20. February 2020 ǀ Munich Ismaning
20 years of maihiro: Interview on its history and breakthrough
20 years ago, the field of CX was still in its infancy. Today, it has gained so much significance that there are megadeals being made in this sector – think “SAP & Qualtrics.” With its acquisition of maihiro, Accenture has also emphasized the importance of CX to the market. When you first started out, could you have expected this development?
Mark Roes: Yes, definitely. Even before our company was founded in 2000, Gartner had predicted major growth rates on the market. Therefore, we had believed in this development from the very start, and honestly, we actually thought it would have happened sooner. But by 2015 at the latest, the analysts were in agreement about the success, and today, you can see and feel that everywhere.
In the current conditions, you made a decision to sell maihiro? Can you explain the reasons for this in more detail, especially in relation to the added value for customers and employees?
Uwe May: As Mark just said, the market has been developing rapidly. When it comes to SAP, C is now held in the same regard as S. The customers have also recognized the significance. And it will stay that way. For exactly this reason, customers also want more services from a single company. CX goes far beyond implementation alone. End-to-end support is needed, from the technical side, to consultation, right up to operational management and creative matters. Over the years, we have established a good position for ourselves in those areas – as far as we were able to serve them. However, in today’s world, this can no longer be done in small teams, only as part of a larger team. We acknowledged this, which is why we decided to sell. Both our customers and our employees will benefit from the new circumstances, which will offer more opportunities and possibilities.
As a mid-sized company, and one that has been owner-run to date, maihiro upholds special values, such as embracing a healthy work-life balance, and has also developed a very unique company culture over the years. How will these attributes be manifested in future as part of Accenture’s company culture?
Bernd Hesse: We are convinced that our well-developed company culture will find its place within Accenture’s philosophy of the “culture of cultures.” It will certainly be an exciting journey. For both sides, because our mutual goal is to take the best aspects of each world and bring them together. Accenture had already made some acquisitions in the past, and is therefore rather far along in the ongoing process of learning and improvement when it comes to combining different company cultures. This will also play a role in our success in integrating both cultures.
What specifically will the next weeks and months hold for maihiro employees, and for Accenture CX employees?
Uwe May: We are currently developing a project plan to define exactly what will happen in the coming months. The main goal is to be able to start work relatively quickly in our new setup. Of course, this will primarily involve working out how we can work together with the Accenture CX staff. Moreover, it is also important to us that we can contribute our input to Accenture’s work, in order to drive the CX business forward together.
Closing question: What does the future look like for you personally?
Mark Roes: Uwe, Bernd and I founded maihiro 20 years ago and made it into the company that it is today. We were able to experience many fantastic and exciting projects. However, there were troubled times as well. Times when we had to put our familial responsibilities on the back burner. So now, I want to catch up, and simply start to give back. Therefore, I will leave the company in due course.
Bernd Hesse: In the coming years, Uwe and I will mainly be working on the transition from maihiro to ‘maihiro as part of Accenture’ to benefit all involved and to ensure that maihiro is not at a disadvantage. Furthermore, we also want to ensure our existing customers’ continuing success, and will collaborate with Accenture to attract new customers to work with together. We are convinced that we will be able to achieve more as part of an association consisting of SAP, Accenture and maihiro. In line with the motto: Together, we are stronger. And we are going to work on realizing that.
Autor: Verena Holzgreve ǀ 20. February 2020 ǀ München Ismaning
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