08.02.2023 | Blog About Enterprise Search, Experts and Enthusiasts
The job that suits the employee
The IntraFind team is a balanced mixture of young colleagues with fresh know-how and "old hands" with many years of professional experience. The fact that employees can contribute according to their skills and thus change within the company is certainly one reason why some of them have been with the company for a long time.
HR manager Lisa Oberhofer talks to search rockstar Manuel Brunner, who knows the enterprise search specialist IntraFind from very different perspectives.
Manuel, please tell us about your tasks and beginnings at IntraFind
When I started at IntraFind in 2008, I was employee number eight and the only project manager besides the board member and co-founder Franz Kögl. After being an IPMA Level C trained project manager, I had a lot of leeway to establish new processes and project management quality in the then small and agile company. Over the next few years, the troop of project managers grew larger, and I was allowed to build up the Professional Services organization and accompany it for many years.
Since I have always preferred to work with and on people and enjoyed dealing with the technical and professional topics around AI and search, I moved to sales seven years ago – more specifically to partner management.
Especially the long-term relationships we have with our customers and partners, their technical expertise and enthusiasm for the topics that inspire us every day drive me and give me pleasure.
What do you still find exciting about search projects?
Yes, it's funny actually. I've been doing this for almost 20 years and I'm still passionate about it.
Search projects are always also knowledge management projects. They are often data science projects, and more and more AI projects. The technology is changing rapidly and yet the basis and basic requirement for the technology and the project remains constant. However, new questions and use cases are always being added.
I can always weigh in all my experience here, always tackle new challenges – and I like demanding projects, even when things get tricky at times. It is a good feeling to make the customers satisfied and maybe sometimes even happy and proud of what has been implemented. It is just nice when we can help them with our products and our work. Every project always takes place on a personal level. It has a lot to do with understanding, putting ourselves in the customer's position and problem. Often, it's about finding creative solutions with great technology, but also to simply stand on stage and inspire about the topic, our own products and the great people that make up IntraFind.
There is a lot in it that I also need as a hobby musician on stage.
When Franz Kögl introduced me as our "search rockstar" at a customer and partner day a few years ago, it was clear to me that this was exactly the title that suited me and was authentic. So, I became a search rockstar and I am proud of it.
After 15 years at IntraFind - What do you appreciate about the company?
Besides the exciting topics? Most of all the human interaction. It's always the person and their personal situation that counts above all else. For example, if someone in the family is ill or you yourself may be ill - I have never experienced that a solution was not found immediately. I can say without ifs and buts, IntraFind is a truly family-friendly company.
In addition, decisions are always made transparently. We are not a venture capital-driven company where only quarterly figures count. Of course, we all think as entrepreneurs, but the goal is to be successful in the long term and in a sustainable way. We base our decisions on whether features make the software better, in the sense of "if it adds value for the user, they will prefer and use the solution more". This has many implications in the development of the software. Everyone can and should contribute, everyone is heard. We have flat hierarchies, and especially during the Pandemic we all experienced how great it is to work in a medium-sized company that still has startup character.
I also really like our team. It's a great mix of old hands and young guns. For a software company, the proportion of female colleagues is very high, which is something else I appreciate in my daily work with them. Then we have I don't know how many nations and languages united, and yet we are still a “very German” company.
What advice would you give to new IntraFind colleagues to be successful?
Be authentic, get involved, put your heart and soul into it, take responsibility, think entrepreneurially, and use your common sense every day anew...