‘I cannot think of a better job for me than this!’ We talk to Eckhard Bogner regional sales manager for Germany at FortConsult, about making an actual difference to the safety of his clients and networking with a purpose.
What was your path to cyber security and NCC Group?
During my career, I have worked for several IT companies that provide performance management solutions as well as web applications on various system platforms. Here, I was introduced to a database audit solution and, especially, the need for advanced security technology solutions in the market, which really triggered my interest in IT security. Helping clients improve their security based on their needs, skills and expertise, is what it’s all about for me. As a trusted security advisor in NCC Group, I have access to the company’s broad range of service offerings that cover practically all aspects of IT security, which allows me to help clients to actually improve their IT security maturity. I cannot think of a better job for me than this!
How does a normal workday as Regional Sales Manager in Germany look for you?
I work remotely and communicate with my peers by email, phone and networking apps. Several days of the week, I am on the road to visit prospects and clients or my peers in NCC Group offices. Roughly once a month, I attend an event to talk about NCC Group to clients and prospects. I happen to like this very much - being on stage and presenting an interesting topic is something that makes my life even more exciting.
You are involved in Guide Share Europe (GSE). Tell us more about the purpose of it.
GSE is an independent user group, initially formed by IBM customers, but which today consists of IT professionals of all sorts. The majority of the larger companies in Germany are members. GSE is organized in 43 workgroups that cover specific IBM products like zOS, IMS, DB2, RACF, etc., as well as general topics of the IT industry like data privacy, young IT professionals (below 30 years of age) and information security management (ISM). The purpose of the working groups is, essentially, to create a forum of knowledge sharing between industry colleagues at all levels. We exchange practical experiences and ideas in all aspects of information technology and solutions and gain unique insights into future technologies via our network. Ultimately, this helps us create better security in our own and our clients’ organizations. Each workgroup is run by a chairman and one to three co-chairmen. I have been co-chairman of the ISM workgroup for two election periods, i.e. four years in total, and have just been re-elected during our group meeting in Landshut earlier this week. As a co-chairman, I support organizing the three annual meetings, and at times I am responsible for organizing an event on my own if my company is the host.
What does being a co-chairman entail and how do you balance it with everyday work life?
I create the invitation document and search for speakers for our events together with my fellow chairmen. I also create the agenda, send out the invitations and reply to the registrants to confirm their attendance. If I am the host – as is the case this week in Landshut – I hold a presentation about the company I work at to introduce the audience to our deliverables. In Landshut, for example, we will run one round of NCC Group's gamification of awareness training, called “Are you secure”, in German. Since the people I talk to at GSE ISM meetings are often potential clients or partners, the time I invest in GSE ISM meetings is directly connected with my work – but I do also enjoy spending time on this after regular office hours, as I am passionate about this project.
What is the best thing about working in an international company?
When I attended the onboarding training in the NCC Group headquarters in Manchester, our instructor would always say: “If your client asks if we can deliver a specific security service, you can say yes! Because the answer is that we have the ability to deliver across all requirements with our global team – and that is our strength!” And working in such an international and diverse team, I can only say: yes, he is right! The global coverage of NCC Group provides a vast breadth of security solutions of all sorts – in many languages and any time zone, which I think is terrific!