Augmented support capabilities, new training and consultancy services, expansion into Africa and Middle East all on the cards for 2013
At its first annual User Group event held at the Indaba in Johannesburg, Marval South Africa unveiled its plans for expansion and growth in 2013. Themed “The pursuit of excellence”, the User Group was the perfect platform for Marval to announce several exciting developments for 2013 in the pursuit of growth and continuous improvement. These include expanded support capabilities, a revamped internal service desk, new training courses and an enhanced consultancy service, and a growing footprint into Africa and the Middle East and South East Asia.
“As part of the Marval South Africa roadmap for 2013, we are reorganising ourselves internally. Our customer base is growing, which means that our support and service desk must cater to this growth effectively. As part of our own continual service improvement programme we are aiming to achieve ISO 9001 certification by mid 2013, which requires certain systems and processes to be put into place. We are also working towards achieving ISO/IEC 20000 certification ourselves to be recognised as a world-class service provider who delivers consistent, sustainable and constantly improving services to our customers according to this international standard. This will align us with our principal, Marval UK, who currently still is the only specialist service management vendor in the world to have ISO/IEC 20000 certification,” explains Edward Carbutt, Executive Director at Marval South Africa.
The User Group itself also forms part of a renewed focus on improved customer service and support. Attended by Marval customers, the event encouraged participation and sharing of experiences with ITSM and the Marval tools, and provided an opportunity for customer feedback and the sharing of ideas and knowledge. Guest speaker Johann Visser from Imperial Online, winner of the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) project of the year award in South Africa, discussed the importance of ITSM as a channel for business improvement and the need for user groups to help improve ITSM across the country.
“The advantages of a user group are twofold. Firstly we can learn from the mistakes of others who have gone before us, and secondly we may uncover issues which have not been seen before and deal with these together. There is great power in collaboration of knowledge, and we should all work together in pursuit of service management excellence,” says Visser.
Marval’s training and consultancy services are another area of focus for growth and improvement. Training services have been augmented with the addition of several training courses aimed at taking the theory of ITIL, COBIT and various ISO frameworks and presenting these in a practical manner to allow practitioners to apply the theory to their own environments. These courses are aimed at practitioners who have completed foundation training and wish to further this. Additional courses include training aimed at assisting executives and practitioners with the practical application of IT and corporate governance as well as service management.
“Our practical courses combine aspects of service management and improvement frameworks and help attendees to apply their knowledge. By completing these courses, practitioners will also be prepared to write intermediate examinations in ITIL and COBIT. We are also offering courses on organisational change management, corporate governance, reporting for corporate governance and understanding how service management supports corporate governance goals. We are also focusing on improving our consultancy services and will be building a dedicated consultancy arm of the business in 2013,” says Carbutt.
One of the biggest changes for 2013, however, will be substantial territorial expansion. Marval South Africa has been granted the rights for the African continent and is also expanding its base into the Middle East and the South East Asia, areas where there is currently significant interest in ITSM and continual service improvement.
“We have seen a lot of interest from many countries in Africa, including Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, and we have existing customers in Lesotho and Swaziland. We have appointed a reseller in Kenya to service our customers in the northern reaches of Africa. We have also recently embarked upon a project in Dubai, which is due to go live this month, and have appointed a further reseller in this region as a result. We are also exploring options in Malaysia and Singapore,” says Carbutt.
“We have exciting plans for growth, and the potential for expansion is there, but we will continue to focus on our loyal South African customers. We will therefore continue to focus our efforts on improving our local services and support as well as enhancing our consultancy and training. We will also be moving into larger premises in the second half of 2013 to enable us to better serve our local customer base. We expect 2013 to be an exciting year for Marval and we look forward to the possibilities brought by our expansion and growth,” he concludes.