Léon van der Laan

The impact of IT on actual business results is substantial – perhaps more significant than ever before

Who is NL-ix?

Behind the world of the Internet, behind the world of fibers, protocols, peers and terabytes, are actual people making it all work. But who are these people? In other words: Who is NL-ix?

Today: 🤝 Léon van der Laan, Director Wholesale

Together with Maura and our kids Toine and Liz, we live in Berkel en Rodenrijs, just above the great city of Rotterdam. I'm a true Rotterdammer, both in spirit and action. We Rotterdammers are known for our relentless work ethic and unwavering authenticity. We don't shy away from showing our emotions and standing by them – we wear our hearts on our sleeves. Which is great for what I do as a commercial guy. I may sometimes come across as the classic sales guy, but there's much more beneath the surface.

Léon van der Laan, Director Wholesale

My professional journey started at Xerox, an American printing giant. I learnt the ropes of sales there and to me, sales is the most beautiful job there is because it contains empathy, personal development, psychology and creativity. It’s about learning how to listen, not only talk. Then, a shift to Canon exposed me to the Japanese work culture, the values of patience and the spirit of Kyosai—living and working together for the common good. 

A few years down the line, I found myself in the world of IT, and thats when it all clicked. I started  building bridges between the world of technical sales and the needs of our business-oriented clients. To create a genuine connection, especially with those deeply rooted in technical domains, I firmly believe in being 100% authentic. Sales, to me, transcends the act of selling a product; it's about offering a comprehensive solution. Achieving this requires diving deep into the intricacies to understand and effectively address the core problems.

At times, the most effective strategy involves taking a step back, pausing, and extending a listening ear – yes, even in the realm of sales! This approach allows our customers the space to reflect on their decisions. It's not just about selling a solution; it's about understanding their business better, and often, that leads to remarkably better outcomes for our clients.

In the current landscape, the buzz surrounds cloud solutions, datacenters, and SaaS applications. The lifeblood of these companies lies in their connectivity, and this is where NL-ix truly excels. We've honed our expertise in this domain for over two decades.

What we've witnessed over the past decade is a shift in the decision-making landscape within businesses. 'Business minds' are now increasingly taking the reins when it comes to IT solutions. The onus is shared between both the technology and the business teams. This is because, the impact of IT on actual business results is substantial – perhaps more significant than ever before. For instance, when connectivity isn't robust or well-planned, any disruption can have an immediate adverse effect on their business.

“The impact of IT on actual business results is substantial – perhaps more significant than ever before”

Léon van der Laan

This is where NL-ix makes a significant difference – we approach our work from the outside-in, focusing on the customer's perspective. Our sales and technology teams are now engaging in more meaningful conversations and by doing so, are better supporting and inspiring each other. I firmly believe our value to customers goes beyond our products and services; it's about the value we bring to their specific market or customer strategy.

And thus, the results are undeniable. Our client base continues to expand, with some notable names that I would love to celebrate. While confidentiality constraints prevent me from doing so, this is what makes working at NL-ix so thrilling. I take immense pride in being part of this team and eagerly anticipate the remarkable achievements that await us in the future.