Yokogawa has now been an important commercial customer for Bechtle for a few years and Peter van den Berg has been Yokogawa’s account manager and central point of contact since 2014. For certain projects such as this, he works very closely with Yokogawa’s ICT portfolio manager, Alfred de Jonge. Peter: “Yokogawa approached me in 2020 asking if we could provide them with smartphones and related services. The customer was keen to have a full-service package.”
Alfred: “At the beginning of last year, we began our search for a partner, who would be able to provide us with new smartphones. These days, as part of the Modern Workplace, every employee needs to have a good phone. The IT department is facing huge challenges such as the global standardisation of our applications and infrastructure, the focus on cybersecurity and the much closer collaboration between IT and our business,” says Alfred. “As a department, we want to be able to focus our attention on these topics rather than on hardware management.”
Koen Buis, Workspace Consultant at Bechtle, was brought in by Peter to explain Device as a Service (DAAS). Koen: “DAAS is perfect as it relieves organisations of the burden of managing their mobile devices, provides all the tools necessary for equipping a (mobile) workplace as well as supporting services.”
DAAS is rather like a Netflix subscription. You pay a flat-fee every month per workplace and after two or three years, we take the devices back and replace them with new ones. In this way, the employees always have the latest generation devices. The customer also doesn’t have to worry so much about management and deployment, making DAAS the perfect solution for Yokogawa.
Yokogawa decided to procure 500 smartphones leveraging the DAAS model. Alfred: “When it comes to leasing, we expect optimal products combined with sound consultation and support. The age of custom solutions and bespoke work are over and we are very happy to make use of a professional provider’s expertise and experience. Compared to its competitors, Bechtle was able to put together a truly comprehensive solution at an affordable price.”
But then there was the pandemic to think about. Alfred: “COVID-19 forced us to rethink our approach. We had wanted to provision the devices centrally, for example from our headquarters, but we decided that it would be better done locally and for the smartphones to be sent directly to our employees’ homes.”
One support desk session
Nearly all Yokogawa employees, who received a new smartphone, were working from home, and they all knew Microsoft Teams. Peter: “The 500 users could choose the smartphone they wanted in our portal (CYOD) and this was then delivered by courier to their addresses anywhere in the Netherlands as ID checks were carried out.”
Our support desk planned a Teams session with each individual Yokogawa employee to help them activate their new phone, and after each session, the members of staff could organise to have their old phones collected and returned. “As you can imagine, this was quite the challenge. We were working within a very strict window of time, which made everything that little bit more stressful,” explains Peter. However, everything went according to plan and the team received plenty of positive feedback from the Yokogawa staff.
Partners in communication
For deployment and logistics, we worked together with KennisisKracht Service (KiKS) and DynaGroup. KiKS is a service company that helps employees be and remain reachable by providing services for all things concerning smartphones and tablets. DynaGroup provides smart solutions and is a very valuable behind the scenes supply chain partner. Peter: “We also involved our in-house Service Delivery Manager to manage the project correctly and to ensure that agreements made were stuck to.”
Cooperation with Alfred and Yokogawa as well as the internal collaboration, for example with Ilhan Uzun in the area of service delivery, all went smoothly. “At Bechtle, we all work very closely together. We are one team. “Communication with Alfred was very prompt and both parties kept each other up-to-date enabling to quickly tackle any challenges,” says Peter.
Excellent collaboration between Yokogawa and Bechtle was essential for smooth deployment. Of course, Yokogawa’s procurement department played an important role in the process from getting acquainted with DAAS to concluding the contract with the leasing company. And not to forget the technical aspects of operational management handled by KiKS, such as the connection to Yokogawa’s admin systems, which were tackled by both parties’ experts.
The first six months
In a meeting with a previous customer made possible by Bechtle, Yokogawa was recommended to pay attention to the operational period. For this reason, right after the smartphones had been provisioned, the focus was on fully describing all activities and scenarios related to management and support. Regular consultations had been introduced (operational and tactical/strategic) during which unexpected problems were directly addressed and solved.
This has now proven itself in practice. Yokogawa employees and senior management were satisfied, no escalations were necessary and the IT department was completely relieved of stress. In light of this positive experience, the IT department recently starting working on designing a comparable solution for notebooks and desktop computers.
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