Cherwell Software™ recently announced the official opening of its new office in Germany. So, the other day, I sat down with Matthew Neigh, the person leading this office opening and expanded team, to learn more about why Germany. Matthew is the Director of EMEA Sales for Cherwell Software.
Q: Tell us a little about the IT service management (ITSM) market in Germany and why Cherwell sees an office in Germany as a key growth opportunity?
A: The first point I’d like to raise is that this is not just another story of a US company announcing an office in Germany. Instead, this is about setting up a branch of the company that is German to its core. This is critical to our success as it’s important to recognize and understand cultural differences and how companies, in the DACH region, like to buy.
Q: You’ve worked in the U.S., the U.K. and now Germany. Do you think there’s a difference in how organizations think about and leverage the ITIL® framework?
A: From an industry perspective, the ITIL framework is well respected in Germany so there’s less of a need to explain the value that can be delivered from it. They just need a better way to implement it. The role of process is enshrined in Germany, and companies there excel at getting the right approach in place to make the best use of their technological investments.
Tweet This: The ITIL framework is well respected in Germany; they just need a better way to implement it.
This is actually the other way around compared to countries like the U.S.A. and the U.K. In the U.S., in particular, the ITIL framework is viewed as being less of a concern as companies have taken what they need from the framework and are running ahead with customizing their approaches to delivering support.
Q: Tell us about the new Cherwell staff members and how they will work with Cherwell Software’s established partners in the DACH region?
A: As part of our new office, Cherwell is putting together a team that represents some of the best and brightest in Germany for service management expertise. Our partners in the DACH region have already been successful in helping us win more than 50 customers in Germany. Our operations will be geared towards helping them continue to grow and be successful with Cherwell. As we grow, our partners will see more opportunities.
Selling in Germany is very consensus-driven. Rather than being the decision of one person, committees will deliberate and make the best choice based on the opinions of the majority of those involved. Supporting the sales process here is very different compared to working with prospects in other markets – hence the need for a local office with on-the-ground, local staff who understand this way of working.
Q: Culture is very important to Cherwell. How has this played a role in the opening of an office in Germany?
A: Cherwell recognizes the importance of culture. That’s why we’ve hired native, German speaking, German nationals because they understand how to work with our partners and prospects. This isn’t just another US company opening an office in Germany. It’s a German company. We understand the German culture.
Q: You’ve spent some time living in the DACH region. Does this feel a bit like a homecoming for you?
A: Yes, expanding our operations in the DACH region does feel a little like going home for me. I spent part of my childhood in Austria, so getting the opportunity to lead this new office opening is a great opportunity. I’m looking forward to speaking with prospects about how Cherwell Service Management® can help them to mature their service operations. I’m also looking forward to practicing my German language skills.
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