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Bart Knoop, Head of Global Sales at Global Systems & Software sat down with us to talk about the role of the sales w


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M E E T B A RT K N O O P

A G SS S P O T L I G H T I N T E RV I E W

J U N 2020

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

B A RT K N O O P

Bart Knoop, Head of Global Sales at Global Systems & Software (GSS), joined the group in 2012 as part of the sales team. He sat down with us to talk about the role of the sales team role within the organization, the tailored solutions GSS offers to their clients, and what he looks for when hiring new colleagues.

GLOBAL SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE

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WWW.GSENS.NL

HI BART, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE ROLE OF YOUR

HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY WITH GSS BEGIN?

SALES TEAM AT GSS? GSS supplies hardware and on-site services to clients around the globe, so we work in a very dynamic environment with different time zones and different languages. The sales floor at GSS is always buzzing with phone calls! Our focus is to understand our clients’ needs, create the perfect solution for their IT infrastructure challenges and become their single point of contact (SPOC) throughout their whole journey of defining and implementing global IT standards. We truly believe in building long-lasting partnerships with our clients, so, throughout any project or contract, regardless of the scope, we work hand-in-hand with them. We strive to become an extension of their IT team. That being said, in the initial phase, when a client reaches out to us with a request, we first focus on understanding the current composition of their IT infrastructure. We then identify how far along the client is in the process of defining its global standards and where the implementation mandate lies within the organization. After we gain a better understanding of their needs and challenges, we put together a project team with representatives from our internal departments such as operational sales, the warehouse, our export desk, professional services and finance. This allows us to craft the right solution for our client and execute a hassle-free project or contract. The warehouse department focuses on providing a variety of in-house services and preparing the hardware for shipment. Then, our export desk makes sure that the equipment reaches its destination, and finally, the professional services team carries out the global installations when necessary. We offer our clients all the services needed around the box.

My journey with GSS started eight years ago and it has been a blast ever since. Back then we were a smaller company, maybe a fifth of the size that we are now, and our main market consisted of multinationals headquartered in the Netherlands. The sales office was situated right next to the warehouse, so we often went down to check on incoming or outgoing shipments. Also, when extra hands were needed, we often helped the warehouse team to prepare and ship an order. Today, with around twenty full-time employees in the warehouse, that’s not needed anymore. As GSS grew, we expanded our reach outside of the Netherlands and started working with multinationals headquartered in other European countries. In 2016, I started to focus more on business development and the improvement of the operational side of our global reach. This, on itself, brought a new learning curve for me, as these companies deal with a whole set of different needs, ways to operate, cultures and customs. I must say, it was a welcomed challenge! Last year, I became Head of Global Sales so I shifted my focus to a more strategical role in our proposition and client engagement.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOUR CLIENTS FACE? Our customers are mostly multinational companies, and as such, have complex IT infrastructures. They deal with the complexity of various standards, legacy equipment and applications, local procurement mandates and cultural difference within companies and teams.

I think you could say that our days are very energetic! GLOBAL SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE

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WWW.GSENS.NL

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW So, while all companies are different, most of their challenges lay within the areas of security, compliance and risk management which rise from the lack of flexibility and agility in their IT infrastructure.

YOU POINTED OUT THAT MOST OF YOUR TIME IS SPENT FINIDING THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR CLIENTS. HOW CAN GSS HELP IF A MULTINATIONAL FACES ONE OR MORE OF THE CHALLENGES MENTIONED? Global challenges require global solutions. GSS helps multinationals with facilitating the standardization and centralization of their infrastructure through our global IT deployment solutions and by providing professional services. Our extensive network of global partners allows us to offer multinationals solutions in virtually every country, with the exceptions of embargoed or warn-torn areas. Let me give you an example scenario. A company may have locations in different countries such as Hungary, Brazil and Russia. They need to allocate hardware in these three locations with the same standards and capabilities. In this scenario, our sales reps would arrange the procurement of the equipment based on our clients’ needs while our export desk would make sure that all the equipment arrives at its designated location within the timeline previously agreed upon with the client. After the equipment has arrived at the client’s office, our team of engineers will go on site and make sure all the equipment is imaged and migrated. At GSS we understand the value of culture and language, which is one of the main drivers for our “global reach, local touch” strategy. This means we organize the procurement and logistics centrally from the Netherlands, but we involve trusted local partners to provide the local services, managed by project managers from GSS. Regardless of the scope of the project, we take care of all the nitty-gritty facets that are involved in the last stages of implementation. We call this “the last mile”.

GLOBAL SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE

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WWW.GSENS.NL

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE LAST MILE? In the early years of GSS, Martijn Niessen, our CEO, and Roberto de Back, our Managing Director, focused on building a company that could service the whole lifecycle of the clients’ IT hardware. So, our solutions aimed at fulfilling all the stages of implementation and are tailored to each client’s needs - from global deployment to installation, user migration, audits on the IT infrastructure and asset recovery. As mentioned before, we want to become an extension of the clients’ IT team and eliminate all the hassles that come with getting and implementing the IT infrastructure they need. We talk about the “last mile” in our recently published white paper “Security and manageability by standardization in global IT infrastructure.

AS MENTIONED, GSS HAS SEEN A SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN LESS THAN A DECADE. ARE THERE SPECIFIC THINGS THAT YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING NEW COLLEAGUES? Absolutely! When we are looking for a new team member for the sales floor, we need a very enthusiastic person and an avid problem-solver. As mentioned before, our clients are mostly multinationals with varying needs, challenges and different ways of working. We need a person that can think fast on their feet, easily adapts to different cultures and customs and has an eye for detail. Additionally, this person should also have a great ‘can do’ mentality and a great attitude towards crafting tailored solutions that will simplify our client’s IT infrastructure needs.

BART, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD? Thank you again for your time. Yes, I would like to tell the readers to feel free to contact me at [email protected] if they have any questions about the solutions we offer.

GLOBAL SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE

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WWW.GSENS.NL

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

GLOBAL SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE

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WWW.GSENS.NL