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Caribbean Service Management

Caribbean Service Management

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Published by TOPdesk
TOPdesk collaborates with a number of international sales partners, of which Next Step Consulting on the island of Curacao was one of the first. Apparently, the service management branch in the Caribbean is considerably different
from that in Europe.
TOPdesk collaborates with a number of international sales partners, of which Next Step Consulting on the island of Curacao was one of the first. Apparently, the service management branch in the Caribbean is considerably different
from that in Europe.

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Published by: TOPdesk on Dec 14, 2011
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12/14/2011

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Text:
Milou Snaterse
TOPdesk collaborates with a number o international sales partners, o whichNext Step Consulting on the island o Curacao was one o the frst. Apparently,the service management branch in the Caribbean is considerably dierentrom that in Europe.
CaribbeanServiCe ManageMent
 
 
13
Photography:
Next Step Consulting
R
onald Lieuw-Sjong is the man behind Next Step Consulting(NSC), located on Curaçao. NSC offers organizations in theCaribbean a range of consultancy and training services in ITservice management (ITIL and MOF) and facilities management.Lieuw-Sjong gives TOPdesk demonstrations on location, works asa consultant and provides training courses in the areas of ITIL, FMand process management.
itiL ss ool
Lieuw-Sjong had taken a number of ITIL courses, and wanted toapply his acquired knowledge at his customers. “You need a goodtool to support the ITIL processes, but the market was simply toorestrictive for these tools to be available. I then started looking fora useful and practical tool, which led me to TOPdesk.” This is whenLieuw-Sjong contacted TOPdesk. He explains that “the responsefrom TOPdesk was quick and friendly.” In 2002, the partnershipstarted with installing TOPdesk 3 at three local companies andone company in Suriname. For the last ten years now, Lieuw-Sjonghas been responsible for sales on Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba andsoftware implementations in the Caribbean region.At the start of the collaboration between TOPdesk and NSC, Lieuw-Sjong made frequent visits to the Netherlands for training coursesand demonstrations. Things have really changed since then. “I cannow attend most courses from a distance,” explains Lieuw-Sjong.“These days, we have access to numerous tools that enable us tocommunicate and exchange knowledge with people on the otherside of the world. You merely schedule an appointment, arrangea time and go for it.” Nevertheless, Dutch consultants still visitCuraçao to share knowledge; and in turn Lieuw-Sjong comes tothe Netherlands from time to time.
Sc Mm  h C
Compared with European sales, selling TOPdesk in the Caribbeanhas proved to be quite a challenge, explains Lieuw-Sjong. “On
Curaçao, IT is considered a cost, meaning you first have to convince
organizations of the tool’s added value. If you compare the use of IT in the Netherlands to that on Curaçao on a maturity scale of one
to five, the Netherlands will score a four and Curaçao a two. The
reason for this is that many IT specialists in the Caribbean considerthe technical aspects of the tool to be more important than theorganizational aspects. As a result, the technical side of IT oftenruns smoothly, while the managerial side of IT is not upto par.Meanwhile, NSC is making up lost ground by organizing demodays and discussing best practice frameworks such as ITIL.Fortunately, we’ve noticed that young graduate IT workers arebeing introduced to management activities during their studies.”Doing business in the Caribbean also differs from the Netherlands,Lieuw-Sjong explains further. “You need a more personal approachtowards the sales process. On Curaçao, who you know is oftenmore important than what you know.”
Dff culu, dff pocdu
Hierarchy still plays a vital role within organizations in theCaribbean, according to Lieuw-Sjong. “If, so to speak, the boss tells you to jump, the employees will ask ‘how high?” This work ethicis unheard of in the Netherlands. Dutch consultants often asktheir customers for their opinion when dealing with a particularapproach: “Tell me, what do you think?” In the Caribbean, you willoften catch people saying: “You decide, you’re the expert”.”You can also notice more subtle cultural differences in the Dutch
colleagues. “I first have to ‘educate’ Dutch consultants when theyvisit Curaçao for the first time,” explains Lieuw-Sjong. “I have to
tell them that over here, a “yes” does not always mean a customeris committed buying, but that they expect an expert opinioninstead. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, saying “yes” canhave immediate consequences. Nowadays, I don’t really noticethese differences anymore; after a while, you start speaking thesame language.”
tOPdsk uss  h C
Having years of experience, Lieuw-Sjong is able to spot whichorganizations are potential TOPdesk users. “There’s no point intrying to sell TOPdesk to international companies in the
>>
ON CURAÇAO, IT IS CONSIDEREDA COST, MEANING YOUFIRST HAVE TO CONVINCEORGANIZATIONS OF THE TOOL’SADDED VALUE
Ronald Lieuw-Sjong - Next Step Consulting

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