Piotr Bralski has been the IT director for over three years at the Polish branch of Microsoft. He has been managing IT infrastructure for international corporations for many years. His main professional goal is to build long-term relations with customers and provide them with the world class IT services. Piotr Bralski has been nominated for the award of Leader by vocation for his effective management skills in IT systems and for social activity that he performs widely.
Continual development of competences
Piotr Bralski has always been interested in new technology. The knowledge and skills he gained in the Technical School of Economics in Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki appeared to be useful at the university courses he took – one after another. First, in 2007 he graduated from College of Applied IT and Management in Warsaw, and in 2009 he decided to take postgraduate studies at SGH Warsaw School of Economics in the field of Effective IT Management and IT Governance. However, this was not enough to Piotr and in 2015 he finished MBA IT studies at Kozminski University dedicated to managers and businessmen, which proved high managerial qualifications in this branch.
He started his career as a network specialist and system administrator, which – as he says – has been his fascination until today. Before he moved to Microsoft, he worked for over 10 years for Dell, the American international corporation. – This was a really interesting time, I gained a lot of valuable life experience, and as you know, you learn all your life, therefore I decided to take the next step – the director explains and adds that it is extremly important to work at a place where we fulfill ourselves. To him such a place is Microsoft Polska, where he got the chance to create his own team from the ground.
– It influenced my development significantly when I took the Gallup test which showed my strengths and weaknesses and things I am really good at. However, I think you can develope many areas through a continual self-development. – says Piotr Bralski.
Microsoft in the global scale
The director is convinced that one of the keys to success is speaking foreign languages fluently, especially English language. Microsoft is a global company, and he and his workers co-operate with specialists of various nationalities. It is important to be able to take advantage of that variety while doing projects, especially those in which we want to create new, innovative solutions – When building our teams, we want to involve as many people as possible from different parts of the world, although each of them has a different working style. But once we get everyone communicate, it brings much better effects than working in uniform teams – he notices.
In Poland the company has been run since 1992. In its branches around the world Microsoft employs over 120 thousand specialists from various sectors, including 550 people in our country. The Polish office is in Warsaw, but the IT team provides services for many other countries in the Central-Eastern Europe. Therefore, the employees are trained all the time to make relations easily with newly met experts.
– The basis of the Microsoft corporate culture is „Growth Mindset”. According to this philosophy our potential and skills are not defined. Through hard work and determination we may develop them all the time. Moreover, every new challenge and project should be treated as an opportunity for growth. Our goal every day should be becoming a better version of yourself. In Microsoft it means we are not afraid to take risk and step out of our comfort zone. Obviously, a failure is included. – admits Piotr Bralski.
Every three months one item is chosen for employees to focus on, to broaden the knowledge in that area, for example, IT safety, computer networks, cloud, etc. The projects and tasks to do are discussed every day with the use of agile management methods.
Cloud as the basis for Microsoft strategy
Microsoft is the leader in solutions delivered as cloud computing services and it has a comprehensive offer of both the infrastructure, programming platform and applications available in the computing cloud. The whole environment makes a cohesive platform, working based on, eg. Microsoft Azure and Office 365.
These solutions may be delivered to customers as a public cloud, but also a private or a hybrid one, which is a combination of both models tailored to the Customer needs. Solutions based on the computing cloud become more and more popular mainly because of high safety, flexibility and reduced costs.
– I do many global projects: we simplify business processes, we match applications and databases. Now we are focusing on, eg. the use of Power BI, thanks to this service we can monitor the most important business information and analyse them in an easy and transparent way – he emphasizes.
Investment in education, entrepreneurship, social activity
It is worth mentioning that for Microsoft the investment in the Polish education and entrepreneurship has a real impact on innovations and competitiveness of each beneficiary. Therefore, the company gives free technological grants, software and provides services to start-ups, organizes workshops and seminars, takes part in “Game for Internship” and after a year the company employs the best students.
In the last 5 years Microsoft has given to young, Polish companies grants for technology development for over 400 million PLN! Within Customer Access Program, Microsoft helps start-ups with high potential to present their solutions to company business partners. According to Piotr Bralski this a praiseworthy philosophy.
He co-operates with a few foundations (one of them if the Foundation of a Happy Road), he supports children from orphanages by giving inspiring lectures to groups to which Microsoft tries to show that IT, and especially programming is something worth learning. After such a meeting, children get a set of tasks to do at home, then some persons are selected from that group to take part in the next programme, where they can get certificates and win particular trainings, eg. in programming or Office.
In private life
Piotr Bralski admits that he spends a lot of time doing sport. – You need to have time for yourself outisde the company and your family. I have tried many sports, now I train crossfit – during so intense trainings you can destress a lot, especially mentally. I also do Krav Maga, which is the most effective method of self-defence and melee – says the director, who went cycling in Austria on his holiday this year together with his wife and two sons (three and five years old). The whole trip took over 220 km, and the Bralski family did it in 5 days.
He thinks taking time off work does not only enrich his private life, but allows to take the necessary distance to team and IT systems management. However, in free time he doesn’t forget entirely about IT, as he sits with his son at the computer and plays interesting game by Microsoft, which brings them both a lot of joy.