Thomas Vianden (Sales Director), Ursula Deller (Sales Manager) and Bernhard Koch (Pre-sales Consultant) from Cherwell Software’s new Munich office attended the event with Cherwell Partner™organisation Prevolution GmbH. I recently spoke with all three to find out what this year’s event was like from a ‘first-timer’ perspective.
2015 marked the first year Cherwell Software exhibited at CeBIT. What was it like?
Ursula: We had one visitor who came to see us after having Cherwell Service Management® (CSM) recommended to him by a CIO during one of the evening parties. This really surprised me; we received such a positive response! People were talking about us and recommending us. It’s great!
Bernhard: For a company that has just launched a dedicated presence in Germany, I was surprised by the amount of positive feedback we received from delegates and other exhibitors. Many people saw the news about the Munich office opening and came to the booth to find out more and to learn about Cherwell. We are starting to gain awareness in this market, and people are seeing us as a true IT service management (ITSM) solution contender.
Thomas: We had a lot of people from all over the world who wanted to see CSM. The delegates had a clear focus on ITSM and gave us very positive feedback.
For those of us who have not had the chance to attend CeBIT, what’s it like?
Ursula: We met people from Mexico, the Far East and many Cherwell partners who just wanted to come by the booth to say “hello.” We even saw a new Cherwell customer from Canada, who had recently completed their CSM installation in just two weeks! Naturally, they were very excited to see us at the event.
Bernhard: CeBIT is an amazing and large show. It runs for five days and it encompasses the complete IT industry. It’s not just about software or even service management. It includes everything from a printer to the latest gadgets, mobile phones and applications. This is what makes it outstanding. It provides a very good overview of what’s new and what’s hot. It is great fun but also a lot of work.
Do you think the IT service management industry is different in Germany than the US or UK?
Ursula: I don’t see that much difference. I hear from our partners that customers in Germany want a flexible tool they can configure themselves, and that plays to CSM’s key strengths.
Bernhard: It’s difficult to say, but in regards to the ITIL® framework, companies in Germany now seem to be looking for service desk tools that are ITIL based. I think this has changed from a few years ago.
Thomas: The ITSM industry is slightly different in Germany, but considering we just opened our office in Germany, we already see that Cherwell has a very positive reputation with existing and potential customers as well as consulting firms.
Where will Cherwell Software next be seen in Germany?
Bernhard: We are attending Serview on May 18 in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. This is a very important event as Serview is the Germany equivalent to PinkVERIFY™. This event attracts service desk professionals looking for new solutions.
In January 2015, Cherwell opened a Germany office. What has the experience been like so far?
Ursula: I’m having a great time. This has been the ‘strangest’ start-up company I’ve worked for because it’s not a typical start up. We have so many customers and tremendously competent partners. I started on day one, and there was already such a huge demand in the market for the Cherwell solution. During my second week with Cherwell, I got a call from a senior IT manager asking if Cherwell was going to participate in its RFP. We did, and now it’s down to Cherwell and another offering. This is just incredible. It’s been an outstanding experience.
Bernhard: I started in January, and usually when you work with a new product, you need 3-4 weeks to feel comfortable enough to provide a product demonstration. For me, during my first week, I completed a one-week CSM foundation training course. During my second week, I conducted my first product demonstration for a very big company. I’ve worked for many ITSM companies and have supported many ITSM solutions. From a technical point of view, CSM is the best you can buy for money. Its customization capabilities are endless; you can do everything with it.
Thomas: Although we already have a large number of customers in Germany, it was an important step to open an office in Germany. By doing so, we are showing the market that we are serious about growing our business in Germany. For many organizations considering CSM, it’s an important part of their decision making that we have a direct presence in Germany.