We're always looking for ways to improve our service to customers. For example, broadening our range of services, diversifying our software development, and searching for new forms of cross-partner cooperation. And, as we grow, our need for experts grows, too. We'd like to introduce a few of these new faces, delve into their journey to Schuberg Philis, and describe the roles they play today.
Robbert Cornelisse, Business Intelligence Analyst, joined us two years ago in February 2016.
Coming to Schuberg Philis was the start of an interesting journey for Robbert Cornelisse. He had complete freedom to create a new role, while not having colleagues in a similar role around him. This was both strange and thrilling. "In the first couple of months I tried to get involved in various domains. Within our finance, sales, recruitment, and Customer Teams I wanted to learn about typical but also optimal processes, and the sorts of things that could help these teams and colleagues perform better." What's more, Robbert Cornelisse worked with technology experts, data engineers, and software developers to co-create an environment in which data could be easily stored, consumed, and combined. "This was the basis for achieving my ultimate goal – to help make Schuberg Philis datadriven in its decision-making."
Robbert Cornelisse has always loved working in a team with a domain expert, a data engineer, and himself as the business intelligence person. In his experience, this is the only collaborative approach in which raw data can be transformed into information and later, into intelligence.
Currently Robbert Cornelisse participates in several cross-company projects, which are designed to provide Schuberg Philis with forward-facing, predictive financial information, cross teamwork, planning and pricing, and selling strategies. "To build this kind of intelligence, our internal development team (Connect Team) has created an awesome data lake to which we stream data from all kind of different sources and applications. On top of this data platform, I try, together with the domain experts, to turn domain logic into data models and algorithms." Information from these data platforms can then stream through these models and become forward-facing information.
This information is combined with other insights and presented in an interactive dashboard that shows intelligent, easily digestible insights. For example: automatically calculating the expected change in a team's financial performance in relation to a predicted growing amount of future engineering workload.
Awesome!|How does an engineering, operational, commercial, recruitment or financial decision influence a team's current and future performance, and what is the indirect impact on Schuberg Philis as a whole?
Looking forward to the new Greater Customer Team structure within our company, Robbert sees his goal as showing the impact of actions and decisions made by a team on itself and on other teams. "For example, how does an engineering, operational, commercial, recruitment or financial decision influence a team's current and future performance, and what is the indirect impact on Schuberg Philis as a whole?" In other words, enabling autonomous decision-making within teams by creating transparency about the effects of a decision.
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After they had worked as external recruiters for Schuberg Philis for 13 years, we invited Arnout Koning and Tjeerd de Graaf to join our team as full time corporate recruiters on January 1, 2018.
Both have long experience in IT recruitment and are just as passionate about it now as they've always been. Arnout Koning: "I started working as an agency recruiter in June 1999; my responsibilities at the time spanned customer and candidate contacts. The coolest thing about my job? I get to put smiles on people's faces, thanks to jobs that play a big role in their lives." Tjeerd de Graaf: "There are two aspects of recruitment that I've always liked: building a customer team and helping people find a fantastic position in which they can really flourish." It's worth mentioning that the first person they placed at Schuberg Philis back in April 2004 is still with us.
Working with Schuberg Philis for so many years, they've fully embraced its human values and the way it puts experts in the lead, not managers. "It's an extremely cool company to work for and it offers senior IT engineers a true challenge in terms of technical depth, broad skills, but also on a personal level: you can really grow as an individual when you work here," says Tjeerd de Graaf.
As Schuberg Philis grows and evolves, the task of finding the right people is becoming even more challenging. Arnout Koning: "We used to be, and still are, very good at building secure, scalable, highly available IT infrastructures. What's different is that we've moved up in the technology stack and our challenges now lie within the application layer. This means that we need to have a better understanding of applications, what they do, and what impact they have on customers. This functional knowledge is really important, so we are creating more roles to fill this gap."
Joining full time in January 2018, they got straight down to business, talking about and listening to the needs within every customer team. This was a very dynamic and often ad-hoc process. Tjeerd de Graaf: "The more we know, the more successful we are at communicating our culture to the candidates we recruit. At the same time, selecting candidates who match our tech requirements and company DNA is becoming more and more effective. Recruitment is seen as critical to the business."
Rik Changa studied Information Resource Management in Maastricht and joined us in June 2017.
Rik Changa's career started in financial services with a position at the private bank Staalbankiers (part of Achmea). In 2004 he joined the new business process outsourcing (BPO) startup of Ordina. His main task there was to create a 'banking factory' for financial institutions and he was responsible for the functional aspects of various banking applications as well as domains for several banks. Remco Tonkes, a former colleague at Ordina BPO was working on a project at Schuberg Philis, building a new digital bank for Argenta and he asked Rik Changa if he was interested in joining the team.
This really got his attention: "I only knew Schuberg Philis as a hosting and infra company and I knew that they hosted some applications for banks such as the Thaler bank management layer. But to be the systems integrator for Argenta, while delivering 'functional application management' services, this was new for me and I was really excited by the prospect."
It was also a new area for Schuberg Philis – not only were we managing complex technical non-functional systems for our customers, but we'd also started to get involved at the functional level. This meant building products for customers from scratch. From the technical details to the user experience and delivering the mission-critical functional application. In short, we set up, implemented, and maintained the application – providing a complete holistic service.
For his part, Rik Changa doesn't write code. He's the liaison. He knows the challenges that banks face as well as the language of developers – so he can make things happen. "This is one of the most beautiful parts of my job: I work very closely with the customer, partners of Schuberg Philis and colleagues such as developers, testers, Mission Critical Engineers (MCEs), business analysts, and sales people. The Customer Director's 'Working Together' approach is the nicest, but also the most challenging, part of my role."
One thing that becomes clear talking to Rik is that all his attention is focused on making customers happy by adding value with his team. "Normally, if you have a problem, you must call a service desk, but with Schuberg Philis, my team is ready to talk to customers." Like the rest of Schuberg Philis, his team is embracing the DevOps movement, putting developers close to customers, demonstrating the results of their work, rather than just being left in a darkened back room plugging in and writing code. They're responsible for the Run Mode, which handles the day-today running of the business. This means that the customer works with the same team every day, which creates a tighter working relationship and ensures greater efficiency for the team.
Run mode **On** Off
Thanks to the flexibility and freedom at Schuberg Philis, Bas den Uijl thinks that official job titles are a bit irrelevant, "but if you had to pin me down, it would be Scrum Master, Agile coach, or facilitator."
Bas den Uijl has almost always been involved with project management. In his previous jobs, he discovered that what he enjoyed most was helping teams and individuals to discover better ways to organize themselves and their work. Happy teams make for happy customers.
"My main expertise is as a facilitator – I like to work with people to get stuff done. When I joined, my focus was on a team that was feeling the pressure of a tough project. We managed to get the project under control so that we could make better decisions. When we finished that project, we shifted our way of working to a more operational mode. This helped us to maintain a steadier pace when dealing with a variety of topics."
As all the Customer Teams at Schuberg Philis are self-empowered, there are a wide variety of approaches within teams and very different customer requirements. This means that one solution certainly doesn’t fit all. Bas den Uijl’ role is to assist these teams in finding different ways of working – or as he calls it 'guided discovery’. It’s not about being prescriptive; he prefers to use more of a 'let’s try it and see’ approach: "This is a particularly enjoyable part of my role. I’m here to help teams move forward in the best possible way."
"What I find absolutely great is the fact that within Schuberg Philis every team is free to decide on their own way of working. This is because the individuals and their experiences will always be different, and the customer situation can vary greatly. So, although the solution will be based firmly on agile principles, as well as the DevOps methods and culture, ultimately it will probably be different to what was expected and it will always be up for review together with the team and the customer."