Fact checking with: Philipp, Country Manager DACH
Philipp is a Country Manager at OBI4wan and is responsible for the DACH region. His focus is on the international growth of OBI4wan in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I asked Philipp about his experiences working for a Dutch company and the challenges and possibilities that surround the software & AI solutions in the DACH region.
1. You are responsible for Sales in the DACH region. Can you explain more about your role?
“I am responsible for sales in the DACH region. The DACH region is of course a large area that includes Switzerland and Austria as well. There is a lot of potential in this region and we have some promising prospects at the moment. For example, one day I’m visiting a big company in Zurich, and the next, I’ve got an appointment in Berlin.
I travel a lot, mostly by plane because of the long distances. It is of utmost importance to be well-prepared and to have my itinerary properly scheduled, because many times I need to be able to plan various appointments in order to combine visits.
I love to work in Amsterdam. I had already been here previously, and knew it well, so I moved here especially for the city: to be with friends and to enjoy its lively energy. So it was an easy decision for me to move to Amsterdam, and not only for work-related reasons. Even though I’m based in the Netherlands it’s actually quite easy to work from here. At my previous jobs in Germany, I was mostly based in and around the Rhineland region, but was also responsible for Northern and Eastern Germany, so I had already been used to having to travel a lot.
2. Do you notice any differences between the DACH region and the Netherlands?
“There are many differences, as both countries have a different history and culture. One of the differences is that the competition in Germany is not the same as it is in the Netherlands. Of course there are the bigger companies, but overall the German economy is more bourgeoisie, which requires a different kind of approach.
Another interesting thing about Germany is that they are a little behind in digitalisation. A lot of work is still paperwork. I think people in the marketing departments there would love to have a tool like OBI Engage for publishing their social media messages and monitoring incoming messages regarding their brand or organisation. We offer one platform for multiple channels.”
3. What can OBI4wan’s solutions offer the DACH market?
“Of course artificial intelligence solutions like bots and livechat are a great opportunity for every organisation. But I think media monitoring tools would be perfect for introducing into the DACH market, for increasing efficiency by spending more time and effort on social selling; which is mandatory for the future. Germans are demanding, for example, Xing, a LinkedIn alternative. It’s not bigger than LinkedIn but I learned that even people in Switzerland want to have it. We are constantly improving and developing the OBI Engage Dashboard with new features. With the Feedback from our German-speaking customers, we’ll have a lot of feature requests and releases to strengthen, and to find solutions, tailored on a day-to-day basis, for customers’ requests.”
4. What do you think about international events, such as Call Center World (CCW) and the European Communication Summit (ECS)?
“I think fairs and conferences are a great place to meet new people and of course to find new prospects and opportunities. Marketingwise, it’s always nice to gain some visibility. There are so many conferences all around Europe. You really have to choose which ones work best for your brand and organisation. The European Communication Summit in Berlin, for example, is a top-class event and you can really learn a lot from the speakers there. It’s a nice venue and everything is very well organised. Not only did we get some very positive reactions from customers at ECS, but it can also be an opportunity for finding and securing new partnerships and resellerships.
If you are responsible for sales, I think this is an important part of your job. It’s fun, yet very intense at the same time! Our agenda was completely filled, which is of course a good thing.”
5. Can you describe what it’s like to work for OBI4wan as a company?
“As I mentioned before, I am from the Rhineland region in Germany. People there are very talkative, communicative and open-hearted. I think I can feel that same kind of culture at OBI4wan. I have an amazing team around me; the people I’m surrounded by on a daily basis are incredibly nice and extremely helpful. This is very important to me.
We are scaling up and growing. The goal is to grow step by step professionally, and I feel I can contribute to the growth of OBI4wan. I like to have the opportunity to bring something into an organisation; and I really feel needed here, which is great. I feel I’m at the right place at the right time.”