Christian is responsible for the collaboration tools at SKIDATA. The passionate surfer also helps decide how processes will be run within the company in the future.
What surprised Christian most about SKIDATA? “I didn’t expect the company to retain its start-up character,” he says. “I thought that everything in a company that was more than 40 years old would have long been fixed and established. There’s an openness to new technologies and changes here and a chance to try to new things that I found very gratifying”.
Before Christian joined SKIDATA in 2015, he worked as a programmer at digital agencies including seven years at Pixelart. He joined SKIDATA because it’s “not an agency”. “I used to have individual web projects, mainly coding and taking care of technical development,” he says. “At some point, I didn’t want new clients every week who always wanted the same thing—I wanted one client who I could then take care of a little better”.
Christian has had the chance to do so at SKIDATA: He started as a web developer, rose to Senior IT in Professional Collaboration and then later to the Team Coordinator for Collaboration & Business Intelligence. Today, he works as the IT Expert for Solution Architect Collaboration & HR in the Business Process Management Application team. He decides which tools SKIDATA should use for collaboration, and he decides on optimal processes. It’s not an easy task, considering that SKIDATA has offices in 27 countries around the world.
Christian also ensures that users know how to use available tools. For example, he makes sure that the same tools are used for similar tasks and that there are no siloed applications for solutions. When everything is up and running, he then looks to the future and plans the next steps for building and expanding the application portfolio. After all, the strategic development of the application landscape is also part of his responsibilities. “I have both an advisory and a strategic function,” Christian explains. “I drive things forward”. As such, he rarely does any programming anymore.
“The paper must go”
As an ambassador of change, Christian also drives cultural change within the company, and the digital transformation in general. “I show colleagues how to optimize processes,” he says. For example: “There doesn’t need to be a paper where someone has to sign. And digitalization doesn’t mean that we scan papers—it means that the paper must go”.
Initially, Christian’s work at SKIDATA was still very development-heavy. Over time, it moved more towards the conceptual, and towards consulting. “When we updated the website, I was the technical project manager,” Christian explains. “Then, over the course of the next few years, there have been a few more interesting projects where I was able to take over technical project management or even the project management entirely”. What he likes about his job at SKIDATA is the openness to technology and the freedom in his role. “I see incredible potential for development for both the company, and for myself”.
Christian’s next goal is to strengthen his focus on business architecture, creating not only technical interfaces between systems but–more importantly–between individual teams and processes. “I see this role as my chance to help shape the strategic development of SKIDATA”.
The workday begins in the water
When Christian isn’t working, he loves to be in the water: Windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle-boarding or just swimming. “The day often begins for me with a round of swimming in the lake, even before breakfast”. His mother was also a passionate surfer, and he was sat on her surfboard as a little boy. “Today, I live directly on Mondsee with my family, and we have many other beautiful lakes to choose from within a 20-minute drive, depending on how the wind is at any moment”. On vacation, he heads to distant waters. His coolest surf trip took him to Florianópolis in southern Brazil. His dream destination is the island of Maui in Hawaii.
Christian also enjoys bouldering. At the Mondsee Alpine Club, he regularly teaches recreation bouldering to children’s groups. “I’m especially pleased that I can pass on my hobbies to my seven-year-old son,” says Christian. “When he goes out and stands on the board himself or conquers a new climbing route, it fills me with pride”.