TimeLog, a software provider specialised in the management and IT consulting industry, has recently opened an office in the Netherlands, its fourth hub globally and second outside home base Scandinavia. To lead the Dutch operations the firm has hired Sjors Klaver and Wendy Jong.
Founded in 2001 in Denmark, TimeLog is an IT company that provides software solutions to small and medium-sized companies within the professional services industry. TimeLog’s main solution (TimeLog Project) facilitates the full range of project management processes and activities, as well as a variety of (core) accompanying processes, including time tracking, invoicing, resource management, management reporting and HR.
From its base in Copenhagen, TimeLog has over the past fourteen years grown to one of the larger players in the European consulting software landscape. Although its footprint spans the professional services arena, it has in particular gained a strong foothold in management and IT consulting, according to TimeLog CEO Søren Lund the consequence of what is in his view a more “efficient and user-friendly system” compared to alternatives in the marketplace. TimeLog’s current operations encompasses 700 customers (~17,000 daily users) in 15 countries, serviced by a team of 30 dedicated employees. To meet the growing demand from international customers, TimeLog expanded globally of late, with the firm now also holding offices in Stockholm (opened in 2012) and Kuala Lumpur (established in 2010).
On the back of a further expansion strategy – Lund says the firm aims to double in size by 2020 – TimeLog early this year explored entering new European markets, and following a due diligence on locations, potential and feasibility, the decision fell in the favour of the Netherlands. “The Netherlands is a market for which we have high expectations. For many Danish companies with export activities, it would be more natural to look at Norway or Germany, but the Netherlands is the perfect choice for us, as there exist many professional service organisations with an international approach to buying software solutions.” Recent research by Consultancy.nl reveals that the Netherlands houses more than 105,000 management and IT consulting firms, highlighting the market potential, although nearly 90% (~94,000) of the firms operate as a sole proprietorship, an audience that typically sits outside the scope of TimeLog’s core market. “TimeLog Project can also be used by firms with 1 FTE, yet the focus of our model lies on consultancies with between 10 to 250 FTE’s,” says Lund.
With the opening of the new office, based in Amsterdam – the Netherlands’ capital city and main business hub – TimeLog aims at growing its on-the-ground footprint, through both the expansion of services to Netherlands-based units of existing clients waved over from Scandinavia, as well as the addition of new local customers. The Amsterdam office will also serve as a hub for the Benelux, in addition supporting clients across Belgium and Luxembourg, a consultancy region that is estimated to be worth €1.8 billion. Asked about the firm's ambition for the coming years in the Netherlands, Lund withholds providing insight in key KPIs, nevertheless revealing that top-line growth is targeted to grow from the existing customer base (reported to be around 15 firms) to roughly 100 by the end of 2017.
To lead the Dutch expansion drive, TimeLog has brought two experienced professionals on board: Sjors Klaver and Wendy Jong. Klaver previously worked for UNIT4, where he served as Account Manager for the accountancy sector, while Jong previously served Reed Business Media and among others gained advisory experience with IBM and PinkRoccade Local Government. “I am excited to be part of this new endeavour," says Klaver on his new role. He adds: “TimeLog’s success abroad is the evidence of their commitment to build premier solutions for their customers.”
Klaver and Jong will however face competition in their drive to opening up the Dutch consulting software market. The landscape hosts several large players, such as Maconomy (acquired by Deltek in 2010), the traditional ERP-giants Oracle and SAP, and a range of local specialists focused at the mid-market range. Despite the competition, they face the challenge with confidence, with Jong stating “We believe strongly in the added-value of TimeLog Project, both from a functional as well as a cost-benefit perspective.” Features, Jong believes, that provide an edge in the market include the ability to manage all types of projects – from setup to execution – the possibility to have advanced contract management, integration between project management and financial systems, and a web-based solution that caters for safe access anytime, anywhere.
As part of the launch plan, TimeLog will in the coming months approach a range of customers, host a webinar on its tool and work together with among others associations and media on building the brand. The software solutions also enjoys support from the Danish embassy in the Netherlands, with both parties organising an event for potential clients next month. “We cannot wait to get started and help PSO’s to value their time, so they improve their bottom line and at the same time get happy employees as they have the perfect tool for their daily work,” concludes Jong.