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Marval - the next 30 years! Lisa Howkins, Managing Director

There are not many SME businesses who can boast 30 years of service to their chosen industry. I am truly privileged to work for a company that has demonstrated exactly that. 

For 30 years Marval has played a fundamental role not only in ensuring its customers achieve the highest level of customer service but also in shaping the service management sector itself through the authoring of industry specific best practice frameworks, standards and accreditations. Our service management experts combined with customer led support and a world class product has resulted in Marval becoming the service management specialist of choice for so many organisations worldwide. 

It gives me a huge sense of pride hearing how the people at Marval have supported and made a difference to our customers. 

So what does the next 30 years have in store for Marval? 

I am a great believer that we can never rest on the success of the past. Yes, Marval has helped shape the industry to what it is today but we cannot rely on that for future growth and development. One thing I love about Marval is seeing the effort the team put in to understand how the industry is evolving, what our customers require and how the generations are changing. By arming ourselves with this information I am confident that in 30 years-time my successors will be writing articles on the last 60 years and how we plan to succeed further into the future. 

Taking the helm of company that has been led by two very prominent figures in the industry is both amazing and a little intimidating all at once and whilst I want to ensure that Greg and Don’s legacy is respected and continued I also want to make sure that Marval embraces new developments in this ever changing industry.

The future for Marval is extremely exciting. In January 2020 we say goodbye to the old Marval offices at Rothwell Grange and hello to our new Kettering based offices. Our new offices will not only provide the Marval staff with fantastic location and surroundings but will house a dedicated training centre and fantastic facilities for staff and customers alike. 

In 2019 Marval extended its global reach by recruiting new partners in Mexico and Brazil to add to its established partners, Marval North America, Marval Africa, Marval Nordic, Marval Benelux, Marval Baltic and Marval Australia. Not only does this strengthen Marval’s global position in the industry but it also helps the Marval team gain vital industry updates and valuable service management expertise from specialists all over the world. This knowledge filters back to the development team to ensure that we continue to develop a product suitable for businesses worldwide.  A team of specialists within Marval are tasked with growing the Marval brand into new territories and I look forward to working with the newly expanded Marval group. 

When I started with the business, I met with a lot of Marval’s existing customer base. When I asked them why they used Marval the message across the board was very similar, Marval is not ‘just a supplier’ it becomes an essential component in the customer’s overall service delivery approach, taking time to understand their people, their industry and their requirements. The customer will always come first, and this is something that I will never want to change within the business. I love how we work closely with our customers; they offer such valuable advice and suggestions which helps mould our product and the services we deliver. The opinions of our customers matter to us and for the future will see more customer workshops, steering committees and the opportunities to work with closely with both the professional services and the development teams. 

In 2020 Marval will see the launch of several new service offerings to the existing product portfolio. 
One thing that the last 30 years has taught us is that change is inevitable. Many Marval customers have benefited from utilising the Marval tool to manage change across their business. To compliment this, we now have a new offering supporting change management within teams. 

We’re now offering performance coaching to our customers, delivered by our very own Director of Performance and Talent Development, Poonam Patel. Performance coaching equips employees with the tools, knowledge and accountable opportunities to reach their full potential and achieve superior performance. We rolled this out within Marval and the results were amazing. We reported measurable improvements in productivity, better team working, management and employees taking a more proactive approach, problem solving through greater accountability and exhibiting higher levels of confidence.    


For 30 years we have delivered service desk solutions and services to our customers, also new to Marval’s training and consultancy portfolio is an auditing course, delivered by Marval's Standards and Compliance Manager, Richard West. This course that has been designed to help our customers
 and organisations around the world achieve compliance against the ISO/IEC 20000 IT service management standard, helping them to develop a competitive edge in their sector.
  
These exciting new services not only complement the existing Marval solutions and services but offer a unique offering to the service management market. 

It would be wrong to not talk about the Marval product which over the years has evolved into one of the most comprehensive solutions in the market. The future for the Marval software tool is as equally as exciting as its complimentary services. By growing the number of customer workshops and involvement, users have the opportunity to not only hear about the Marval product roadmap ahead of release but also play a part in its development. We see our customers as the experts, they use the software and a daily basis so it’s only right that for those that wish to contribute, get the opportunity to do so in the forms of themed specific workshops. 

The product roadmap is continuously growing, and each release becomes more feature rich than the last. Marval continues to invest in its development team to ensure that we are always market relevant. 

Marval has always been a key advocate of ITIL, ensuring our products are fully aligned with each version of the best practice framework. Whilst many software suppliers have chosen to distance themselves, Marval will continue to embrace ITIL. We will ensure our products are fully compatible, our staff ITIL trained and our consultants fully versed in service management best practices to ensure customer requirements are fully realised.

In addition to ITIL, our process driven solution will continue to be fully aligned to other industry best practice frameworks, IT service management quality standards, such as ISO/IEC 20000 and the Service Desk Institute’s Service Desk Certification programme. Marval has been and always will be a service management tool suitable for all departments across a business.

When I started with Marval 2 years ago as a Commercial Director I spent a lot of time in initial sales meetings being asked the same question ‘how does your software compete with your competitors?’ It’s one of the hardest questions you can ever face in software sales. There will always be competition and whilst some companies will specialise in specific features they will fail in others and vice versa. The last two years has taught me that although a key ingredient, it’s not our software that makes us different. It’s our passion, our people, our processes, our knowledge, our expertise and our dedication to contributing to the service management industry. And most importantly our commitment to helping our customer deliver the best service to their own internal and external customer base. This is achieved not just by offering a software solution, it’s by combining that software solution with everything mentioned above. There is no point in simply having the best software, I believe we have to be the only people doing what we do, in the style that we do it and that’s how we are unique. I am certain that the next 30 will bring many new opportunities for us here at Marval and know that by continuing with this ethos and embracing industry change Marval will continue to be a success.   

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