SSON's Advisory Board – Q&A with Siemen's Alexander von Thielmann
SSON's Global Advisory Board guides both our online and our event agendas to ensure we are meeting the needs of our members around the world, no matter what stage of SSO evolution you are at. This month, we introduce our new European Board Members...
Who are you and what is your role?
AvT: During the last years I have been working for Siemens in different countries (Germany, Turkey, Poland, Russia), gaining extensive management experience in the operational business as Country CFO or Business Unit CFO. In November 2015, I joined Siemens Shared Services, being responsible for 6 service lines with delivery centers in 10 countries. Most of these services are “non-mandatory”, business related and knowledge-driven services which require a strong value proposition and very trustful partnership with your customers. It is one of our targets, to “make a difference”, from a customer (value proposition, performance excellence) and employee point of view (passion, fun and ownership).
Where do you see the industry going in the next 5 years?
AvT: Shared Services is moving up the value chain towards knowledge-driven services, having highly automated and scaled “service factories” for transactional services on one side and a network of expert centers on the other side. Technology and Innovation (e.g. RPA, Digitalisation) will speed up this development and will have a major impact on the business model; there will be a paradigm shift from service provider more towards business enabler. As a consequence, the skillset of the employees, the working environment and the role of Shared Services leaders will change substantially.
What is your key objective in the medium term?
AvT: Reducing complexity, adding value and satisfying our customers – every day. As trusted partner, we drive change and enable our customers to focus on their business efficiently by fostering end-to-end solutions, being innovative and data-driven and delivering services and solutions based on customer needs.
What is your favorite SSO metric/measure and why?
AvT: Running your GBS (Global Business Services) as a business, customer-orientation and entpreneurship are fundamental for your success. Therefore, we constantly measure the customer satisfaction which is the most important metric, together with the pulse check of our employees and quality/productivity of our service delivery.
What is one tip you’d share on driving Shared Services success?
AvT: Developing an attractive Service Culture is one of the success drivers that attracts people from the business operations to join Shared Services, empowers your employees to contribute and collaborate borderless, encourages ownership, and supports a good error management culture. And, of course, fundamental: listen to the customer! Sounds so easy, but following that principle in a sustainable way and with firm conviction, directs the Service Culture towards fulfillment of customers' requirements ... this is my personal passion, day for day!