Walter: '30+nationalities working together to grow HSO International'
Although HSO has its head office in Veenendaal, it is anything but a ‘Dutch’ company. Over the last 20 years, HSO has become an established international Microsoft player. With offices in Europe, Asia and North America and a team of international consultants, HSO International specialises in global implementations. Walter Wijdeven, Managing Director of HSO International, tells us more about the company’s international growth and the challenges this involves.
Walter: “HSO International currently employs about 200 consultants, who represent no fewer than 30 different nationalities! As a result, the company has employees who speak a wide range of different languages and a wealth of Dynamics 365 knowledge, both of which enable us to provide our customers with the best level of service possible. Besides his or her own particular language, each consultant also contributes his/her local and international networks, which we can rely on to strengthen teams if necessary.
Sharing international Dynamics 365 knowledge and resources
The international branch of HSO has grown organically, progressing from pan-European projects to global roll-outs. In recent years, we have opened local offices in countries where we saw plenty of potential; we are continuing to develop these markets. We have been operating in Germany and the United Kingdom for many years and are now also represented in Macedonia and Switzerland. We have offices in Prague and Madrid and business units in North America and Asia. We here at HSO International work closely with new offices, particularly in the start-up phase. We pool our networks and references and share knowledge and resources.”
Global roll-outs require a different approach
“Where complex global roll-outs are concerned, we take on the directive role that the customer needs. A global implementation programme requires a different approach to the one necessary when rolling out an application in several (international) offices, as the architecture and technology-related issues that present themselves are often far more complex. Take, for example, a company with a turnover of more than one billion and a number of offices, factories, distribution centres and shops throughout the world. How will a company like this manage its processes, supply chain, master data, safety and the exchange of information between the countries and the various systems?”
Projects and worldwide support
Walter: “Our customers usually have international project teams and expect our consultants to be flexible, have an international orientation, be willing to travel and have the ability to adjust. However, what they need first and foremost is a clear point of contact, someone who is able to see the big picture and understand their issues.
Besides project services, HSO also provides global support under the umbrella of Global Managed Services. This service is complementary to our project implementation activities. Implementation and 24/7 system management are both crucial for big, international organisations.”
Plenty of political and cultural challenges
“Often, a company needs a template for a roll-out, made up of processes, applications, data and reports, to be implemented in a number of different countries. This is where the complexity of political and cultural challenges comes into play. For example, an individual country might want changes to be made to the system. How do you get the various parties on board in a situation like this? Which consequences will there be in terms of the organisation, local autonomy and status? As you might imagine, change management is an important part of the work we do.”
Quality more important than growth alone
The team at HSO International is ambitious, but does not focus on growth at the expense of everything else. Walter: “We are achieving strong growth. HSO International has doubled in size over the last two years – a development that we are very proud of. However, given the huge demands rapid developments in cloud technology are placing on the services we offer, combined with our role as a Microsoft Solution Integrator, quality is far more important to us than growth alone.”