Interview Laurent – Implementation manager

Switching to a new system sounds like a big task for many people. Laurent works at Beyond Tickets - the ticketing solution for the cultural sector - and has to deal with this matter on a daily basis. As implementation manager, he ensures that this process runs smoothly. We have asked him a number of questions on how the on-boarding process works. "I think it is the best thing to have one goal in mind: to ensure that we go live smoothly and quickly."

Laurent, as implementation manager at Beyond Tickets, what are the steps you need to take when the customer agrees?

First, I plan a get together with our sales department for the customer’s portfolio. For me it is important to get to know the customer as much as possible: who are they, what are they doing and where do the problems with their current service provider occur. What is the reason that they have chosen Beyond Tickets? With keeping all of this in mind, I make an appointment with the client and together we make a plan for implementation. Sometimes we have to work towards an already fixed deadline, for example when the customer and the current service provider have already chosen an end date of their existing system. Other times we choose the date together and work on it as a team. We will then set up the Beyond Tickets platform.

How long does it then take until the customer can actually use Beyond Tickets?

Beyond Tickets is ready for use within half an hour. Then you can get started with creating tickets and planning the events. More time will be spent on linking the website. We will largely take care of this ourselves and as for the other part we will work on this together with the customer’s web host. Lastly, in order to set up the check out, we will request an account from our Payment Provider, the payment system. As soon as everything is completed, we will create a test product for the customer. In this way the customer can get to know the Beyond Ticket system. We test the website, answer questions and then we officially go live.

Once the official live date has been reached, what can the customer expect from you?

On the day of the go-live, we would like to be at the customer’s location just to dot a few i’s. We like a personal approach. Through this, we can switch quickly when something goes wrong. The aim is when we leave, the customer can get started with Beyond Tickets with confidence. In addition, we offer two weeks of follow-up care in case the customer still has questions or problems.

Beyond Tickets is made for the cultural sector. Within this sector you have discovered many challenges that people encounter. Yet they often think switching is a big step. How do you change this mindset during the switch?

The switch certainly is what people are most afraid of. I try to eliminate this feeling as far as possible. This starts with expectation management. Clear mapping where both parties are prepared for in the near future. In addition, I emphasise the fact that we are starting a cooperation. Together we take the steps and together we make it a success.

Another problem many cultural institutions are encountering is the number of volunteers. Particularly film houses and small museums as they have to deal with volunteers and do not always have the chance to instruct everyone in a new system.

We do often hear that. We try to guide this as well as possible in a number of ways.

Interesting, tell me.

First of all, one of Beyond Tickets’ main principles is to be user-friendly. Anyone who ever shops online can also work with our system. This of course does not alter the fact that we spend a lot of time instructing and helping new users. I would rather not call this a training as it is soon linked to spending an afternoon in a fusty classroom. That is not the case, but we do timely show how the system works. This way everyone is familiar with Beyond Tickets well before going live and we can just do all the finishing touches on the day when we are present.

Thus, at Beyond Tickets we invest a lot of time in guiding new customers. This starts on the first appointment and continues until two weeks after they go-live. This reinforces the trust that customers have in us and gives us with happy, self-reliant users. Another way we serve our customers is through the customer portal. Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions, as well as a series of videos to help you find your way. This allows customers to find the answers to their questions at any time. So also the volunteer who works once every three weeks. For other questions, we can of course always be reached through phone and e-mail.

That does sounds like a very comprehensive approach. So, suppose I switch to Beyond Tickets but I have been working with a different system that contains lots of relevant data for years, is that a problem?

No, data migration is not a problem for Beyond Tickets. It is an optional step that we take into account. If data needs to be transferred, an analysis will be done as quick as possible. Since two systems never connect 100% to each other, we discuss the approach together with the customers so the data will be available when they go live.

Talking about data, how is Beyond Tickets dealing with other software’s from customers? For example the finance system or the CRM system?

Since we have a very complete API available, we are able to link with almost every system. It is already being used to link with the website of our current customers or with CRM systems.However, if there is a system we cannot link with, we will try to expand our standard tools to make it happen.

The system you work with is brand new, how do you make sure that you stay always up-to-date?

Our system is brand new and we work hard to keep the system up-to-date daily. We can do this by providing SaaS solutions. This is often explained as providing a standard and uniform application. This is not a complete picture because the formula makes it possible to grow continuously. Therefore, we are constantly adding new possibilities and technologies to Beyond Tickets. As soon as we implement this, our customers will immediately benefit without extra costs for software updates. The same applies to our API, it is able do a lot but it is constantly evolving so that we can connect with more and more systems with minimal effort.

Finally, If you have to name three things why it would not be scary to switch to Beyond Tickets. Which would these be?

There are so many, but the most important points are: Beyond Tickets is a user-friendly system, our approach is very personal and we provide the maximum support through after care, customer portal and customer service. 

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