Andreas Mockenhaupt of Canto on the new structure of his Professional Services team
Canto not only stands for a sophisticated standard product, but also offers individually configured solutions with which companies can benefit from all of the advantages of a digital asset management (DAM) system. Andreas Mockenhaupt, Director of Canto Professional Services, found time to speak with Ines Köhler, Director of Marketing & PR, on how he follows through on this claim and which strategies he is pursuing with his new team.
Ines Köhler: Jumping right in: What is the job of Canto Professional Services?
Andreas Mockenhaupt: With pleasure. The Canto Professional Services team is responsible for the successful implementation of our customer projects. This applies to the integrations in many business software solutions as well as the application possibilities. Cumulus is a very flexible product. As a Professional Services team, we use the efficiency and expandability of Cumulus to design and implement tailor-made systems for our customers that remain fully upgradeable and continue to be viable in the future.
Does this mean that if I come to you as a customer, CPS will realize the DAM system that I want?
Right, exactly. We are responsible for project delivery. But as consultants, we do not simply implement technical specifications but rather work closely with our customers in compiling their requirements and the entire project framework. We also understand our work as business consultants. In other words, we also continue to serve our customers after a successful project completion. A DAM project does not end when it goes live. After the setup, we are also the contact persons when the system needs expanding or improving.
How have the task profile and requirements changed for CPS?
Digital asset management systems are increasingly becoming central media platforms within the IT infrastructure of companies. This is accompanied by the increased requirements of our customers and progressively larger projects.
However, the same is also true for our customers. In the past, DAM acquisition often ran according to a relatively simple scheme: A department determined that an image database was needed and a digital asset management system was subsequently introduced. Today, many of our customers have a CTO that controls the digital transformation within the company. As a result, the projects are much larger on the customer side, are longer-term and often involve significantly more resources than before. The DAM project is frequently part of a larger project, which is why precise planning and on-time completion are even more important. Alongside this, and through integration with different systems, many more dependencies on other projects exist.
Has this also changed what the customers expect of you?
These developments have definitely changed the expectations of us as consultants. The technical planning and realization of a project is still essential, of course, and we also continue to place great value on the further education and training of our consultants. At the same time, however, the complex project structures have also placed quite different demands on us. Stakeholder management, for example, has recently become an important element in the organization of project management. This is why we at Canto have chosen the appropriate competencies in our four new specialized teams.
What does this new structure of Canto Professional Services look like?
In the future, we will distribute our tasks across more consultants and to that end, create four teams that will each have their own respective core tasks.
Our Business Consulting team will take care of specialist consulting on projects, create process analyses, conduct user training, design interfaces in third-party systems and advise customers on the topics of metadata and workflows. Business Consulting will elaborate the fundamentals together with customers, which we will then need for the configuration of the system.
Our Technical Consulting team will implement what Business Consulting has previously designed and set up the installation, undertake the individual configuration and integrate Cumulus into other systems. In addition, the team will conduct training for Cumulus Admins and subsequently transfer the system to the customer’s internal IT after completion of the project.
Our Project Management team will take care of the project itself. This includes, for example, resource planning, an overview of deadlines and budgets and coordination with individual contact partners of the customer as well as the Canto internal team.
Our Development team comes into play for specific requirements when, for example, interfaces are in very specialized systems. As a result, we are in a position to create technically complex solutions for our customers on short notice and rapidly. The Development team is also separate from the actual product development. We decided to do this because we want to avoid our product development being influenced simply because we have a large number of customer projects at one time.
What underlies this new team structure at Canto Professional Services?
Our new team composition is a response to several factors. On the one hand, we want to specialize more in order to take the increasing professionalization of project management among our customers into account. A consultant simply cannot cover all areas in the best possible way. On the other hand, Canto’s growth makes it necessary to reposition the responsibilities of our team in order to optimally support our customers.
A final question: The topic of the Canto DAM Summit 2017 is “Change: The Heart of Growth.” What tips do you have on the topic of change management from the viewpoint of Professional Services?
Change management is an extremely challenging topic that absolutely must be taken into account when planning a project and introducing new technologies to companies. As Professional Services, we are happy to support our customers and share our experiences. In particular, the topic of stakeholder management is frequently neglected in this context. Our business consultants take care of topics such as user adoption and user training and other supporting measures. Ultimately, however, change management is something that, above all else, needs to be initiated and implemented within the company itself. The Canto DAM Summit is, of course, a solid place to learn how to get started.