This manifesto has been written to provide an insight into Fox-IT’s ‘raison d’être’ and our underlying thoughts and beliefs. It is our hope that everyone who works with us or will do so, can identify with this, becomes an enthusiastic Foxer through it and tackles each day’s new challenges with pleasure. In this way we can work together on Fox’s success.
To grant our company a solid foundation, we expressed our ideas formally together with a number of key Foxers in 2005. You will find the most important results below.
We have also put our thoughts and beliefs on paper simply and frankly, to let you immerse yourself in the principles of our company and the basic assumptions we adopt as Foxers when taking relevant decisions for Fox.
For a more secure society,
Why do we have Fox?
We want to produce fine things which are also useful in society. Because we look ahead and tackle problems which are not yet always profitable in business terms, we are often the first to appreciate just how something works. We use this knowledge to develop innovative solutions. That makes our work especially fine and challenging.
Who do we regard as our clients?
The organisations which make an important and necessary contribution to our society.
The majority of our clients emanate from three sectors, namely governments, the financial sector and critical infrastructures.
What objective do we want to achieve with Fox?
Nationally we want to be the number one security company working with knowledge and innovation. This applies both to our image and the actual business. We also want to deliver specific unique products and services to our clients, worldwide.
How do we do this?
We leverage our expertise and solutions to assist our clients with the current and future problems affecting our profession. To do this we get under the skin of our clients while also amassing knowledge and ideas about the future opportunities to make our society safer.
We use that knowledge to develop products and services intended to be sold both nationally and internationally. We develop the solutions in the Netherlands, and they mature in close collaboration with our clients. The solutions which are truly distinctive and can run well ahead of the competitive pack for a long time are refined to become professional solutions for our international clients. This enables us to scale up and thus to fund the development of new revolutionary ideas, offering our Foxers an attractive career.
Internationally these solutions are sold with the best possible margin to the right target groups via the most appropriate channels. Delivery and service are carried out via partners where possible.
The organisational model we use for this is business-unit-oriented. This means that with our clubs of between 20 and 40 people, we specialise in a specific knowledge and market combination. The units themselves are responsible for their complete business. So both the objective and the route to it are fulfilled autonomously by each unit.
What is the commercial model?
Profit is not an object in itself for Fox. But to achieve the goal mentioned above, there’s a major structural requirement for funding for new knowledge and mostly risk-bearing innovation, which does not directly nor may never produce income. The model we use takes this into account.
Within the business unit profits are made on both the innovative projects and investigations, and on the products and services. The profit on selling the products and services is more scalable than on projects and investigations, and will thus contribute especially well to the total. The result is in any case such that the continuity of the business unit is broadly guaranteed as a consequence, including the innovation which needs to be achieved to continue producing distinctive solutions.
Because we wish to continue being innovative, now and then we will also say farewell to products. Once a product is extremely successful, then Fox won’t just keep selling it year in and out around the world. We prefer to leave that to a more suitable company. This is possible through a tight partnership, through selling the intellectual property rights or through the outright sale of the business involved in that product. It is of course also entirely possible that a product is not popular, or has been overtaken by a competing product, or no longer fits within the Fox mission. Then we would phase out that business.
Fox is like a column of vehicles on a mission, each with its own specialisation. The vehicles are our business units. Each vehicle can run by itself, but things go a lot better together. The vehicles continue to evolve and adapt to client wishes. Now and then a vehicle may leave the column, but by the same token a new vehicle can join the Fox column. In short, with its solutions Fox is a dynamic company. Our knowledge evolves constantly and we opt to have our solutions coming and going.
What is the Fox culture?
We believe it is important that people are given their due, and that they work with passion and pleasure. That’s good for both Fox and the Foxers. We achieve this by creating a free and self-responsible culture. The Fox culture cannot be encapsulated in one or two sentences, but this summary provides a good indication:
- Plenty of smart nerds as colleagues, and appreciating them for their nerdiness.
- Informal atmosphere, aiming for accessibility.
- Needless to say, confidentiality and integrity applies to all.
- Innovative organisation with knowledge at its core.
- Allowing plenty of freedom, while also expecting a high degree of input.
- Thrown in at the deep end, learning from each other and being allowed to make mistakes.
- Really great coffee and a communal lunch without any cash registers.
- Flexible working hours.
- Valuing everyone’s ideas.
- Always being on guard, to the brink of paranoia. Allowing plenty of opportunity to those who want to achieve something.
- Calling each other to account on conduct and helping each other to be better and smarter.
- Being honest and open in communication and being able to express your opinion, whether requested or otherwise.
- Foxers are great colleagues.
In short, Fox is a company you would really like to work for, but also one which expects a lot from you.
What’s the Fox position on career development?
Fox encourages personal development. As you become more mature in your work, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be promoted. Even more starkly, promotion isn’t always equated with better. This can also be discerned in our salary development. There are both intrinsic technical and management growth paths. In terms of salary there’s considerable similarity.
Staff are given the scope to immerse themselves in their specialisation, or to undertake a horizontal tour through Fox. Thus there are Foxers who began as interns, then became penetration testers, went on to programming and now have a sales role. It is precisely thanks to this broad development that you can learn to know yourself better.
Fox is not a company where everyone automatically hangs on until their retirement. If you come to work with us, it’s a mutual decision, between you and Fox, because we can both discern the added value in it and that’s a great moment. We also know that this period can ultimately come to an end. If that moment occurs, because one of the two no longer discerns that added value, we will do everything we can to part in an open and amicable way.
You can learn a lot here, fast. But for some people even that’s not enough. They want to spread their wings still further. For example because you’d like to start your own company, or want to manage a 100-million-euro project. We understand that, and Fox will then support you in making that transition.
Foxers are proud of working for Fox, and show it. The fact that you work here earns respect. Just as a footballer is proud to be able to play for Feyenoord or Ajax, for instance.
What does leadership mean within Fox?
For Fox, leadership means allowing space and freedom. Foxers are critical and precocious people selected for their independent and critical thinking. They want latitude in the way they do their work. We believe that the best results are achieved if tasks are not preordained, but that everyone has freedom within the job. This can mean the end result being other than intended, but it’s up to our leaders to deal with this. Freedom is not the same as being free of obligations. It’s up to our leaders to both facilitate and to confront, to call everyone to account for their responsibility and their added value, for the team and for Fox.
We choose our leaders consciously and carefully, with a marked preference for leaders with knowledge within our profession. We select leaders who can cope with critical and precocious people, and who are able to strike a good balance between freedom and guiding towards results.
What does innovation mean for Fox?
Innovation is indispensable for Fox. Innovation is creating a new solution which is adopted by our clients. In concrete terms it also needs to make the world safer, and to be immediately solution-oriented. We devise new technologies or conceive new applications for existing technologies.
Most of the ideas for something new stem from a close collaboration with our clients. By spending plenty of time with them, we experience and understand their problems and the associated risks. This enables the good ideas to evolve by themselves through our technical intelligence.
What do we mean by quality?
Because we invest in knowledge we are the unrivalled experts in our field. With this knowledge we deliver unique results for our clients. We do something to the full 100% or not at all.
This quality is apparent not just in our service provision. It’s inherent in everything we do and communicate. That applies as much to arrival at reception and lunch to the speed with which your call is returned as a client.
Naturally the most important of all is the work we deliver. Whether it’s a report or a piece of equipment, it simply has to be right from beginning to end. To achieve this, it is necessary that we ask our colleagues to assess each other’s work critically.
This manifesto encapsulates the continuity and success of Fox as we see it. It also gives all Foxers a handhold in the decisions they take, or which are taken by others. Together we share the ambition to always work in accordance with this manifesto, recognising that in practice we might occasionally be stubborn or inconsistent.
If you are able to identify with all the basic principles above, the foundation is laid for a great time with Fox. Together we can continue to make our society safer.
Fox-IT for a more secure society