Five years anniversary in Rehfeld/Effektor/IMS Health
Today, I have been employed in Rehfed/Effektor/IMS health for five years. It has been five incredible years.
I started as a senior consultant working on performance problems in applications and data warehouse flows as well as ETL development using SSIS. After 8 months I got the chance to write the data warehouse part of a bid we made to build the largest public data warehouse project at the time. We won the project (this is where you first go "YES! This is great" and then afterwards "F...! How a I going to do this?"), and I spent the next 6 months doing capacity planning, hardware specification, storage configuration and database installation and configuration. I was a great challenge, but great fun as well. During this period, I was also the technical project manager for our part of the project and had to deal with impossible deadlines, colleagues going down with stress and a somewhat immature partner in the project (their junior consultants installed Visual Studio on the super-duper tuned data warehouse server one week before production of phase one. Boy, I was mad for weeks after that stunt). Rehfeld made me principal consultant a month into the project.
Then the team lead of the Effektor development team chose to leave Rehfeld, and I was appointed Head of R&D. My responsibilities were to take over the team management as well as project and product management with the strategic goal of getting Effektor partner ready. After a six months, we shipped Effektor 5.3 with windows installer. license check and improved user manual. This version is in my opinion the first partner ready release of the product. We also had Effektor ISV certified with Microsoft as part of this strategy.
During 2013 and 2014, I also had the pleasure of establishing an internship program (called "Rugekassen") for Rehfeld, where we recruited, employed and trained more than ten junior consultants to become the future BI consultants in the company. Adjacent to this activity, I also participated in the DIKU business club as well as being part of the advisory board for a BI eduction program in Sweden. And we had university students doing projects and thesises within topics such as building a social media data warehouse using Effektor, auto-generation of regression models from star schema models, differential privacy models in a data warehouse setting, measuring data warehouse performance and a few more.
Rehfeld was generous to sponsor flight tickets and pay for hotel expenses to give me the possibility to speak on database releated topics at various events in Europe. Since 2013, I have spoken more than thirty times at conferences (SQL Rally, Microsoft Campus Day, SQL Saturdays), SQL Server and Oracle user group meetings and university courses. This has given me a great international network of interesting people and many great learning experiences, both as a speaker and as a participant.
A Twitter message lead to talks, negotiations and eventually a Rehfeld/Effektor partnership with Varigence, the company behind the Biml technology and the products Mist, Biml online and Biml flex. I made all that happen, all the way from early talks, negotiations and contract addendums. And after negotiations, I took responsibility of planning the Nordic Biml tour, where we took Varigence CEO and Biml inventor Scott Currie for a speaking tour in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. That was also good fun.
The work on partner ready for Effektor eventually lead to a natural process of separation from the consultancy part of Rehfeld, ending with a spin off of Effektor to a separate company and with me as the CEO of this new adventure. Moving to the States with my family in 2015 gave me the possibility to work with partner recruitement and management, sales, marketing and communication on top of my responsibilities of team, project and product management. Very interesting and very different from what I normally do. I now have a different view on these job roles and the hard work you need to put into it to make that work.
With Effektor being a Microsoft ISV partner, I was lucky to be included in the SQL Server 2016 TAP programme, and was also invited to visit Microsofts HQ in Seattle and speak with programme managers from the SQL Server development team. Apart from being awesome to be there, it was also interesting to learn that their issues with product and release management as well as partner engagement and communications were so similar to the ones we had with Effektor. In a very different scale of course, but still similar.
Six months ago Effektor was acquired by IMS Health. Now my focus for Effektor is still sales and partner support, but also to sell the product internally. IMS Health has many, many projects with focus on data and they have a LOT of data. So I envision a great future for Effektor inside IMS offerings. Within IMS I also have a new role as datawarehouse/BI principal, where I work in technical presales as well as customer advisory and helping in starting up projects. I hope to take my career even further within IMS Health and be able to continue to do awesome stuff in the future.