Since joining Oracle Cloud Insight a bit more than a year ago, Markus has continually leveraged groundbreaking technologies that haven’t only elevated his ample consulting skillset to new levels, but have also allowed him to create extensive value for Oracle’s customers. Having previously worked for more than 10 years for Tier-1 consulting firms McKinsey & Company and Accenture, in Germany and in the Middle East, Markus’ experience and hindsight have allowed him to assess his position at Oracle Cloud Insight in a way that is especially relevant to fellow consulting professionals.
We recently interviewed him about his experience as a consulting professional and how it compares to his current role at Oracle. Below you will find his answers to our questions, as well as some encouraging words to have in mind when you consider your next move, potentially from a similar background.
What is your background? How did you get into consulting?
I’ve spent most of my professional life in IT, starting with teaching myself coding while still in school, followed by technical training in IT systems. My fascination with the possibilities that modern IT applications can enable fueled my motivation from early on.
Realizing the often-apparent gap between business and IT influenced my decision to study Economics and Accounting to learn about the challenges and objectives businesses face. After graduation, I got the opportunity to join Accenture, where I worked on huge IT transformation projects for a couple of years, during which my real passion became more tangible: solving actual business challenges by leveraging the latest technologies.
I then decided to pursue an MBA to acquire the needed management skills, after which I relocated with Accenture to the UAE, an incredible emerging market going through an intensive transformation. Shortly after, I received the opportunity to join McKinsey & Company as part of the firm’s Digital practice. I stayed with the firm for almost 4 years, where, as a Senior Engagement Manager, I got the chance to lead numerous impactful business and technology transformations.
How did you find out about your current job at Oracle Cloud Insight?
I was actually found by a recruiter. Honestly, back then I wasn’t really aware of the concept of value-based selling. However, I found it an interesting and exciting role to tackle. It’s the perfect chance to have the ability within Oracle to not only put all your consulting experiences into practice, but to actually take responsibility for the outcome, and the successful realization of business opportunities.
How do you feel as part of Oracle Cloud Insight?
Cloud Insight gives you the opportunity to support multiple impactful projects across various topics and industries at the same time. The level of readiness and availability of everyone in the team to help each other is incredibly high.
Even though we’re spread out geographically, it doesn’t really feel that way because we’re always connected and have the assurance that, if we need help, we will find it. The team mainly consists of former management consultants who, I think, bring a culture of collaboration to the team, where everyone is driven and motivated by the value we can add to Oracle and our clients. That makes Oracle Cloud Insight a unique place to work.
What is involved in your job’s process? What do you learn from it?
There’s a lot of interaction across multiple teams in every engagement that we do; you never do the job on your own. However, our team usually has, together with the Sales Managers, a pivotal role in shaping and delivering an engagement. We bring all the expertise in the company together, we align the intended solution, and we drive the design and development of a proposal for the client. Normally we’re also in the driving seat when it comes to presenting our proposal to senior clients.
Besides, we have the opportunity to not only shape a deal, but to support hands-on with the actual implementation. That’s an exciting part, as you see the actual impact and the value created for the client. Taking this role within an organization like Oracle provides you with the great opportunity to elevate your leadership and management skills, as often, successful navigation through challenging political circumstances is required to address everyone’s interests.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Oracle provides us with cutting-edge technology, which we can leverage to shape highly differentiated and competitive solutions for customers. We always focus on working with tangible use cases in mind—outcomes where our products help to solve a challenge a customer is facing. Seeing the difference a well-designed solution—be it around Cloud, Big Data, IoT, or Machine Learning—can provide is a highly satisfying experience.
You also completed a training course in Machine Learning; how does that fit into your job?
It’s been mainly out of personal interest. Everybody is talking about AI and Machine Learning, whether you open a technology magazine or website. When I signed up for the course, I was curious to learn what was behind this buzzword, and how Machine Learning is applied in practice.
On a more professional note, Oracle recently introduced its Autonomous Database, which is built on AI and Machine Learning principles, enabling the database to tune, repair, and secure itself without any human intervention. Having completed my training before the launch of the Autonomous Database, I now understand how the database makes decisions, how it learns to identify security incidents, and how it takes measures to protect itself even before a human administrator is notified.
Does everyone in your team need to have a solid technology background?
It certainly helps, but it’s not necessarily a prerequisite to join the team. We first focus on understanding the challenge a client has in a particular area, and then we develop a high-level business case for a potential solution. That is usually more on a less-technical level, tailored to our main audience, which are predominantly CIOs, CTOs, or CFOs.
Nonetheless, technology expertise helps because it provides credibility while presenting a solution to clients—it’s always a plus if you can explain how our cloud works, why it’s secure, or why it performs better than an alternate solution.
However, once you’re in the role, the means and ways to pick up the needed technical knowledge are almost endless. There are always technical experts around you, and the more engagements you support, the more you learn. In my opinion, it’s an incredible opportunity to build skills around these new, emerging technologies which will play a much more important role in the future.
How do you see your career unfolding at Oracle Cloud Insight?
I’ve been able to build an incredible network, consisting of cloud architects, presales experts, product development people, and sales executives inside the company, across multiple regions. For me personally, I’m very satisfied with my role at the moment. But as the market, and with it Oracle as a corporation, evolves and changes at light speed, there are countless opportunities to build a career. It all depends on the background and interest of each individual, but in general, the second-to-none positive reputation of Cloud Insight and the value our team delivers, opens plenty of doors and opportunities internally.
For me, I wouldn’t mind spending some time later on in Product Development. Let’s see how the journey unfolds.
What are your top arguments for people thinking about joining Oracle Cloud Insight?
It has been an incredibly positive experience for me so far. Having done management and technology consulting before, I had a certain baseline of both, IT knowledge and management expertise. However, at Oracle I have acquired valuable behind-the-scenes knowledge: How does Cloud work? What are the challenges our clients have in moving workload from on premise to Cloud? How can we leverage Analytics or Big Data Cloud Services to solve impactful business challenges?
Oracle provides you with the fantastic opportunity to acquire highly in-demand Cloud, IoT, Big Data, and Machine Learning skills. You actually decide how deep you want to get into the technology—for me, a benefit and opportunity that in my opinion is not or only very limited present in consulting.
On the same hand, Oracle enables you to do all of this while benefiting from an amazing work-life balance. We’re able to allocate our time across the projects we want to work on, helping us to free up time to complete trainings, or to spend more time with our families.
Oracle Cloud Insight has open positions for tech-focused consulting professionals who want more out of their careers. The work-life balance and opportunities to learn about cutting-edge cloud technologies are unlike any other place in the industry. Come create the future with us.