Pim Nauts and Marleen Vonk recently spoke to Dutch daily De Telegraaf on the transformation of Wolters Kluwer and with that, the changing skill set of our employees.
The original Dutch version of this article first appeared in De Telegraaf on October 11, 2014.
Publisher now tech company; Wolters Kluwer is going through a radical change
In the past five years, the number of employees that specializes in high tech such as software development or data analysis has grown at Wolters Kluwer by as much as 30%. The multinational that operates in over 150 markets, has gone through a radical change since the appointment of CEO Nancy McKinstry: from a classic publishing company it has become a real technology company. “80% of our revenues now comes from our digital products and services.”
That also means a major change in the recruitment and selection policy at Wolters Kluwer, which employs 19,000 employees worldwide. “For many years it was editors which were needed, that edited, wrote and guided the printing process for our legal, tax and medical publications. However, now there are now more technology oriented employees - people who have expertise in data analytics, cloud computing, or web design,” explains Pim Nauts. He has been with the company for two and a half years, first as a consultant, most recently as e-commerce manager.
“We are now working in multidisciplinary teams, where editors work with marketing professionals, user interface specialists and ICT professionals”, says Nauts, who has a bachelor and a master in digital media human aspects of information technology from the University of Tilburg. “There are now more technological than editorial staff working here. Personally, I do not develop software, but in my role I’m constantly combining technology and business”.
His colleague Marleen Vonk joined Wolters Kluwer in May as e-commerce development manager. She came from Bol.com. “Similar to with Bol.com, I was attracted here to be able to develop new business models,” says the economist, who specializes in marketing and market research. The online sales channel for Wolters Kluwer in the Netherlands is partly still in its infancy. “The transformation to digital products, services and tools has already been made, but the organization around it is still in a transition process. For me it is a huge challenge to contribute to this. At Bol the pioneer phase was already over.”
Source: De Telegraaf
In the corridors of the headquarters in Alphen aan de Rijn, large bookcases filled with publications as museum pieces remember us of the rich past of the company as a traditional publisher. Previously, customers had to build an entire library if they wanted to have access to all of our information. “These days they just need to open an account and get a subscription”, laugh Nauts and Vonk.
The company is able to serve their customer - mainly accountants, lawyers, tax specialists and medical specialists – more efficiently and in a customized way. “That’s important, because they have also seen their profession and tasks change, and now want to be able to access content from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. In the near future, we want to be able to increasingly offer more individual solutions, whereby the customer can control his own portfolio and can expand this with new licenses and content as he wishes”, emphasizes Vonk.