Who are the people behind the success stories of Implico? How did they find us and what inspires them in their everyday work?
In this section, colleagues from all departments give insights into their teams, projects and tasks. Discover the many facets of Implico – presented by staff members of all hierarchy levels from student employee to team lead.
You’re one of the younger employees at Implico, but you’ve been with the company a long time. How did that happen?
When I was finished with the classroom part of my vocational qualification, I applied for a marketing internship. I was approved for a three-month internship. Later this was extended to six months, which was good because I needed a six-month internship for my vocational qualification anyway. The six months quickly turned into a year.
Then I decided to study business administration, but I wanted to keep working at Implico. I was offered a position as a student assistant. During the first two semesters, I realized that working at Implico was much more enjoyable than my classes, and I felt a lot more comfortable in the office than at the university. My boss, the responsible managing director and the head of HR then offered me the chance to train as a marketing communications specialist. I finished the training in 2015 and have been permanently employed ever since.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
We don’t really have typical workdays in marketing very often. We have to be very flexible because plans often change and ad-hoc tasks pop up. Of course there are the everyday activities like answering e-mails, making to-do lists, working through various jobs or talking with colleagues about different issues. Teamwork is especially important to me. Everyone on the team has their own special area, but we always jump in for one another when someone needs a helping hand.
What are your specific responsibilities?
PR and intranet editing, event organization, marketing controlling, website maintenance, running social media accounts and dealing with trademark protection. In recent years I’ve focused on event management and marketing controlling. I like the mixture of creative, spontaneous activities and the classic task of recording and analyzing data.
What do you like about the company?
The flexible working times, the collegial atmosphere and Implico’s social attitude. For example, the company organizes health days and offers places in a nearby daycare center. And there’s always someone available to talk to when you need it.
What do you see in your future?
I could imagine that, even a year from now, we might be working very differently to how we work today. In marketing in particular, processes, responsibilities and technologies are continually changing, and this fast pace has a major influence on our job. We’re always facing new issues we’ve never dealt with before. I think my future at Implico will continue to be very exciting, challenging and enjoyable.
I started in 2001 as an external employee working for an IT service provider, and two years later I joined Implico directly. When my department was dissolved in 2011, I could have stayed – but I wanted to seize the opportunity to have new experiences elsewhere. My new job didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, however, and then new options opened up at Implico. So I came back a year later.
In terms of content and hierarchy, my role has changed a lot over the years. I started as a developer, but now I lead our SAP project team.
What are some typical responsibilities in your job?
Typical responsibilities include personnel recruitment, personnel management and project management, including the coordination of multiple projects.
When you work on projects with customers, you’re exposed to interesting countries and cultures. You get around a lot – whether it’s to Saudi Arabia, the African continent, Italy or Bavaria. Travel can be strenuous, but a purely office-based job wouldn’t be my thing. Even though I’m not always going to vacation destinations, I always get to experience very different ways of life. I find that interesting.What’s important to you as a manager?
Freedom. It’s important for me that the executive management gives me the freedom to make certain decisions. But it’s just as important for me to give my employees freedom and not to exploit them.
What do you appreciate about your employees?
Their independence, proactiveness and entrepreneurial thinking. This makes life easier for me as a team leader. I appreciate the flexibility they demonstrate. And that people who have left sometimes come back – just like I did.
What was it like when you joined?
It was the best-organized introduction to a company that I’ve ever experienced. I was picked up in the morning, everything was explained to me, my workstation was already set up. At noon the team took me to lunch, and the team leader spent the whole day with me.
What have you learned so far?
The first thing I learned was that other management styles can work too. Everyone is very informal, there’s a lot of freedom to make decisions and a flat hierarchy. I’d never experienced that before, but it works.
What do you like about the company?
I think what Implico offers its dual students is great: a laptop you can use in class, a public transportation pass, book money and bonus payments for good performance. And free water, coffee and tea for the employees also isn’t something you find everywhere. I like that Implico pushed for a city bike station right in front of the building – it only takes me 13 minutes to get to work.
That I was asked my opinion right from the first day, and that I was accepted incredibly quickly. A lot of people read the new employee profiles on the intranet and talked to me about it.What do you see in your future?
I want to finish my studies here, and I’d be delighted if I was offered a job here afterward. I hope that my good impression holds, and that Implico is the type of employer I would be happy to come work for every morning.
You’ve been at the company longer than anyone else. How did your career start?
In August 1983 I started out as a trainee at the Rechenzentrum Buhre, as the company was known then. There were five of us: the two company founders, a developer, a secretary and me. It was like a family – it was always very important to the two managers that the employees were happy. More employees joined in the course of time, and at some point we got the OpenTAS solution up and running. Along the way I had two children and took time off. Later I was appointed head of the client development team.
What has your experience been as a female manager in IT?
At first I had the impression that some people were thinking, “Hm, this woman thinks she can tell me what the deal is?” But the longer I was in the position, the better things went, and now it’s just accepted.
What do you like most about your job?
I always find it exciting to be involved in projects and think about how we can present customers with software solutions that are perfectly tailored to them. But I also enjoy interacting with my colleagues from Solution Management and with the consultants. I stopped developing software myself a long time ago.
What do you appreciate about your team?
That they always help each other and never leave me in the lurch, even when things get hectic. I can always completely and totally rely on my team.
How does it feel when a solution goes live for a customer?
There’s naturally a sense of pride. If the customer is in Hamburg, we always try to take developers along so they can see the software they’ve developed and how the customer responds to it. I think it’s important as a developer to get this direct feedback from customers, whether it’s positive or negative.
You’re one of the “old hands” who worked for the company even before it was called Implico. How did you get started here?
I worked for the company that developed MinOil. The firm sold the product to the Rechenzentrum Buhre (RZB), the predecessor to Implico. That’s when a number of employees – myself included – moved to RZB. In 2001 the company was renamed Implico.
What does a typical workday look like for you?I’m mainly responsible for producing the online documentation for our SAP software – a kind of instruction manual aimed at users, but also at consultants. To do this, I work intensively with SAP, and I can even connect to a computer at the German SAP headquarters in Walldorf. At the same time, I’m in close contact with our developers here at Implico.
What do you particularly like about your job?
I actually enjoy everything. There’s always something new because the technical foundations change. In all of my years here, I’ve never been bored. And the environment is great as well. My colleagues are nice and always willing to chat, and I get along very well with my superior. I like coming here in the morning. And the flexible working times also suit me very well!
How do you like to use your flexible working hours?
For sports. I go jogging once a week, either around the Alster or as interval training. Implico has an arrangement with a nearby gym where employees can shower for free. Sometimes I also leave work early to go running, or I jog here in the morning and then shower. That’s the great thing about flexible working times.
You are from Brazil. What was it like when you joined Implico?
It was a really lovely surprise. There was a welcome gift waiting for me, and my PC and e-mail account were already configured. Implico is the first company where everything was ready to go when I started – but maybe that’s common in Germany …
What are your responsibilities, and what does a typical workday look like for you?
I’m responsible for expanding our international business and developing it particularly in Latin America. When I’m not traveling, I have a few meetings every day, but none of them are unnecessary. I like taking the time to talk with people from other departments in order to understand how we can best work together. The people here are also very open – unlike many other companies, where no one looks beyond their own department.
What’s special about working at Implico?
My colleagues are great, very friendly and helpful. They also help me a lot with my German. And I have a lot of confidence in our solutions – that makes my job much easier, because I’m selling something I believe in.
What do you see in your future at Implico?
I see a very promising future for Implico in the market, and I would be proud to be part of the team for a long time to come.
You started at Implico as a trainee, but then you opted for a dual studies course. How did that come about?
When I joined Implico in 2014, there was no dual studies position available, so I started training as an IT specialist. But I didn’t feel challenged enough in vocational school. When I found out that you could study at Implico, I asked the manager responsible for my department whether I could switch. I had already been at the company for nearly two months. But Implico made the switch possible, and after I was accepted by the university I could get started right away, so I didn’t lose any time.
What do you like about Implico?
We work in an exciting field here, and there’s lot of variety in the different departments and activities.
The relationship between the employees is great. It’s just nice to work here. Everyone is friendly and helpful, and they interact on an equal footing. The fact that we’re all very informal here makes it a lot easier. I’ve been here for four years now, and I’ve never experienced a fight or any real problems between the employees.What has been your best experience so far?
Once when we were on site with a customer, it was my co-worker’s birthday. Our contacts at the customer’s company knew this and had arranged breakfast. Over the years you get to know and appreciate one another – that was really lovely to see.
What was it like when you joined Implico?
I started on 1 January 2005, but I’d already been invited to the Christmas party in December 2004. I was so excited. The onboarding process, where a lot of departments introduce themselves to new employees, didn’t exist back then. I was kind of thrown in at the deep end: two weeks after I started, my superior went on vacation.
What does a typical workday look like?
There’s no such thing as a typical day. First I check e-mail – my own and the team address. Then I prioritize the inquiries and work through them. I’m responsible for changes to the SAP system for one of our customers, so there’s always something to deal with there. In general, my focus is on creating and maintaining permissions concepts, defining processes and creating new user roles.
As the Information Security Officer, you’re also responsible for the introduction of the ISMS. What does that mean?
I’m establishing the management system for information security. I have to ensure that we define processes and regularly audit them. I also report to the management, and I’m the point of contact and consultant for security-related issues. The biggest challenge is raising awareness of security among all the employees.
Since I work part-time and have two children, this extra responsibility can often be a real balancing act. But sometimes I can work from home, which makes it easier. And when the work is enjoyable, it's not a problem.
What do you appreciate about the company and your colleagues?
The working environment is very good here, we all have a nice relationship. The communication is great – you can always knock on somebody’s door. And I have the flexibility here that I need.
You changed employers in the middle of your studies and joined Implico. How did that come about?
I had started studying in Stade and was working for a small company. It turned out that I couldn’t do what we had originally agreed there. It’s not easy to change employers in the middle of a degree, but I saw that Implico was looking for students, so I just sent an e-mail. First there was an introductory meeting, then an interview. It was all very smooth – I obviously showed up at the right time.
How were your first days on the new job?
On the first day I was shown everything, the different departments and so on. The “10 Hours Implico” program started at the same time, where each department introduces itself – like a crash course through all the divisions. I also received tank terminal training. Since I already had more professional experience than the new students, I was able to start working immediately.
Which department do you work in?
I’m in Consulting for Implico’s OpenTAS solution. At my old company I was actually supposed to work in project management, but I wound up having to develop a lot. Here I can do what I actually wanted to do. I work mainly for a customer in Ireland, so I deal with their project managers a lot and I’ve visited them, too.
What are your main responsibilities – and which of them do you like most?
Around ten percent of my job involves organizing and following up on the day’s work. Then there are a lot of meetings and discussions where we plan things, restructure things and look for solutions for our customers. The actual implementation only takes about 20 percent of my time. I mostly like identifying problems and optimizing processes. I find it exciting to think about how something can be of benefit in the long term. The great thing is that you’re not forced into a particular lane here. There’s a goal, but you’re free to get there however you want.
What have you learned so far?
I’ve definitely learned what it’s like to work internationally. A lot of things are almost easier for me to do in English than in German. I’ve learned to work independently, and I have a better eye for the big picture, I can see beyond the end of my own nose.
What do you particularly like about the company?
I like that the company is so international. Even internally, you get to know so many different people from different cultures, and it’s great. I like the relaxed and respectful interaction. You can talk to everyone here as an equal, including the managing directors. Even as a student, you’re not viewed as cheap labor but as a valuable colleague. And as a commuter, the flexible working times are great for me.
Would you recommend Implico as an employer to other students?
Obviously I can only speak for myself and the field of IT, but Implico is one of the few companies in Hamburg where you can cover all aspects of your studies: software development, marketing and controlling, and even sales and consulting. This is very attractive for students, and it’s something you usually only find in very big companies. It gives you the chance to figure out where you want to work in the future. After all, who knows what they want to do straight out of high school?
Some employees have been here since before the Implico brand existed – you’re one of them. What’s your story?
Shortly before the company was renamed Implico, it took over a product and several employees from another firm. I was one of the first to move to Implico. I helped established the new SAP division right from the start.
My primary role is to act as the link between Implico and SAP. I’m responsible for our SAP products, from design and development, through coordination and testing, all the way to the release strategy, documentation and maintenance. But as the department head, I’m also involved in HR recruitment and continued professional development, trial days for potential employees, and coordinating with the other team leaders.What have the biggest challenges been in this job?
One very big challenge was joining the SAP world from the outside – to be recognized and taken seriously. First I had to learn what the partnership with SAP actually means. What has to be done to ensure that our products are shipped just like something developed by SAP in Walldorf? Over the years we’ve worked more and more closely with SAP employees.
The different levels of HR responsibility are another challenge. Internal employees, external employees, students, interns, trainees – these five different employee groups all have different demands and needs.
Luckily I’m not alone. I have very good colleagues and very good team leaders – that’s the only way it can work.
What’s special about working at Implico?
There are very few structures here – but a lot of freedom to create structures. You rarely run up against “it’s always been that way.” I really appreciate the fact that you can work so autonomously here.
The international aspect is exciting too. Because of the labor shortage, we recruit worldwide. This means that interesting people from all over the world come together in our department.
What do you expect from your teams?
Personal initiative. A lot is changing in the field of technology, and there isn’t always a briefing on what’s new. The employees have to grapple with, research and try out new things themselves. I expect independence from my team leaders – they can organize their departments however they see fit. If I have to monitor employees, they’re not the right employees.
How does it feel when a solution successfully goes live for a customer?
I’d say there’s definitely a sense of pride. After all, we work on very critical issues, not just things that are nice to have. The processes of global corporations run on our solutions. For one of our customers, we recently introduced the brand-new S/4HANA software, which hadn’t yet been used anywhere else. And it worked perfectly from day one. The project was time-sensitive and the deadlines got shorter and shorter – but our department handled it. That makes me proud.