+++ Interview with Gerald Menzel, CIO SELLBYTEL Group +++
The SELLBYTEL Group has always strived for highest quality and efficiency – in all fields. Accordingly we have just set up a new global IT organization by merging our Spanish team with the central teams in Germany, Malaysia, Portugal, Czech Republic and Russia. As of now our worldwide IT services will be managed by Gerald Menzel, CIO of the Sellbytel Group. In the following interview he tells us about the goals and challenges of this new organization. Please note his short profile at the end of the interview.
Gerald, what exactly does this new IT organization look like?
Gerald: We have established internationally responsible competence centers while maintaining the local IT team structures. Thus, we now have superordinate instances regarding Infrastructure, Service Operations, Project Delivery and Business Intelligence. That means we will support the client with one dedicated voice when it comes to international projects. The local IT responsibilities will remain the same, though.
And what are the goals of this new standardized organization?
Gerald: We want to take the next step from mere support of the operational business to a provider of high quality IT services with sophisticated technologies. That means we develop from a support organization to a business enabler. Respectively we analyze the current trends in the IT sector selecting the ones that bring the largest competitive advantage to our clients and our business. This includes topics like cloud services, technologies enabling work from home, social media, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service).
Another important goal is to offer globally integrated and extremely high-quality IT services. Therefore we are currently developing an internationally valid service catalogue, out of which clients will be able to select the desired services.
The worldwide integration of our IT processes will follow in the coming months and include, among others, one Incident Management Process with one ticket tool. That means, incidents are processed identically everywhere – also across countries. The basis for our common process is the ITIL framework, a worldwide standard for the implementation of IT processes. This includes, for example, change management, financial management, problem management and asset management.
Another goal is to provide one single IT contact for cross-national projects that takes care of all project-specific IT topics – regardless of the country.
Last but not least savings and thus efficiency gains are very important. This includes the shared purchase of hardware and software as well as the consolidation of duplicate infrastructure.
In order to reach these goals, we have launched different workshops and initiatives in every competence center. For instance, we are currently working on a global telephone strategy and an E-mail solution, which cost-effectively cover all interests of the different locations.
What were the biggest challenges in the implementation and how did you tackle them?
Gerald: It was a big challenge to convince the different country teams that a merger does not involve any disadvantages. That’s why we defined clear guidelines in collaboration with the management board: no negative impact on the country teams, use of the available infrastructure and no major changes in the local organizations.
What does the responsible team exactly look like?
Gerald: I particularly look forward to having Mariano Banon in my management team. In addition to his role as the IT Director in Spain he will have a key function in the area of IT strategy / IT processes and considerably contribute to the successful achievement of our goals.
Our four competence centers are managed by four experienced managers: Martin Cvancara (Fuerth) will direct the Infrastructure, Juan Toselli (Barcelona) will be responsible for the Project Delivery, Rainer Hiller (Nuremberg) will do Support and Hector Jurado (Barcelona) Business Intelligence.
And finally, what will change for us from now on through the new organization?
Gerald: We will mostly see the change in the development of new international projects. Our IT will only have one interface to the project / client and thereby also reduce the time until the go-live. In addition, cross-national incidents can be processed quicker. By creating synergies amongst our expert teams, we will continue to steadily improve our service quality.
Lastly I would like to thank my team for the excellent collaboration. I look forward to your innovative ideas and the continuous optimization of our IT!
Thanks a lot for the interesting insight and all the best for your role as the CIO of the SELLBYTEL Group!
Gerald Menzel, CIO Sellbytel Group, has been with the SELLBYTEL Group since 2013. He originally started as the Head of IT and has recently been promoted to our global CIO. He is responsible for running and optimizing our new global IT organization. Before he joined the SELLBYTEL Group, Gerald studied Computer Science and started his career as a software engineer. He then worked in an international position as a Director Professional Services for many years and as an IT Director for several years. In addition to his broad technical experience he also gained valuable certifications in project management.
Please get back to Gerald Menzel with questions or comments via Gerald.Menzel@sellbytel.de