Working within a virtual team
By Tim Koekkoek on Jan 10, 2012
Have you ever thought that you could be part of a team whose members aren’t in the same office as you are and not even in the same country? Have you ever thought your colleagues would be from different cultures? I hadn’t thought about it before coming to Oracle. In business today, many companies are made up of virtual teams. License Management Services ECEMEA (Eastern Central Europe, Middle East and Africa) that I am part of, is one such team.
My name is Susan and I’m a License Management Services graduate based in Johannesburg, South Africa. After I completed my Finance degree at the University of Johannesburg, I went on to study Management Marketing and Logistics in Communications in the Czech Republic. Challenging isn’t it? For 2 years I was exposed to a completely different culture and I really enjoyed it. Nothing builds character like adapting to an environment that’s the opposite of one you have known all your life. I truly believe that this experience was in preparation for something bigger that was to come into my life. I was being prepared for the new chapter I was about to embark on in LMS team within Oracle.
License Management Services determines the Oracle licenses our customers use as compared to what they are granted to use. Through a process that involves our customers every step of the way, we reconcile those differences. My role in LMS is to perform reviews, coordinate several campaigns, I also offer support to my team where possible. Being a team located in different continents makes my daily tasks much more challenging and exciting.
What countries are we located in? South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Russia. Of course, we all come from different backgrounds and some members are based in a country that is not even their birth country. It’s a big challenge for us, but we manage to make it work. Having the ability to connect with someone at the click of a button to exchange ideas and knowledge is somehow still fascinating to me. Despite the distance between us, I have become an effective member of my team. I have benefited in so many ways through virtual collaboration. One of the biggest benefits is that I am no longer limiting myself to work with just a team in South Africa. My dream and ambitions travel over long distances. They begin in Johannesburg all the way to Cairo and Moscow.
The first time I met the team in person was in Prague. This meeting brought a positive input to our team and it definitely was a special moment. Nevertheless, before this moment, we still had to work together and talk on the phone. So trust was built on these virtual relationships months before the face-to-face meeting. We have all become closer with time. Not only have we built working relationships but I believe I have made some great friendships. I cannot imagine myself working and learning from a better group of people than those I have in ECEMEA. Because we make use of all virtual tools that Oracle offers, I am able to stay in touch with this amazing group of people who are my colleagues, mentors and friends. What more could a graduate ask for?!