52.000 digital workplaces
Global Workplace Services (GWS) is responsible for the digital workspaces of 52,000 ING employees in over 40 countries. GWS makes sure that everyone – from IT developers to private bankers – can work securely, can communicate with customers and colleagues and can collaborate with colleagues around the world, using any device.
Dennis Hulzenbosch is product owner in the Collaboration & Communication squad which supports colleagues with services such as VoIP, telephony, Skype and video conferencing. Dennis: “The transition to agile working with squads and scrum has played a huge part in the development and implementation of a single global online platform so that the bank’s employees can have the same user experience wherever they are in the world. Our squad offers a broad portfolio of services that are being brought together on that platform. We’re creating something that will benefit all countries; the platform will break down the barriers to collaboration, making it easier for everyone. Nothing has ever been done on this scale.”
Understanding the customer need
“It’s a huge challenge to unite all the separate smaller parts and create an intuitive system that works internationally. It’s not just about the technical aspects; it’s also important to involve and bring on board our internal customer groups at an early stage and to understand the individual needs of users. That’s why we share ideas and organise brainstorming and boarding sessions – whether face to face, by phone, by email or by videoconferencing.”
Dennis initially worked for ING as an external partner, but when his manager asked him to join the company payroll two years ago he agreed. “I was really curious about what it would be like to no longer work on a project basis. Now that I’m part of the company, the project doesn’t stop when I’ve delivered something. Instead, I continue to be involved and get the chance to make improvements based on user input. You can take more ownership that way. The strategy is determined high up, but we have the freedom to decide how to interpret it and contribute ideas of our own that help to achieve the objectives.”
“I feel very much at home at ING. The organisation is output-driven – it’s what you achieve that matters. Everyone shoulders their own responsibilities here and that gives me the flexibility to strike the right work-life balance. My team is very innovative and very open; every year, we get together to discuss one another’s strengths and areas for improvement in an evaluation session – which we also jokingly refer to as the ‘team roast’. As well as being specialists in their field and having some idea about technical architecture, new additions to our team also have to be a good fit with our informal atmosphere and appreciate the humour in our roast!”
Dennis has been working for ING for ten years. After graduating in business engineering from UT in Enschede, he first spent a few years working at the university where he was involved in projects including the prestigious Summer Camp and the renowned Batavierenrace. As a student, Dennis specialised in process technology but has not used it much in his subsequent career: “Like many of my peers, I drifted into IT and then progressed to the level of Project Manager (PRINCE2 Practitioner), Business Analyst, Security and Risk (CISSP) and Agile Scrum (Product Owner).” With five kids plus an ageing Old English bulldog, his free time is taken up by his family.