Christian Nagel is one of bancon’s longest standing employees, now in his eleventh year with us he has worked on the majority of our data migration projects across the globe. Playing a key hybrid role across consulting and developing, we of course had to find out more over a virtual coffee.


Tell us about your background before joining bancon

I studied Ancient History and German Literature at University, so nothing to do with IT or technology! After graduating, I fell into a recruitment job as a headhunter for SAP consultants, which only required the soft skills I had learnt during my studies. After 2 years the 2008 recession hit and I felt I needed a more stable job and a change to do something I was more interested in and suited my skills - cold calling didn’t come naturally to me. From speaking to SAP consultants and reading the job descriptions I developed an interest in SAP and programming. I was lucky that at the time an opportunity came up to complete an SAP course which was fully funded by the German government. I gained an SAP certificate in Waldorf and started my search for a company where I could continue to learn.


What attracted you to bancon?

Claudia Hoffmann reached out to me on Xing, which is very similar to LinkedIn but more widely used in Germany. It was my chance for my first role within the SAP industry. I met with founders Jörg Mauelshagen and Bernhard Stricker who saw my potential rather than my lack of experience. Our personalities clicked and I was inspired by the vision they had for bancon and was eager to be a part of the journey to get there. Immediately there was a synergy between what they were looking to achieve as a company, and what I wanted to achieve in my career.


What was the first project you worked on?

In my first interview with bancon I was asked ’Would you travel to Australia?’ and 3 months later I was in Sydney! My first data migration project working with CBA, bancon were sub-contracted by SAP to migrate loan accounts from a legacy non-SAP system over to SAP loans management. I was thrown in the deep-end which meant I learnt so much. My English wasn’t brilliant and we were working with SAP teams globally from South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines so lots of different accents too. In total I made 4 visits to Sydney over 1 and a half years, staying for several months each time until the project was completed successfully, it was a fantastic first experience.


Wow, what a start to your time at bancon. What other big data migration projects have you worked on?

The majority of projects have been in Germany. I have worked with Rabobank since 2013 across several data migration projects, they are our longest standing client. We have worked on 7 migrations with them, which have all been pre-requisites to the end goal and most complex project of their private loan system, this is now underway.


What is your role in these projects?

My role is a real hybrid between technical consultant and developer, specifically within data migration. I form part of the team to consult right at the start of the project and scope out the design based on the customer project requirements. I am the go-to data migration expert at bancon as well as for the MWB SAP tool, there aren’t many experts on this tool in the industry but bancon have a few employees who are. Something quite exciting is that bancon are working on our own migration tool called bMigrationEngine. Working across so many migration projects using different tools we are able to understand the benefits but also the downfalls of existing tools so we want to create a tool that combines all the best elements.


Can you tell us a bit more about bMigrationEngine?

bMigrationEngine will allow us to accelerate each stage of the migration event, extract-transform-load, through a simple to use application with pre-packaged content for the SAP Fioneer Transactional Banking on S/4HANA. It is heavily customisable and extendable to support customer specific developments and with an intuitive UI, root-cause analysis assistance and flexible data transformation logic it will become an integral tool in any SAP Banking project.


Finally, what would you say to someone who was thinking of joining bancon?

bancon has a great atmosphere and culture which comes from the top. Jörg and Bernhard trust you to take control of your role and allow you the freedom to make it your own, while always having your back. They have built a great group of people around them who are all genuinely nice people to work with. Nobody at bancon overcomplicates the work, everyone wants to be productive and efficient which makes projects, for the most, run smoothly. There are lots of benefits of working for a smaller company including more opportunity to have your say, lots of flexibility and less hierarchy so you have access to the most senior team members who listen to your input.


If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, take a look at our careers page or get in touch with Claudia Hoffmann.