Blog Series: Managed Services for RISE with SAP
NTT DATA Business Solutions | 22 ledna, 2024 | 7 min

Behind NTT DATA Business Solutions’ MS 4 RISE: Meet our team

At the heart of MS 4 RISE are our service delivery managers, who function at the vanguard and are dedicated to ensuring seamless operations and customer satisfaction. In this article our dedicated service delivery managers share their personal insights, experience and practical wisdom, shedding light on this indispensable role and explaining why their jobs give them so much satisfaction. Read on to learn what a day in the life of a Service Delivery Manager at NTT DATA Business Solutions actually looks like and which soft skills are important to succeed in this multifaceted role.

 

Dedicated female service delivery manager with headset working on a laptop.

Your benefit: A highly competent and efficient service team

Within our highly skilled team of service consultants, every individual represents a crucial piece of the puzzle. This seamlessly integrated team contains specialists for each key area of focus, including Application Management Support, Managed Cloud Services, and Outsourcing. Within a balanced setup of tools, skills, and resources, managed by NTT DATA Business Solutions dedicated service delivery managers, each service team member contributes their skills and knowledge to highly effective support and business continuity of each individual customer.

Among the wide spectrum of services provided by the delivery teams of NTT DATA Business Solutions is the MS 4 RISE service bundle, specifically designed to support customers in the RISE with SAP product suite. Managing this powerful yet complex solution often exposes resource limitations or an absence of necessary expertise in companies, resulting in inefficiencies and reluctance to fully leverage the benefits.

Our motivation: Managing the potential of RISE with SAP for your business value

Our service delivery managers are dedicated to provide organizations with the advice, expertise, and support needed, guiding businesses through the complexities and helping them derive maximum value from their RISE with SAP solution. Together, this dynamic team upholds the high standards of quality and efficiency for which NTT DATA Business Solutions is renowned in the global marketplace.

Introducing our Service Delivery Management team

Get to know some of our colleagues below.

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Jürgen Zimmermann

A dedicated professional with NTT DATA Business Solutions since January 2011, Jürgen has worked with diverse clients across various projects in his time as a Service Delivery Manager.

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Katharina Hördler

Katharina brings her unique expertise to the team as a Service Delivery Manager for steel production company ArcelorMittal, an NTT DATA Business Solutions customer.

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Sophie Sterr

With nearly four years as a Service Delivery Manager under her belt, Sophie strengthens the team with invaluable insights.

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Prashant Kumar Jha

An IT Analyst with over 15 years` experience in the industry, Prashant’s skills in service delivery, client relations, and IT project management are crucial to our success.

A multifaceted role that goes beyond the technical: The importance of soft skills in a Service Delivery Professional

What does a day in the life of a Service Delivery Manager at NTT DATA Business Solutions actually look like? The role is both rewarding and challenging: As well as spanning both technical and administrative aspects of customer contracts management, it demands a strong set of interpersonal abilities. These abilities include knowledge sharing, effective networking, pragmatic problem-solving, clear communication, and high social and emotional competence (empathy, tolerance, resilience, and more).

Who better to tell us about these essential skills than members of the service delivery management team themselves?

How did you acquire your expertise in knowledge sharing?

Knowledge sharing is a key element in creating a dynamic, innovative, and efficient environment that benefits the customer organization and contributes to the personal and professional development of its members.

With her background as a teacher, Katharina brings a natural flair for sharing what she knows. “I’m a teacher by training,” she shares with a smile, “so I’m very used to knowledge sharing as a necessity.” Her approach is warm and engaging, reflecting her educational roots. It’s clear that for Katharina, sharing knowledge is not just a skill but a passion, something that she does with ease and enthusiasm.

Sophie, on the other hand, offers a more analytical view. “You could probably describe my approach to knowledge sharing as the documentation of knowledge and its distribution to the right people as needed.” Her perspective highlights the importance of continuous development: “Knowledge sharing always has the potential to be improved.” Sophie’s pragmatic approach underlines the importance not just of sharing knowledge but of doing so effectively and efficiently.

What qualities contribute to your effective networking proficiency?

Effective networking plays a crucial role in achieving professional success, providing pathways to new opportunities, valuable knowledge, supportive connections, and a foundation for both personal and professional development. This applies to the Service Delivery Managers and to the customers.

Prashant believes the essence of networking lies in a genuine fondness for people. “The paramount thing that is required to be good at networking is that one must like being with people,” he explains. His approach is rooted in authenticity and active listening, “I like people and I try to listen to what they have to say – about their passions, their work philosophy, their methods.“

Katharina, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of remembering things and showing a friendly disposition. “You have to have a good memory and to actually like people!” she says with enthusiasm. She advocates for in-person interactions: “It’s good to go to the office in person and get to know people.”

Sophie takes a more strategic approach, recognizing networking as an integral part of working life. “For me, the prime factor in being good at networking is to acknowledge it as an important part of working,” she says.

How important is pragmatism in problem-solving?

In the world of service delivery management, a pragmatic approach to problem-solving is not just nice-to-have but a necessity. To explore how our team members embody this approach, we asked them how they deploy pragmatism in their problem-solving work.

Prashant emphasizes a structured methodology. “For me, pragmatism means sticking to a problem-solving methodology with a consistent set of steps,” he explains. His process includes defining the problem, searching for existing solutions, seeking advice, and testing solutions. This step-by-step approach ensures that he remains focused and effective in addressing challenges.

Jürgen brings a global perspective to the table, highlighting the diverse challenges faced by a multinational company. “Even though we started in Germany, we are a global company,” he reflects, pointing out the complexities of working across different time zones and legal jurisdictions. His comment underscores the importance of being adaptable and resourceful in finding solutions that cater to a wide range of global needs.

Sophie, meanwhile, stresses the importance of balancing pragmatism with consistent process adherence. “Pragmatism is often expedient when it comes to achieving the customer’s  prime goal, which is to solve an issue and often to act fast,” she says. However, she cautions against losing sight of the process, advocating for a balance between swift action and procedural integrity. Sophie’s view reflects an understanding that pragmatism is a skill honed over time, growing with experience.

What characteristics define an effective communicator?

Effective communication stands as a cornerstone in the Service Delivery Managers’  work. To delve into the nuances of this vital skill, we asked our team members what makes them good at communicating and how they came to be so. Their responses shed light on the varied paths and practices by which good communication can be mastered at work.

Sophie’s communication skills were honed through diverse life experiences. “I developed my communication skills through experiences at various stages of my life,” she explains. She emphasizes the importance of asking questions: “Leading a conversation with questions might be the key to finding out what a customer actually needs.”

“Being a good communicator comes primarily with being comfortable around people,” Prashant reflects. His ease in social interactions has served as a natural foundation for the honing of his professional communication skills, which have been supplemented over the years by experience and practice. His journey highlights that being a good communicator is as much about natural inclination as it is about continuous learning and practice.

Jürgen highlights the importance of structured, respectful interactions with customers. “For us, successful collaboration with customers is about establishing ‚open, respectful, and high-level communication‘,” he explains. Regular meetings and an open dialogue are central to his communication strategy, enabling close alignment with customer strategies and needs.

What elements contribute to your skills in empathy, tolerance, and resilience?

Empathy, tolerance and resilience, are key traits for Service Delivery Management professionals. To understand more about these skills in our team members, we asked about their journeys to developing empathy and tolerance and what makes them resilient. Their responses provide a window into the personal and professional growth that shapes these essential skills.

Prashant views empathy as the ability to understand and identify with the feelings of others, particularly in high-stakes situations. “We require empathy to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer,” he explains. He describes how understanding the impact of issues on a customer’s operations, finances, and morale drives his empathetic approach. “Coming closer to these issues over time helps to further develop empathy and tolerance,” he says, highlighting the key role experience plays in fostering these traits.

Jürgen emphasizes the variety and learning opportunities each day brings. “No two days are alike,” he says, observing that every interaction with customers and internal teams represents a chance to become more empathetic. The diverse situations and requests encountered by the team add depth to their understanding and tolerance.

Sophie believes that while empathy is inherent in most people, it also has scope to be learned and trained. She points out that the ability to communicate problems effectively is crucial in order for empathy to manifest. “The ability to have empathy for customers’ or colleagues’ problems will eventually lead to greater tolerance, too,” she adds, observing that proper understanding of different behaviors and communication styles is a vital part of developing this tolerance.

Asked about resilience, Prashant reflects on the ability to persevere and manage stress. “Resilience consists mainly of the ability to continue doing something or striving towards your goals even when the going gets tough,” he says. His resilience has been nurtured by his love for his work and his commitment to achieving goals – qualities in turn fostered by many successful years in the service industry.

Jürgen’s reflections on resilience are shaped by the dynamic nature of the role. “When capacity issues arise, customers may ask service delivery managers to prioritize specific problems.” The SDM then has the challenging role of juggling the urgent needs of various customers while also ensuring timely resolution.

As Jürgen shows, the role of an SDM goes beyond mere issue resolution. It’s a role that involves strategic thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and an in-depth understanding of the customer’s needs. With a critical role in both information management and problem-solving, Service Delivery Managers stand at the forefront of effective customer service.

Service Delivery Management – we take care, personally!
Watch on Service Delivery Management – meet our experts!

Recognizing the dedication and expertise of NTT DATA's service delivery team

At NTT DATA Business Solutions, service delivery managers are more than just technical experts: They are empathetic, resilient communicators who understand the importance of building strong, supportive relationships with their clients. Each day, they bring a unique blend of skills, experiences, and personal qualities to their work, ensuring that every client feels heard, understood, and valued. Their dedication not only to solving problems, but to understanding the human element behind each challenge makes them invaluable to their team and clients alike.

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