NEWS March 12th, 2020
Customer Intimacy: Business value for the customer
“It’s the experience, not the expectations”
In IT services, the explicit demand of the customer often entails an implicit desire. To provide the optimal answer to this unspoken need, the business objectives have to be clear to all parties involved. Levi9 Technology Services believes that the right response to the customer demand happens at three levels: end users, employees, and of course the customer itself.
Organizations and their leaders generally find themselves facing two fundamental challenges that are in essence the formula for the ultimate customer demand. Firstly, they have to have a clear vision of their own products and services: what distinguishes them in the market. Then, they have to have the right technological response, as fast and as scalable as possible.
In the face of increasing competition and the rapidly changing demands of today’s market, the modern company has to move fast. Companies have to make optimal use of the technology that opens the doors to new activities and more effective ways of working. The right tech solutions can reduce time-to-market, increase revenues and decrease costs.
Regular, and preferably informal, personal contact with all parties is one of the keys to getting at the real customer demand. IT service providers try to do this at three levels:
The customer itself – In IT services, by definition the customer demand goes beyond the wishes and requirements of the individual customer or that one contact person. It always involves more people and more departments. Their needs and desires can be very different depending on the internal coordination. The real customer demand is the greatest common denominator of all the individual demands.
The end users – The customer demand is also the demand of the end users. It often happens that companies get bogged down in interpretations and assumptions here. That’s why it’s important to verify that the company really knows its end users. As the IT services provider, that might mean that you have to go talk to the end customers yourself. To be sure that the functionality you are delivering answers to what they actually want.
The employees – As IT services provider, you also have to get up close with your own personnel. This is as important as knowing the customer and the end users. Because even the smallest wrinkle in their interaction with the customer or the end user can have a number of ripple effects that can work against you. And that’s bad for the customer and bad for your own people.
”With an Agile mindset towards a leading platform”
Joeri Kamp, Everon COO and Managing Director
Everon is the software division of EVBox, a worldwide manufacturer of charging points for electric vehicles and charging management systems. Faced with the increasing importance of charging point management and fast growth in the market, Everon chose to work with Levi9. “Our assumption has been a partnership with maximum business results,” says COO Joeri Kamp.
“With our mobility solution, we’re going to be playing a worldwide role in the electric vehicle ecosystem,” Kamp says enthusiastically. “Our charging point management platform is set up to be entirely scalable as a service, and Levi9 helps us do that. For us, it’s a unique opportunity to grow in this relatively young and, above all, promising market.”
Levi9 doesn’t just lend a helping hand, but is also raising the quality and working methods within the development teams. “They bring knowledge and experience to the table with the Agile methodology, with continuous improvement, attention to security and architecture. All these things mean real added value in the short and long term.”
Everon is an independent unit responsible for the EV charging management platform in a number of areas, including the EVBox charging posts, which have already been rolled out in over 100,000 charging points in more than 55 countries. Everon is set up as an independent unit and might emerge as a worldwide platform for the management of charging points from all manufacturers.
The synergy with Levi9 began with the need for additional Java developers on sixteen teams, working mainly on issues relating to the core application, to develop new functionality and flexible options for scaling up. “They have a reputation as a reliable partner, so you know they deliver, and you know you can count on satisfaction as a customer. All those things played a role in the choice. Working with them means lots of face-to-face contact, both with Levi9 in Amsterdam and the thirty or so developers who are working on the various teams.”
Until recently, Everon did not have a development team focusing on mobile applications. “Working with Levi9, we put together a team for iOS and Android that has the goal of launching native apps next year,” Kamp continues. “Other teams are focusing on things like eliminating technical debt and developments around data – both front and back-end.”
“A shared mission means the cultures have to be largely compatible, with similar diversity in terms of national background and gender. That’s certainly true for Levi9, an international company with over 40% of its employees female,” says Kamp.
“Our assumption has been a partnership with maximum business results, for both the short and long term”
Joeri Kamp, Everon COO and Managing Director
“Regularly reassess customer demand”
Optimal customer intimacy means that the customer demand has to be reassessed regularly, ideally at least once per quarter. If you see that two or more of the customer’s people are starting to have divergent visions, then it’s time to have an open discussion about reformulating the demand in clear terms. Levi9 takes up the responsibility for actively encouraging and facilitating this dialogue.
“When we know their business goals, then we can support our clients with the right data and technology,” explains Debby Janssen, CCO of Levi9 Technology Services. “That’s how we deliver a customer experience instead of customer expectations. That means real added value in the long term.”
The pitfall is that as the vendor, you might think you understand the customer demand and then start working on that basis, only to then find out that the client actually meant something a little bit different. “That demands intensive contact with the client, their people, and any technology partners involved,” says Jansen. “That broad-based coordination is an important success factor.”
“By knowing their business goals, we can support our clients with the right data and technology”
Debby Jansen, Levi9 Technology Services CCO
Unique in customer focus
Levi9 Technology Services places a strong focus on business technology: the tech that companies use to distinguish themselves in their markets. The engineers of Levi9 work in a nearshore model with the business and the management of the client to develop outstanding custom software.
Levi9 has some 20 staff in the Netherlands and over one thousand in Eastern Europe – all ambitious, highly educated professionals who speak English well. They are not hindered by a superfluous management layer, so they can get straight at what is best for the customer.
Alongside custom software development, commodities are also an important part of Levi9’s services. Cloud services, APIs, business services, and serverless computing are all used wherever possible. Individually and in combination, these technologies are the catalyst for scalability and acceleration.
At all levels – from the break room to the boardroom – Levi9 Technology Services has the right contacts to collect the knowledge and understanding of the client and the end user, which we do in combination with surveys and research. The result is an optimal interaction that leads to top-quality tech applications and products that make the difference for the customer.
Do you have a business challenge and are you looking for a technology partner to support you?
Please contact us, so we can define and reach our common goal: firstname.lastname@example.org
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