems.
Quite soon it became obvious – these early projects – to scale a new approach to test and especially monitor the video delivery performance, were a big thing, and this is how Agama was born.
What are your main responsibilities as CEO?
Starting and developing new companies is as inspiring as it is challenging – going from a really small team still working with almost everything, to focusing on developing and managing the company, is an interesting journey that I would recommend to everyone who is interested in management.
Today, with more and more TV viewers, video operators are relying on the short time-to-fix and quick innovation turnaround, and these are the main things they want to get from our solutions. That is why our organization needs to stay innovative and at the same time be reliable and mature.
My job is to create this environment by working with the management team to enable clarity on strategies, expectations and goals, as well as to continuously develop both the management team and indirectly our whole organization to match the company’s journey.
In practice it involves working with the board on targets and strategies, transforming and conveying them to the company through the management team and follow-up on our progress, all while trying to develop the right environment and atmosphere. This is not always easy as there are pros and cons to everything.
What does a typical working day look like?
It changes over the year – sometimes it’s a lot of strategy and planning, other times it’s execution, and yet some other times it’s about closing the year with a lot of reporting and formalities.
As we are long past the point where one could run projects oneself – today almost all my work is indirectly setting expectations, trying to ensure clarity, inspire, follow-up and help out.
Mondays all start the same – inviting the whole company to a breakfast where our teams update us on what’s happened lately and what’s expected to happen.
Two days a week start with summoning the management team for a quick pulse meeting, to ensure we know how we progress and sync-up on where support is needed.
The rest of the days are normally spent in a combination of preparing for, as well as executing, start-up and progress meetings mainly with the management team.
Sadly it’s always hard to get enough time to listen in detail to all of our people, but we are trying hard to do it as much as possible.
What is your main goal? What are the key metrics and KPI:s for measuring success?
My main goal is still the same as when we started the company – to create an inspiring and creative team who make a real difference for our customers. All based on the insights that our analytics systems deliver and where both our customers and our team feel they can challenge themselves and develop.
The ultimate success is when the viewers of our customers have an excellent service experience, may it be excellent video service quality, an insightful helpdesk experience, optimal content packages, or an attractive price due to automation and efficiency in processes or optimal infrastructure investments.
Having our customers as the leaders in NPS scores and customer satisfaction indexes, is the ultimate KPI. This means our teams have delivered excellent value and that’s not possible without an inspired and skilled team of people who take pride in their efforts.
What are the key success factors in our current business environment?
For the past ten years, we have said that the video market is changing more than ever – and it’s still true! In a changing environment, agility, efficiency and innovation is key. One can’t just continue straight ahead, one has to challenge oneself.
The old saying – it’s better I challenge and compete with my old offerings than to leave that to someone else – will challenge some old truths.
New possibilities and imposed new ways to do things will permanently change what’s expected and seen as the normal way of doing things. New technologies arrive and customers’ behavior changes, the one with the best insight is often the winner in a rapidly changing environment.
Insights will be even more important in a rapidly changing world and we will be there to enable access to the right insights in this change. To do that, the key for us is to further develop innovative teams that can maintain a deep understanding of our customers’ environments, their needs and challenges, to be able to act in an agile way in order to create customer value.