Who am I?
I have a master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Edinburgh and before that also a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science and Criminology from Keele University, both in the UK where I grew up. Definitely not the traditional background for someone in the world of IT, but I quickly found out that I am by no means an exception and that someone’s educational background should never be used to judge their capabilities in the “real world”. I consider myself to be a structured, logical and realistic person with a curiosity for the bigger picture, while always keeping an eye on the necessary details. Honesty is also something which I believe can not be undervalued. I find it extremely important knowing exactly where you stand with people or in a specific situation and what you can expect from one another, even if it is not exactly what you want to hear. But knowing you can communicate openly and freely with others, always maintaining the necessary respect, and receiving the same in return is always better in the long run.
Finding my way to CANGURU
The standard way of responding to a vacancy on a job site. I also received a response and invitation for an interview very soon after my initial application, something which can unfortunately not always be said about other organizations. Therefore, I immediately had a positive impression about Canguru. And now I work here for 4 years already.
What do I do?
I focus primarily on the functional design and set-up of CRM systems (Salesforce, SAP C4C, SAP CPQ). This involves collecting the requirements an organisation has of a new system, analysing the business processes and determining how they best fit into it, configuring the functional aspects of the system and making sure the developments the technical colleagues have made do what is expected and also training business users how to use the system.
While some might say an implementation project is an implementation project and no two organisations are alike, the functionalities of the system can always be transferred and translated to a whole new situation and often very similar requirements can be reused or adapted across different projects.
Keep things as simple as possible. At one stage or another, a solution will have to be able to be explained to people of all backgrounds, whether they are technical, operational or management. If a solution is so complex, and you are not able to explain it clearly, its credibility will take an irreparable hit. It also goes a long way in ensuring a timely delivery, seamless handover and ease of future maintenance.
And as a visual person, as soon as you can draw it, more people will be able to understand it and even suggest further ways to improve it too. Diagrams and pictures *do* speak a thousand words.
The main customers I have worked on projects for are Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Rikolto, Atlas Copco, Vandemoortele, Baltimore Aircoil and the Koninklijke Harmonie Mechelen, as well as some pre-sales demos and discovery workshops for other organisations. I am also involved in a number of internal projects, including the set-up and ongoing support for our internal CRM system.
Dare to dream big but don’t go live with too much at once
Projects, love 'em!
My favourite projects are those where I am involved early on, especially the discovery and design phases. I like listening to what the reasons are that the organisations have for looking into a new system, for example, what they are currently struggling with, what it is they would like to get out of a new system and ways in which a new system can help make processes more efficient, user-friendly, transparent, etc. Being able to propose solutions to these and then also actually working on making these a reality is what gives me a sense of satisfaction in my job. This approach also gives me the feeling that I am working with colleagues from a different company, which I much prefer, as opposed to an impersonal customer-consultant relationship.
My first real, full-time project was at Jacobs Douwe Egberts, 6 months after starting at Canguru. I was responsible for the OTC CPQ data collection from 8 different business units ready for migration. Three days a week on-site from the operational HQ in Utrecht and right in the middle of a European digital transformation project, it was a bit daunting at first, but as soon as it was clearer whereabouts in the process the data I was co-ordinating to collect fell and how it all linked together, I was able to work far more comfortably independently. My assignment was even extended twice, so I must have been doing something right.
Why choose CANGURU?
With Canguru it is clear from the start what you can expect: a tight-knit team of highly knowledgeable, versatile and driven colleagues, focussed on making sure you get not just a solution, but the right solution for your organisation.
Aside from the diverse range of assignments, projects and development opportunities available, a fundamental factor for me is the work atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone, the management are always open to hearing what you have to say, and there is always someone willing to help. There is nothing like enjoying what you are doing and who you are working with, especially when everyone shares the same sense of commitment and wanting to do the best they can.
The Funguru team do a great job in organising regular activities, especially so since Corona keeping up the contact between the colleagues to the extent that it has been possible.
Finally, when not working from home, the fact that the office is less than 10 km away is also an important factor.
My inside tip for you
For organisations implementing a new CRM: dare to dream big but don’t go live with too much at once. It’s much more manageable from a project point of view to work with a staggered approach, whereby functionalities and integrations are designed and set-up in regular phases. At the same time, don’t rebuild an existing system in a new CRM. Be open to the fact that just because something is done in a particular way now means that it can not be done as efficiently or better in a new way.
For consultants: don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. In my experience, this comes across as much more honest and trustworthy than blagging an answer, which risks ending up giving the customer an unrealistic view of what they can expect. As long as you follow up with the answer or the right recommendation soon afterwards, this will certainly help build the necessary relationship and sustain both your and your company’s reputation.
As one of our experts, Stephen has worked with CANGURU for more than 4 years now. Also interested, find our vacancies on our career page!