Quistor in the European market space
Over the last year I have seen a variety of cases where we were asked to position ourselves in the European landscape of partners. Potential customers and partners have approached us, with inquisition, regarding what makes Quistor unique in the European market. Of course, if we explain in detail ‘what makes us unique,’ we can be inclined to give too much of an insight to our competitors. However, I thought it is beneficial for all companies who want to implement JD Edwards or BI solutions in Europe to address five points to clarify what is crucial.
Europe is not one Europe
In Europe you must deal with a variety of countries with their own legalization rules and cultures. Implementation in Germany is quite different in comparison to implementation in Spain for example. From the localization countries point of view, examples such as Italy and Turkey, of course differ from the rest. But does this mean you need to have a local partner per country? No. You need local presence, or consultants who have detailed knowledge on the localization issues of the specific countries. Having a local implementation partner in every country would be a nightmare for the customer to manage and every country would end up reinventing their own wheel. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have one European partner with extensive knowledge in the implemented countries. Knowledge on localizations and culture is key for successful driven results.
European vs partner approach
We often get the question ‘what is the difference between a group of partners forming one conglomerate vs a real European partner?.’ For us this is easy to explain. A European partner, has integrated country practices to be part of European delivery centers. There is no interference between local partner priorities and the European project organization covered in a separate entity because it is one European organization. In the case of project challenges all partners can have different priorities, perhaps this may result in you as a customer being left somewhere in the middle. Furthermore, local partners have not aligned project methodologies, scheduling tools, project tools etc. Even if there are central tools in place, in most cases local consultants are accustomed to using their local tools, due to the previous years of experience and knowledge gained from doing so.
Does size matter?
For us size doesn’t matter. It is of course an advantage in many cases; as we all know a consultant’s work is H2H (human to human) business. If there is not a match between consultants and customer project teams it is better to face this issue at an early stage and issue a replacement. That is when size will matter, as a I am sure you are inclined to agree, a choice out of 200 is far better than a choice of 10.
What about off-shore or near-shore?
We see situations were off or near shore can be a remarkable success. IF the scale is big enough and countries in scope are open to this it can of course work. We see challenges to do successful off or near shoring in countries like the southern European countries where the language spoken is usually just limited to national (eg Germany, France). We do not say the quality is not good enough, we just see that the model does not work as expected. The local overhead to make it a success reduces the difference between European delivery or off or near shore.
What about contractors?
Within Quistor we use a maximum of 10 percent of subcontractors. Furthermore, we always ensure we have our own core team for the customer’s needs, guaranteeing our delivery approach, quality etc. is to a high standard. In Europe, the approach of the various partners can differ, but I consider the ones with a strong own (employee) workforce to be the most successful ones.
Finding the right partner means looking for a partner where there is a certain kind of chemistry that matches your own. The individualized touch is important within all levels of the project. So next time you are looking for a partner or having discussions with potential partners look out for these key points:
- Evaluate the organizational structure, culture & way of working
- Meet the proposed consultants
- Visit the partners’ delivery center to grasp the ‘chemistry’ or have a remote tour (if possible)
- Consider whether the proposed team have worked together previously
- Look at how the project governance is realized: PM, QA, SC, escalation route, etc.
- Talk directly to references about their experience with the partner(s)
- Gain a further insight into the countries cultural and professional aspect
Finally, good luck in finding the best partner fit for your European challenge!
Author: Jack van den Brink