SUCCESS STORY There is no alternative to the international industry leader for sensor technology ifmwhen it comes to groundbreaking automation and digitalization technology. Measuring, controlling, regulating and analyzing–more than8,100employees in 95 countries, amongst them approximately 1,780 sales employees and trade partners, take care of more than 160,000 purchasing customers globally. In comparison, you look at an IT department with a little bit more than a dozen employees that handles the entire IT inhouse infrastructure and network technology. Sascha Piech describes why NTS stood out from the beginning when compared to other IT service providers: “We were very well aware that something had to change and when NTS introduced themselves and offered their services, we acknowledged it immediately that joining forceswithNTSwas the right decision. Initially, to startwith,we jointlybrought the environment onto the same patch level. We had more than 20 different types of devices all with different version levels and they all reacted in different ways. We as in-house IT, were almost incapacitated with all this. Thanks to a standardization as a comprehensive transition phase, we were, together with NTS, able to reduce everything to two or three devices, thus entering a supportable state.” BEING FAMILIAR INCREASES THE EFFICIENCY It is definitely not obvious that ifm as an international company did not decide for one of the large, global IT service providers, but for a “relatively small company like NTS that is still a little bit under the radar in this industry.”, illustrates Piech. “Therefore, we added an exit clause into our first contract, which turned out to be irrelevant after a short while.” The decisive arguments for the lasting cooperation were the technical professionalism, the personal relationship, the trustworthiness andof course the product range of Cisco that is available and usable around the globe. The future at ifm promises many challenges for NTS: Especially the topic of security which is a key focus and any troubleshooting at ifm’s customer nowgoes directly to NTS. All of this would have been impossible, were it not for an especially intense organization, which stood behind it: “Every two weeks there are technical meetings about general topics, a project meeting is held monthly and there are the ticket interfaces on top of it. But there is not a single day where we don't talk to somebody WHEN PROFESSIONALS CARE FOR PROFESSIONALS From Europe to North and South America as well as from Africa to Australia: The family-managed ifm group of companies has subsidiaries and development as well as production locations in more than 70 countries. Just the right thing for NTS. Words by: Harald Müller Photo by: ifm Imposing architecture: the headquarters of the global company. FACTS Founded in 1969 in Essen F amily-managed group of companies in its 2nd generation Approximately 8,100 employees Revenue > 1.25 billion Euros (2021) FACTS E stablished in 1951 by Rudolf Haufke in Freiburg im Breisgau 13 locations around the globe Employees: > 2,000 Products/brands: Haufe Akademie, Lexware, Haufe Talent, lexoffice, Smartsteuer, Semigator, Steuerbot and many more “Haufe Group allows people and businesses to get prepared for the challenges of the digital era,” summarizes Andreas Plaul, Chief Information Officer, the line of business of the leading software and media company in one sentence. What sounds so straightforward, is actually a continuous challenge once you take a closer look. For the Haufe Group it is not enough to only be up-do-date though. It is mainly about being able to look beyond the horizon to accurately assess the developments in the future. This growth strategy is driven by the successful mutual utilization of the core competencies of the individual companies and brands. The Haufe Group of today understands itself as a universal partner that empowers people and organizations of all sizes to develop their full potential by using individual software and training solutions. Thus, it is mainly the “business speed” and the continuous adaptions to more and more dynamic market conditions that characterize the Haufe Group in business life. This is also reflected in the impressive history of the Group: Since the founding of the Rudolf Haufe publishing house in 1951, one is working constantly to tap into new lines of business, to acquire suitable companies, to form joint ventures and to develop products. The focus lies on the further development of the implemented technologies as well as the extension of the product portfolio, the businessmodels and the organization. “We are floating a lot of rafts, and some develop into small boats and some into cruise ships”, illustrates Frank Bühler, team leader of the Workplace department, the constantly evolving business of Haufe Group, “Our business fields are changing at an incredibly high speed and along with that, the challenges for the internal IT as well.” At this stage, the NTS and Cisco know-how come into play as well. To ensure a stable and secure IT background for such an internationally operating business, a reliable partner is required, which can react to changes flexibly. This is a veritable challenge with more than 2,100 employees on 13 locations in four countries. Bühler: “Our focus is strongly on software, andwe have many IT nerds sitting at their workstations. Thus, this is a challenge for a service provider such as NTS.” THE TRAINER MUST LOOK FAR AHEAD The focus of an international software and media business like Haufe Group must always be directed far ahead into the future. NTS and Cisco solutions take care of the IT in the background while they don’t lose sight of what is essential. Words by: Harald Müller Photo by: Haufe & Harald Müller Besides the headquarters in Freiburg im Breisgau, the Haufe Group has 13 locations worldwide. The Haufe Group have counted on software development already since the 1990s. Pictured here are (from left to right): Alexander Keller, Frank Bühler, Andreas Plaul. SUCCESS STORY from NTS. However, then it is not about problemsolving, on the contrary–we talk about Managed Service topics or about approvals frommy side.” .. .. 61 60