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Robert Sieber, ServiceManagers.Org 2014 SM Award For Influence (Interview)

Hi Robert, first of all, congratulations on your 2014 SM Award For Influence granted by We would love if you can answer some questions for the community.

Q: What did you feel when you found out that you won this award? What was the first thing that you did afterwards?

A: I was very surprised! I didn’t noticed that I drove so much social network traffic. I think I did not write as many articles as I planned at the beginning of 2014. I’m not sure what I did afterwards – but I definitely was proud!

 Q: How long have you been involved in Service Management?

A: I’m in IT now for 17 years overall. I always had to deal with users, their requirements and delivery IT. At the beginning we don’t call it Service Management. My first contact with ITL was in 2005/2006 as we moved from a hands-on, common sense IT-organisation to a demand-supply-organisation with Service Management processes.

 Q: In your opinion, what are the key achievements the Service Management discipline has gained during these years?

A: Well, that’s a hard question. People in IT think about non-technical issues of delivery services. I think that’s the main achievement and a great start point for the future.

 Q: What do you think are the next goals that Service Managers should work on?

A: Service Management should work on Customer Relationship. Normally we do not differentiate between users and customers. Everybody who is calling the help desk is a customer – that’s not right. I think this will drive the IT-organisation to deliver the right services.

Next, IT should have a deep understanding of what the company is dealing with, how they do it and what are their challenges. This will also drive the understanding and the delivery of the right services.

Today we focus on delivery the services right and not the right services. I think this will be a key success factor.

I think IT needs a business model. We need a supply chain which fit into the demand of the business. So, we need a sourcing strategy to fulfill these demands.

Q: How do you see Service Management in 10 years?

A: Service Management will be the link between the business and the suppliers. Hopefully we will see a split between managing services and delivering services. We will see a lot of existing business models transferring from the actual style to something based the service approach. Two things will happen:

  1. It will be crucial for the company to have a working IT-Service-Management. On one hand agility will be the key point. In a fast changing world, there won’t be eight weeks time to deliver a new server. There won’t be six month to testdrive a new application. We will need short iterations for innovation and to keep up. On the other hand we need stable and reliable services. But, we do not need to deliver everything on our own. We need to have a sourcing strategy in place.
  2. We will adopt Service Management in different branches of the company. For industry 4.0 style services we need proper Service Management in place. Companies will need similar structures, functions and process-types. Today they mainly have a customer support center or a support division. But when business moves from products to services this will to change. I think there will be a transformation to a service company in many cases.

 Q: Would you recommend starting the Service Management career for recent graduates?

A: Sure!

 Q: What would be your best advice for someone that would like to be a Service Manager?

A: I think you need to know two things very deeply:

  1. What is your companies business about and how do the company do the business
  2. How is your service delivered – from a technical hands-on perspective.

 Q: What are your plans for this new year in Service Management?

A: In Germany I don’t see so much interaction and exchange between the Service Management professionals. I’d like to change this a bit. Of course, I like to grow my German-speaking ITSM-Blog.

I want to evengalize my colleagues about how to build and deliver services  in mind of Business-Service-Management and why to do Customer Relationship Management.

Thank you Robert for your time and again congratulations for your 2014 SM Award For Influence. We desire you great success in your career.

Robert Sieber 2014 Award For Influence