Keep your ICT Solutions Running Smoothly
Enterprise products, solutions & services
New Horizons: Hi everyone. Welcome to New Horizons, the podcast channel for Huawei’s ICT Insights magazine. And today on this industry expert segment, we’re talking with Hank Stokbroekx, Vice President of Global Enterprise Services about Huawei’s enterprise services. So Hank, what can you tell us about Huawei’s enterprise services?
Hank Stokbroekx: Well, a lot. So within the enterprise business, obviously we have a lot of great products, solutions, technology. But, as it goes with these technologies and solutions, they need to be implemented. And before they are being implemented into a customer’s environment, they need to be carefully planned and designed. Once it’s implemented, it needs to make sure that it does what we actually promised the customer it will do, and that it provides value to the customer’s business on an ongoing basis, as well as the necessity to continue to optimize that infrastructure. So that’s what our services organization does. We provide to maximize the value of the investment that the customer made in Huawei technology, and we do that by starting from the beginning, looking at the customer’s business. Based upon that, what are their objectives? How do we design the network, the infrastructure, the data center, the Safe City according to their requirements? And then once we’ve established that, we build an implementation plan and we do the implementation, and then once everything is up and running we provide services that actually keeps it up and running and even optimizes it, so that they can extend the lifetime of the equipment. Of course, we don’t do that all by ourselves. We have a very strong partner ecosystem that helps us establish or provide all these services over anywhere.
New Horizons: That being said, I guess we provide those services worldwide?
Hank Stokbroekx: Yes. Pretty much every country in the world, we have a presence with our services. We have three main service centers. We call them GSC’s, Global Service Centers, where TAC, the Technical Assistance Center, is part of that GSC. They are based in Chengdu in China, in Romania, and in Mexico. So those are the three main ones. But then we have satellite TAC organizations, twelve of those around the world, for which we provide also local language support. And then in many countries we have local engineers to provide local services. And of course, now currently we have three thousand partners certified who provide services on behalf of Huawei, and those partners are in those various countries around the world. So yes, we do offer all our services worldwide.
New Horizons: How long does it take a partner to become certified?
Hank Stokbroekx: Well, that kind of depends. I mean, we have different levels of certification. The basic level is three star, then there’s four star and five star. And depending on which level they hire to, they need to train a certain amount of engineers, train and certify. So, we have a good training and certification program. And let’s say if you want to be a five-star certified partner, you need to have two HCIEs (Huawei Certified Internetwork Experts), which is the highest level, a number of HCNPs (Huawei Certified Network Professionals), and a number of HCNAs (Huawei Certified Network Associates), which is the three different levels that we have. In addition, you need to have a lab and 24 by 7 support and some other requirements. Because in the end, the partners are an extension of Huawei, so we obviously put a lot of attention on customer satisfaction. So if partners are delivering a service on behalf of Huawei, we want to make sure they are able to provide the right quality, and we do that through the certification program. So typically, depending, it may be some partners already have engineers trained and certified by Huawei, so it can be a matter of weeks. The five-star partner that has no certified engineers might need six to nine months to get their engineers certified, which is going to take some time. But while they are certifying their engineers, we can already give them a grace period in that they can be calling themselves five-star CSB and get all the commercial benefits that go with that. So that’s kind of how it works.
New Horizons: And as a partner, what kind of investment can I expect to put into say equipment, facilities and people to be able to provide that different tier of service level?
Hank Stokbroekx: Sure. Good question. So first of all, there is the commercial model. So the way it works with a Certified Service Partner is that obviously these partners have their own brand of services and their own service products that they sell to their customers, right? They can incorporate our services in the services that they offer to their customers. Also, the support we provide normally to end customers, with the CSB we actually provide to the partners. So the partner is the face to the customer. If they get stuck in some problem, they can escalate to Huawei. So the whole Huawei organization, the TAC, other resources, are available to the partner 24 by 7. So that’s from a service point of view. In addition, if they need lab equipment for their lab from Huawei, we have a program with very big discounts where they can purchase that equipment at very big discounts provided it’s only used in their lab. And then there are other items they will receive from Huawei like training vouchers. We can offer the training. In many countries we offer training vouchers or rebates for the training costs, so in effect they don’t, in many cases they don’t even have to pay for the training or the certification. So that’s kind of in a nutshell what we offer partners as part of the CSB program.
New Horizons: And as one of these certified partners, do they have to go through yearly recertification or is there an audit program, some kind of feedback loop from customers, customer satisfaction, for example?
Hank Stokbroekx: Absolutely. We have seven KPI’s that we measure the success of the partner. Of course in the beginning of the relationship we make a plan on what they think they can accomplish, and then we measure whether they actually are able to accomplish these objectives that we mutually agreed over the year or the multiple years, depending on the plan. Then of course we measure customer satisfaction. We measure other KPI’s like the catch rate and renewal rate, etc. And based upon that, we look at, you know, is the partner doing well? If you’re doing well, then fine, we continue to support them. Some partners maybe don’t do so well, so we look at you know, is this really the right program for you, yes or no? But that’s all part of the discussion.
New Horizons: I’m assuming partners are stratified via verticals. Or, are they?
Hank Stokbroekx: In some places yes, in some places no. For instance, if you take the railway vertical, transportation, that’s a very specific industry and one of the partners we work with very intensively is Hexagon, but there’s other partners that we work with specifically for the railway solutions, because it’s such a specific set of skills and knowledge to work in that market. Other markets maybe not so necessary, but we certainly look for partners to complement our own capabilities in specific vertical segments like partners that have good contacts within government when we have government projects, or partners that have a lot of knowledge or a lot of expertise and already maybe relationships as a side of financial services industry. So yeah, we do look at whether partners can help us in specific verticals, but we also have partners that are more generic.
New Horizons: And as a customer, let’s say I’m a new customer, I just purchased a new solution from Huawei, do we recommend partners in their area, or do we kind of leave them on their own to find out who is best to service them?
Hank Stokbroekx: Both. Sometimes when we have a lead, a customer, an opportunity, we will, we try not to prioritize one partner over the other, but sometimes we feel that a specific partner might be a better fit for a customer. But in general, we leave it up to the partners to find the opportunities, and we will support them and we will support every partner the same way. But whenever a partner needs some specific support, we might be able to provide that as well.
New Horizons: And do we send out, for example, quality of service surveys to our customers to have them rate how the partners are doing, so that we have kind of a, I don’t know, give them almost an anonymous way to give feedback to the company?
Hank Stokbroekx: Yes. We measure customer satisfaction both for our direct customers as well as for our indirect customers, because in the end, it is the end customer that pays the bills, right? So we want to make sure that they are satisfied with the products, the technology, and solutions, but also with the services. Because a happy customer is a returning customer. And so it’s in the interests of both the partner as well as Huawei to make sure the customer is happy and that we measure that. So a lot of partners have their own customer satisfaction surveys. We don’t want to duplicate that because that annoys customers, too many surveys, right? So then we use the outcome of the partner’s surveys to measure how satisfied their customers are.
New Horizons: And what does the future look like?
Hank Stokbroekx: The future of Huawei Enterprise Services looks very good. As I mentioned, the investment we are making in the automation, which quite frankly many companies are doing these days, but if you look at the effort we are putting into it, I’m sure that in the foreseeable future we will take a leading position in service delivery. Because in the end, our objective is to become the preferred service partner for all our customers. And in order to do that, we need to still make some progress, but based upon comments from customers, partners, but also industry analysts, we’re progressing very, very fast. In some areas we’re already ahead of the competition, but we still need to make a lot of effort in the next several years, but if you look further down the future, I’m pretty confident that we will have that position of being the preferred partner for, service partner for our customers.
New Horizons: Hank, can you think of anything else you’d like to add?
Hank Stokbroekx: Well, I think we’ve pretty much covered most of the aspects of the services. Obviously I could talk about this for three days, but I think for now this is OK. Thank you very much.
New Horizons: Well, thank you so much for joining us, and I hope you certainly reach out to us when you have more and more interesting things to talk about. We hope you enjoyed the podcast. And, as always, thanks for listening.
Hank Stokbroekx is the VP of Huawei Enterprise Services. Based in Shenzhen, he looks after the service marketing, leveraging his 25 years in the IT industry to build and deliver high-value services for partners and customers.