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Hana Souckova

CEE Presales Head in Czech Republic

Hana's Story

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Hana Souckova


New role. What experience have you gained?
I have been in this position for the past three months. It made my start much easier as I was already part of the Presales CEE team for the last three 3 years. I knew the team, the market unit structure and all whom I am managing now.When I accepted this position, my expectations were very different from what it is currently. I thought I´d be doing the same job as a presales manager for two countries but with more countries. The reality was different and for the first time ever, I am managing managers and it’s a totally new experience for me as it requires a very different approach. My most important personal experience was my opportunity to get feedback and input from all the stakeholders. Their different perspectives on how they see presales and what they expect has given me knowledge to design our 2018 strategy. Additionally, I am very positively surprised by all support that has been given to me by my team and from all levels of managers. It was a very smooth transition and from the first moment on, I felt real trust and support which is very important to me.

What do you want change in the next 4-6 months?
As I am still in a double role or even four different roles, my focus now is to find the right candidates whom I can handover my other roles to. The second area that I would like to focus on is communication. We have a lot of space for improvements in this area, within the team, with our internal customers (Sales) and with internal partners (Business Development, Channel Consulting, Demand Managers, MEE teams). In this area of communication, I am not referring to better e-mails or calls, I believe that we are missing direct face-to-face communication, which also provides giving feedback. I would like to bring in some of my best practices which I´ve learnt from other teams to our highly- diverse market unit of 15 countries, languages and sales team.  

What do you bring to the company?
I have studied Civil Engineering at the Technical University in Prague and I have worked at one of the biggest CZECH companies which builds bridges. I have also had the opportunity to work in different departments such as sales, production, finance, marketing, and even field work. After that I joined the IT company SCALA as a Marketing Manager and since then, from 1998, I´ve been in the IT business.I am person who likes challenge and welcome changes which is essential in this business. This attitude is one the most important features I bring to the company. I understand and embrace the constant changes and can adapt quickly. The second great feature I bring in is my love for working with people. I greatly enjoy the moments when I have been able to motivate my employees and find the right development options for them. I am a big believer that each one of us have our own strengths and it is therefore essential to push those within the company.The last personal feature I bring in, is that I don’t limit myself or my team through processes, restrictions or definitions. If I see an area out of our scope that is not covered, I see immediate potential for improvement and try to work at and around it.

What do you like about your work at SAP?
Number one is the freedom. Of course, we have global instructions, presales define the scope of our jobs and just in general we have a lot of corporate duties. But if I look directly at the business it is in our hands how we design our work and company environment. I am very creative person and so freedom is very important for me. Number two is the people. I´ve been with the company for only 3 years and in this time, I´ve had the opportunity to work with very interesting people which I enjoy very much. A lot of inspiration and fruitful discussions are presented and this I believe is huge value at SAP. 

How to balance work and life as a mother/manager?
I have three secrets – my family, yoga and my planning abilities. I have two kids -a boy (12) and a girl (7). We are a very sportive and active family. Both of my kids are semi-professional mountain bikers so all my free time is spent around bikes. My son already actively participates in the Czech Mountain Bike Championships and during the last competition he came in 8th -so I am a very proud mother! Balancing my children’s races is not easy but is a definite must for me and this alone demands a lot of my attention. Six years ago, I met a unique person who later not only became my yoga teacher but a very good friend. She taught me how to get enough rest and how to listen to my body. I practice yoga 3-5 time per week and still have private lessons with her. This is for my long-term personal growth journey and I believe it shows me a lot of important lessons to be learned. Finally, my third secret is planning. I am a very structured person and have my daily plan with all my priorities. I have learned to say no to things which are not important for me to be able to balance my busy work and private life.

What do you in your free time?
Basically, what I mentioned above – bike, yoga, family, shopping. This year in particular, we organized 6 bike races with more than 2000 kids and I managed the entire process with the help of a few friends – marketing, web, communication, organization, the day itself activities, videos etc. It was very time consuming but seeing the kids smiling at the end pays off for all the effort.I also really love skiing, in the winter months we rent a rent a small flat in Spindleruv Mlyn – a small Czech “Aspen” and spend our weekends zooming around the mountains. Of course, none of this would be possible without the love and support from my family. So, I am very grateful for my husband and children.  

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