Technology and People: The Best Partnership
Ritse Klink, COO and co-founder at Beezy
The technology of today makes life much easier and has an enormous impact on our daily routine. Some of us may not even think about all those benefits and opportunities for new technological advances. However, people that have been working in the Information Technology industry for some time, are still surprised how technology has changed the ordinary way of doing things, opening also to new business perspectives. Silverside marketing team invited Ritse Klink to share his insights about working in this industry. He is one of the co-founders of Beezy that is a privately held independent software vendor headquartered in Silicon Valley founded in 2011. Beezy is the most comprehensive enterprise collaboration solution for Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, supporting on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments. Ritse Klink tells his story about his business in software, sharing what inspires him to work every day.
Q: What does your company do?
A: What we are trying to do, is to help organizations transform the way they work. A lot of our customers are on a journey to work smarter, more open, more transparent and we want to provide a technology that enables to do this. To be more open, more transparent and to work smarter, of course, it is not only about technology. Technology makes people work differently by re-engineering the processes, but of course, people need a tool that enables them to do that. This is what we are trying to do. And a lot of our customers try to breakdown departments, work across geographical boundaries or break down your berries and throughout technology we enable that.
Q: What do you like the most about your job and your company?
A: What I like the most about my job and my company is the impact we have on a large amount of people. We work with very large organizations and enterprises with 20 -50 and sometimes over a hundred or a thousand employees and our technologies are being used across the enterprise. So we touch the way these employees work across the world and that’s what I like.
Q: So, I assume this positive impact on so many people is what inspires you to work?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: What is your role within Beezy?
A: I am one of the three co-founders and my specific responsibility is sales and marketing.
Q: If I ask you to describe your job in 3 words, what would you say?
A: Customers, partner and users. This is what my job is about.
Q: Can you describe your daily routine, what do you at work?
A: Besides managing a team of sales people, I have a regular contact with sales people in the US, the UK and in Germany. We discuss issues, we brainstorm about how we can best support customer requirement, and the questions we get from customers. We work as a team. My job is to get and support my team. Also, I have some clients and partners that I am responsible for. So another big part of my day is taking care of customers, conversations, presentations and meetings.
Q: Working with people always brings some dynamics to your daily routine, right?
A: Indeed, it entails working with a lot with people and having many meetings. Of course, sometimes there are meetings scheduled on your agenda and you have your day planned… but at the end, you never know how your day will end, who is going to call and with whom you need to talk or to meet, what challenges you will face during the day. These dynamics make my day’s fly.
Q: Would you say that technologies are about people first?
A: I am not an engineer myself, my passion is not technologies, so I would say only by accident I ended up at software. My passion is helping customers, closing deals and working with my colleagues to grow the company and to make the company more successful. It is also about setting objectives and reaching those objectives and goals, generating results. All this is done by collaborating with the team, people, customers and partners and not that much by using technologies. As I said, I’m not a technical guy and I ended up at a software by accident but what I like about a software is when it is dynamic, innovative. In the IT industry there is a lot of innovation and that’s what I like. Overall, I like the fact that I am working in a software industry, but my real passion is about accomplishing results together with my team and colleagues. A: IT is such a dynamic environment; technologies are developing so fast. They give a lot of new possibilities to everyone. Sometimes technologies develop so fast and quick, that our customers and organizations in general cannot catch up and absorb everything at the same pace. This is the challenging part and the opportunity of being part of this industry. If you are in the insurance, banking, or financial industry, it’s a very static industry, compared to technology. The exciting thing going on in financial industry is Blockchain and Bitcoins, but it’s actually a technology that’s shaking up the industry. Financial industry itself hasn’t experienced any changes in the last hundred or two hundred years, so this is what I like about being in this technological industry: innovation, dynamism, change, flexibility.
Q: You mentioned that you didn’t plan to work with software, so tell us how did you get engaged with this industry.
A: Yes, my background is in Business Economics, so that is what I studied, with a major in marketing. My first role was a marketer in the telecommunication industry, so I worked for four years in telecommunications: the first year as a marketer and then the sales manager of that department asked me if I was interested in becoming an account manager. Well, before an account manager, I did product managing as well. So when they asked me if I was interested in becoming an account manager…I never saw myself in a sales career and I was happily pulled into sales and I did that for two years. Then me and my wife decided to take a break for a year. We traveled the world for a year in south east Asia and Central and South America. We traveled in 2001 and when we got back it was a big burst of the Internet bubble, so when we came back from our travels we both needed to find a new job and we saw a completely different working world. And through a recruiting company, I ended up at Microsoft in the Netherlands and this is how I came into technology and software. Through a recruitment company, I started at Microsoft as an account manager and had several roles nationally and internationally always in sales. Having done the sales management for almost ten years, I decided it was time for a change. So, with my two co-founders I started my own company, Beezy, in 2011.
Q: How did Beezy and Silverside become partners?
A: It happened maybe for two reasons, from a technological perspective Bezzy has the technology to help organizations migrate from IBM connection to Office 365. From a partnership perspective, I saw the opportunity to partner, because Silverside has a strong network in the IBM market in the Netherlands, so this is one opportunity. The other reason is the fact that we truly focused on technology and we needed to have partners to help our customs change the way people work. That is why the combination of Beezy and Silverside is a really nice fit, because together, we can solve not only the technology, but also the processes of digital workplace projects.
Q: So, what do Beezy and Silverside do as a team together?
A: So all the projects we are involved, are about making people work more openly, transparent and smarter. This requires a change in the behavior of people and we are aware that this is a very important component. But we are not specialists in that, our specialty is software development. So, that is why we partner with companies like Silverside who help us and, more importantly, help our customers with the whole change management aspect of embracing new collaboration strategies and tools.
In a world in which technology goes so fast, companies and organizations that work in the IT industry, feel the need to provide customers not only technological solutions and software but also a human help to deal with the rapid changes of the working and technological environment. The partnership Beezy-Silverside is a great example of how two companies in the innovative IT sector collaborate to help people and customers get the full benefit from using new technologies in their dynamic workplace.