Principal Product Manager
At SAP, we build breakthroughs, together.
I am convinced that diversity is very important for success. In my team there are people from many different countries with different cultures and the managers of 3 hierarchy levels above me are all female. I strongly believe that it is important to have more women in leadership. Only diversity helps us to see things from different angles. I like that diversity is part of SAP and that SAP is open for everyone.
I have lived in Germany my entire life and I currently live in Wiesbaden which is 35 km from the SAP Eschborn office. Before the pandemic, I already worked from home 2 or 3 days a week, but hopefully later in 2021 we can all return to the office to meet colleagues for a coffee or lunch in our fantastic canteen! The personal interaction with colleagues is very important to me. Even if people are not working in my area, I like inspiring discussions with colleagues from other SAP business units as we can learn a lot from each other.
In the area I live in there are a lot of vineyards and wineries. One of my best friends is winemaker and creates Riesling and Pinot Noir wines which are among the best in Germany. In Spring, Summer and Fall we oftentimes meet with our friends for a hiking tour through the vineyards and for dining and wine tastings. I also love skiing. Every January I travel with my best buddy to the Dolomites in Italy an enjoy my passion of skiing in a breath-taking area where friendly people are our hosts and serve excellent food and local wines. We enjoy the hospitality and the beautiful nature. I love to travel and have been to many places around the globe. My favourite places are: New Zealand, Hawaii (Maui and Kauai) and South Africa. But I also love Italy, Spain, Norway and Sweden and the Baltic Coast in Germany.
As a travel guy, I started my technology career in the IT department of one of the biggest tour operators in Germany. Travel technology has always been my passion, and so I joined Concur as a Program Manager for our online booking engine “Concur Travel” in 2011. When Concur was acquired by SAP 2014, I joined the SAP family. I felt appreciated and welcomed from the day the acquisition was announced. At the time, I was working in the Concur office in Frankfurt and we all received a welcome gift from our SAP colleagues on our first day as part of the SAP family.
I started at Concur in Program Management which then changed to Product Management. As Product Managers we have also become Product Owners, which gives us more empowerment to influence the development backlog. This was not previously the case as a Program Manager. Within SAP Concur I have so many opportunities to contribute to building great products for our customers which is hugely inspiring.
How do you explain your role to your friends?
To my friends I explain my role as being a translator of business requirements into software requirements. By creating user stories and acceptance criteria I actually tell our software developers what the software should do and how it should work from the functional point of view. My impact is very high as the software is built according to my specifications. If I am wrong, the software will not be designed to solve the business needs of our clients. Most challenging for me is priorization. Resources are limited and there are always more requirements than we can fulfil.
The most exciting aspect of my role is that I can be part of a team that builds great software for our clients. I can see my footprint in many parts of the product which makes me very proud.
How does the future look?
Now is an incredibly exciting time to join SAP Concur as we embark on a one-time opportunity to build a completely new system from the scratch. We can use all of our knowledge, experience, and passion to build something really great and unique that has never existed before. If we put all of our creativity and empowerment into this project, we will become technology and innovation leaders in the travel industry.
Why SAP Concur?
We have an open working culture in our team. Each of us is respected for what we do and how we contribute. We learn from each other and respect each other. I like that everyone is open and listens to what others are saying. I am convinced that diversity is very important for success. In my team there are people from many different countries with different cultures and the managers of 3 hierarchy levels above me are all female. I strongly believe that it is important to have more women in leadership. Only diversity helps us to see things from different angles. I like that diversity is part of SAP and that SAP is open for everyone.
What does success look like?
Personally, success means for me freedom, influence, and recognition. If I am free to be creative and can influence things to happen which end in improvements for our customers, I automatically receive recognition.
My greatest achievement at SAP was during a 6-month fellowship on a completely different team. I was asked to work on a project to optimize the checkout process in SAP canteens in Germany. The purpose was to raise the quality of the purchase process with suppliers and caterers and to give employees a bigger variety of food options. I worked out acompletely automated process with new technology. My suggestion was approved by SAP management and is now in process of being introduced as a pilot. Knowing that the SAP management is convinced that my initiative is innovative, saves costs and makes SAP employees’ lives easier was my best moment in SAP. Nowhere else I have experienced such a high level of trust in me as an employee. Managers have directly involved me in decisions independently from their hierarchy levels.
Years ago, I had a manager who had so much trust in me that she gave me the responsibility for a huge area of products as she was convinced that I will be able to handle it. She helped me to build the level of knowledge and expertise I benefit from today. I would not be where I am today without the trust and confidence given to me by this person.
More about me!
When I was a child, I wanted to become a helicopter pilot in the Navy. But my first ever job was at a public utility company. I was 15 I had to read heat and water meters in peoples’ houses. The job was exhausting and not well paid, but since people were friendly the job was ok, and I made my own money for the first time.
If I could do any other job tomorrow, I would love to have a sail yacht charter company on the Cayman Islands. Since this is not very likely to happen, I love to stay in my current position as Product Manager at SAP Concur!
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