Please read the interview of Marco van der Hoeven, chief editor at Executive People, with Quincey ten Kroode, Manager Projects & Consultancy at SMT.  In this interview he explains how to convert data to valuable information. The entire article is also readable on the Executive People website.

Make data valuable

Splunk is a popular solution for analysing large amounts of data. However, for the effective deployment of such tooling, support from the right people is needed. Not every organization has those people, or the budget to recruit them. SMT, partner of Splunk, responds to this by offering support from their recently established Competence Centre.

.“Many of our customers are asking how to get value from the large amount of data they have.” says Quincey ten Kroode, Manager Projects & Consultancy at SMT. “They know they have that data, they know they have to do something with it, but the question is ‘How?’. We offer advanced tooling in the form of Splunk. We notice that, after the implementation, customers would also like help on how to deploy that tooling. As the use increases, the demand for management increases, or the current administrators are deployed elsewhere. Hence, they want help in managing and maintaining the system, and then expanding it to get value from their data. ”

SMT responds to this specific question with a Competence Centre. “The Competence Centre evolved out of our Services department.” says Ten Kroode. “The Competence Centre is based on five pillars: consultancy, project management, service management, product management and support. We were already the only organization in the Netherlands with a fully equipped support department for Splunk. With the establishment of the Competence Centre we can help the customer even better and more efficiently. When they don’t have the people, or the budget to recruit people to manage and maintain Splunk they can turn to us. This way, they always make efficient use of the solution.”

More flexible

“This allows customers to be more flexible in their environments, they can scale up and down where necessary and with the right expertise needed at that time. We make sure the system continues to run. At the same time, we take care of the customer, to make sure that they can gain expertise, so eventually they will be able to execute it independently. We can then place our people elsewhere, while the customer can continue on the right track with Splunk.”

“This way, we grow and develop together with the customer, in practice we see that as a project progresses we are increasingly strategically engaged with them.” The plans are ambitious, but backed up by a strong demand for such support. “We now employ about sixty people, but the expectation is that we will grow considerably in the coming period. We often have several people fulltime on the same project, which can result in rapid growth.”


SMT trains the necessary people themselves, because they are the only certified partner in the Benelux to offer the official Splunk training courses. “We are continuously working on this, and offer those people an interesting growth path from IT to consultancy in complex matters. This is a win-win as it helps our customers as well.”

The return is immediately visible according to Ten Kroode. “We always work from a use case model. Sometimes we see that people want to put all the data in their organization into a system, to then start looking at which questions they can answer with it. We turn that approach around, and first ask the customer what they would like to achieve and get out of their data. On this basis, we are going to design the environment, and immediately start creating value.”


Gold mine

The Competence Centre has been set up under the new SMT branding, in which the blue-orange was replaced with a classic green colour. “The tagline ‘ Bring it to the core ‘ has emerged from the answer to the question where our strength lies, and why customers choose us. It is about the gold mine at the heart of the company. Existing data that the customer is not always aware of, data that can be used to grow the business. It’s all already there, it’s existing data that you can do something with. That is going back to the core of the organization and look at the existing knowledge and data in a different way. There are more possibilities than is often thought.”


October 2017