I'm 10 miles south of Brussels near the small town of Lasne and
it's great cycling around here thanks to the hilly terrain and
country atmosphere. It's not too difficult finding the head office
for Systemat thanks to the big blue, street-level sign bearing
the words "Systemat Computers" next to the road. Systemat,
with revenues of 296 million Euros, operates in seven countries
and employees over 1,000 people.
The two-story red brick building has a 1980's- look to it and
reminds me of golf clubhouse. On display in the lobby are four
old IBM computers and though by "old" I mean only maybe
15 years but, in the world of computers that's a dinosaur. Looking
past the reception desk and through a large window at the rear
of the building one sees an expanse of well-manicured grasssimilar
to what one sees when teeing off on a golf course. The view out
the rear window and the fact this building reminds me of a golf
clubhouse makes me wonder if that's what it's suppose to make
The receptionist checks to see who ended up with my letter of
introduction mailed a month earlier to CEO Jean-Claude Loge.
Oh-oh, it seems nobody knows anything about the letter of introduction.
But, everything turns out okay thanks to personnel in the Marketing
department agreeing to field my questions. My thanks for the
input of the five people, with only two getting recognized here
because they're the only ones who had their business cards handy
(Flora Basta, Senior Marketing Officer and Pascal Vinclair, Marketing
When told that about 200 people work here I look up in disbelief
because this two-story building (built in 1989) isn't that big.
It turns out there's a cluster of buildings in a modern office
park next door and Systemat occupies four of the buildings. It's
a mixed-use area with employee parking free and plentiful, there's
no formal dress code, no company cafeteria, smoking isn't allowed
in the workplace and meeting rooms are numbered. It's about a
mile and a half to the nearest freeway, 20 minutes to Brussels
airport and Systemat has no corporate aircraft. Any unusual employee
I don't get to see CEO Jean-Claude Loge's office (which overlooks
the well-manicured lawn) or the boardroom.
Company website: www.systemat.com