DTHG interviews Mansoft CEO Samu Bäckman
Theatron recently expanded into Germany and we also joined the DTHG (Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellsschaft). Our CEO Samu Bäckman had the pleasure of making a short interview with Sanela Kolb from DTHG regarding Theatron and Mansoft.
The interview can be read on the DTHG homepage here or you can find the whole interview in English below.
With the Finnish company Mansoft, I would like to welcome a new company member to our association. Mansoft was founded in 1993 with its headquarters in Turku, Finland. Its clientele includes the performing arts, museums and the financial sector. The company’s mission is to make work processes, e.g. in the theatre, smarter and easier through a software solution. Managing Director Samu Bäckman gives us an insight into the software Theatron.
1. Samu your company has been growing steadily since it was founded in 1993. How did the idea to found the company came about and what was the origin of Theatron and what is your profession?
Actually, the company was established by my father who retired some 12 years ago after which I took over the company as a Managing director. We have couple of customer segments, but vast majority of our time is spent with theatres as Theatron is our most important solution. Theatron came to exist by a requirement from Finnish theatres to digitalize their production planning process and the first version was released in 2005. Currently Theatron serves some forty theatres in eight countries and I am happy to say that we have just signed our first German theatre who is already using Theatron for their daily planning.
2. In the theatre many professions come together such as the artistic department, administration and in between there are many other professions in the theatre. And this is where your work solution comes into play. What exactly does your software?
This is exactly the challenge that Theatron solves. It creates a centralized place for all the theatres schedules and plans. The benefit of a centralized solution is that the schedules are always up to date and everybody knows where to look and check the planned schedules, artistic staff, technicians and administration all alike. One of our customers said that the benefit of Theatron is that it gives you less questions as everybody is up to date and knows where to look for the information. And this enables you to concentrate on the essential – making great theatre. I think this encapsulates the essence of Theatron in a great way.
3. What are the advantages of Theatron in the work processes?
If I start with the technical fact that Theatron is completely browser based, so you can access it with any device from anywhere. This allows you to easily check and update information no matter where you are. Theatron is build to follow the production planning process of a theatre and we have received a lot of feedback that the user interface is the most intuitive out there. Hence, the threshold to start using Theatron is really low because of this.
Another advantage that we pride ourselves is that the ways you can share the schedules from Theatron is really comprehensive. We can offer the theatre a separate Intranet/portal solution together with Theatron, we can integrate into the theatres existing Intranet such as Microsoft SharePoint, Office365, customers can create and share the schedules through iCalendar feature, via email, via TheatronTV -infoTV screens and so on. So, whether the theatre starts the production planning digitalization from zero, meaning nowadays mostly Excel spreadsheets, or has already invested into some solutions we have a matching option available.
Additionally, we are always willing to listen our customer’s requirements and if Theatron is missing a feature, or for example, if a customer wants to still use an Excel, Word or PDF document to visualize their data in a specific way, we can develop customized features cost effectively.
4. You have supplied the Zimmertheater Tübingen with your software. How did this project come about?
Zimmertheater Tübingen started a 360° digitalization strategy as a new legislation started in Germany concerning the management and documentation of working time. With such terms, Theatron presented as a great solution for them, due to the fact that the management and documentation of work hours is in the core of Theatron. Tübingen is the center of the German Cyber Valley, thus, innovation is second nature to Zimmertheater Tübingen, who has been very active and excited about Theatron from the beginning.
Dieter Ripberger and Peer Mia Ripberger from Zimmertheater´s commented that “We not only try to be progressive in terms of aesthetics, but also in terms of theatre management, technical infrastructure and tools. That’s why we chose Theatron: we want all our staff to work with the best digital infrastructure to organize tasks and communication. That’s how we achieve artistic brilliance and succeed in our vision to create new narratives for a better tomorrow.”
5. How long does it take to install and to learn the program and what does a theatre have to provide for this?
Since Theatron is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, the set up and implementation process is fast. We can set it up within a day. The theatre does not need to provide anything, we take care of everything such as updates for the software, back up copies of customer data, customer service and so on. One day training is also included into the delivery and this can be held via online meeting or at the customer’s premises.
6. What are your wishes for the future?
Well currently I wish that we could reach more German speaking theatres with Theatron. Theatron is the leading production planning solution in the Nordics and based on our experience and market researches the German speaking theatres are structured and operate similar to the Nordic theatres. I really think that we have a great solution available for the German theatres and I am hoping for us to be able to also help the German theatre scene in the future.
Thank you Samu for your time and I wish you all the best for the future. If you would like to see the software in action, please contact Samu directly. www.theatron.eu
The company will be present at the upcoming BTT 2024 in Bochum