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By | John Leyden 20th October 2014 11:01

Sophos to offshore American support operations

Blame Canada?

Exclusive Sophos plans to offshore support operations from the US to Canada and the Philippines as part of a wide-ranging restructuring of its support operations.

The plans were outlined in an internal email to staff from Mary Winfield, SVP Global Support, leaked to El Reg by an anonymous tipster. "Another year, another round of layoffs and another round of moving American jobs overseas," the source commented.

In response to queries from El Reg, Sophos downplayed the significance of the move, saying that there will be no overall reduction in headcount (ie no job losses) and adding that "all North America support resources are staying in North America" a statement that sits awkwardly with plans to use support workers based in the Philippines as one of two primary hubs for US support.

We will be making changes in our North America organization which will allow for clarity in team composition, improvements in our paid services delivery and the ability to provide proactive support. We will establish two primary centers for America’s support – Vancouver and Manila.

As part of this change, we will remove first level support from Burlington, and move that work to our two primary support centers [Vancouver and Manila].

Sophos's two main sales and marketing hubs are based in Burlington near Boston, Massachusetts and Abingdon, near Oxford in the UK. It will soon operate with eight global support centres, none of which are based in the US, according to Winfield's memo.

Going forward, as our business continues to grow, we also will grow our support capabilities, both through efficient use of new technology, tools, and process, as well as additional team members. We expect to grow our teams in all our key Support centers across the globe in Abingdon, Ahmedabad, Karlsruhe, Manila, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Wiesbaden.

Sophos gave a lengthy response to our queries about its restructuring, republished in full below.

The purpose of any restructuring like this is obviously to better support and service our customers. To do that we wanted to align our support/services resources to our regional sales VPs and to our Business Units. So now each regional sales VP and each GM has a single point of contact within Support which will streamline communications and effectiveness.

As an example, the UKI team was previously reporting within the European division of Support, but to better align directly to the UKI Sales Team, they have been pulled out of that structure and now report directly to our SVP of Global Services and are a single point of contact to our UKI Head of Sales. No resource in the UKI support organisation is moving to any other location – they will support that region directly.

Similarly, all North America support resources are staying in North America and will serve as a single point of contact for our Head of Sales in the Americas. We have  not reduced our headcount, instead we have realigned headcount within the organisation. We are also investing additional resources in all our support locations around the world to make sure we continue to provide unparalleled service to our growing customer base.

An extract of the original memo

Subject: Organizational Announcement

Team,

The mission of the Support organization is to delight partners and customers while enabling growth and I am very excited about the progress we are making. We are doing our part to support the great performance from our sales teams to drive billings growth, and our net promoter scores continue to rise, which is encouraging. To continue to make progress to support our mission, we have made some changes in our organizational structure that I wanted to share with you.

Globally, all teams will be aligning around the work we do. This will allow each team to clearly know what work and outcomes they are accountable for delivering. To enhance our relationships and focus with our cross functional partners, we will provide single points of contact to align with each sales regional VP and with each GM/product team. As part of this, we are making the following changes:

  • Global Escalation (GES). Alignment to a single GM/product group – we will have one leader for ESG, one for NSG and one for Cloud:
  • NSG GES team, which will combine Gateway and UTM, will be led by Dominic Schmidl
  • ESG GES team, which will combine Data Protection, Mobile and Endpoint, will be led by Thomas Weber
  • Cloud GES team will be led by Emile Kenning
  • DACH, Western Europe, and NEEMEA. Support for DACH will be combined with the Western Europe/NEEMEA Service Delivery leader, and will be led by Pino Kienlin.
  • UKI. Support for UKI will move out from Europe and will report directly to me. UKI will be led by Anne Anderson.
  • APAC. Support for APAC will not change. This team will continue to be led by Jamie Matheson.
  • Japan.  Support for Japan will not change. This team will continue to be led by Tomoho Inoue.
  • Americas. We will be making changes in our North America organization which will allow for clarity in team composition, improvements in our paid services delivery and the ability to provide proactive support. We will establish two primary centers for America’s support – Vancouver and Manila. As part of this change, we will remove first level support from Burlington, and move that work to our two primary Support centers. The Americas team will continue to be led by Bruce McDonald. Here are the other changes we will make in the Americas support organization:
  • Create first level support for all paid North American customers in Vancouver
  • Provide additional first level support resources for our standard support customers in Manila
  • Provide additional second level support resources for all customers in Vancouver
  • Create new proactive support roles in Vancouver who will reach out proactively to help customers and partners prior to their needing to contact support
  • Create dedicated first level support resources for Sophos Cloud for North America in Burlington
  • We will now have 5 team leaders across Manila and Vancouver to ensure the right coverage and support for team members

Going forward, as our business continues to grow; we also will grow our support capabilities, both through efficient use of new technology, tools, and process, as well as additional team members. We expect to grow our teams in all our key Support centers across the globe in Abingdon, Ahmedabad, Karlsruhe, Manila, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Wiesbaden.

Thank you for all your contributions and hard work. With these changes I am confident we are setting ourselves up for continued success and providing a level of service that delights our customers and partners.

Mary Winfield

SVP Global Support Tel: [redacted]

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