Felix Möller new noventum-Lead Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
// by Matthias Rensing
Azure DevOps, Data & Analytics, Road to Azure, noventum
After several years at Avanade, the Azure Data Platform expert is back at noventum and talks in an interview about his new role and future challenges for SMEs.
As "Director Senior Azure Analytics Architect", Felix Möller has worked for the technology group Avanade for the past five years and has now returned to noventum consulting to contribute his experience to the consultancy. In his last role, Felix Möller worked as an architect and project manager in large Azure Data Platform projects for German corporations. In the future, he will increasingly lead noventum BI customers into the cloud and bring the experience from the corporate world to SMEs.
Corporations have invested massively in cloud projects in recent years
As a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, Avanade is at the forefront of testing and developing digitalisation solutions in general and Azure cloud technologies in particular, both technically and commercially. Avanade has implemented projects for more than 4,000 customers and gained an extraordinary wealth of experience in the process. As a "Director" with the role of "Senior Azure Analytics Architect", Felix Möller has led international teams at Avanade for the last five years and worked on the development of Azure Data Platform-based solutions. In the nc360° interview, Felix talks about his work and takes a look at what he will be doing at noventum in the future.
Analytics cloud platforms on a large scale - elaborate and powerful
nc360°: Felix, what has been the focus of your work at Avanade in recent years?
Felix Möller: As an architect and project manager, I have been active in various projects exclusively on the Azure Data Platform. I have led teams from many countries, working closely with Cloud Solution Architects (CSA) and Microsoft customer teams to bring out the best in strategic projects.
nc360°: What is special about such group projects?
Felix Möller: The projects did not focus on solving a specific problem, but rather on building a platform to be able to create any number of environments for new analytics use cases automatically in minutes in the future.
nc360°: Can you give us an example of such a cloud platform project?
Felix Möller: I could mention a large project for thyssenkrupp or, for example, the "World Health Data Hub" that we created for the WHO. If, for example, an epidemic breaks out somewhere in the world, a team is put together at very short notice at the WHO from various independent specialist departments and this team needs an evaluation platform in the programming language it wants. As a project manager, you press the button and a few minutes later the appropriate environment is rolled out in a highly automated manner using deployment processes in Azure DevOps. It is configured, permissions are set up for it and everyone has their own ready-made environment, provided centrally at the push of a button with best practices and everything that makes up such a complex environment. Of course, thousands of development days have been invested in advance to ensure that everything runs so smoothly.
Azure Data Platform projects in SMEs - personal and very close to the economic benefit
nc360°: Are such highly developed solutions transferable to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and is that at all economical?
Felix Möller: Millions have been invested by the market leaders to try out new solutions. With this experience, it also becomes tangible and affordable for SMEs, because with the experience, it may only take a fraction of the time to be able to implement it adapted for SMEs.
nc360°: What is the advantage for clients who develop their solutions with a consultancy that is also a medium-sized company? Why noventum and not a globally active consultancy?
Commitment for SMEs: People Projects Quality
Felix Möller: For me, this difference between a corporate group and a medium-sized consultancy is the crux of the matter and one of the reasons why I personally would like to work for noventum again. At noventum, we have aligned our work to three central fixed points. "People, projects, quality". That's a good way to explain it.
When I think of "people", two aspects are important to me: firstly, in our projects we work directly with the people who benefit from our work. That is very personal and very binding. But this closeness to our clients is also professionally valuable because problem, technology and solution are very close together.
Then the people at noventum convince me. With a managing director, Uwe Rotermund, who lives for his employee culture and many colleagues who have been with noventum for decades. Uwe once said that we "make no human distinction between customers and employees". I would like to work like that!
»I like it when the person I work with and for wants the solution personally for their work. That's different from working on a solution that is supposed to solve problems you don't even know yet. And then it is something completely different when you work in smaller teams that you know and in which everyone has known each other for years and can therefore work together optimally. «
Projects: sustainable and at eye level with the client
nc360°: What is special about the noventum projects?
Felix Möller: It's the "projects" in the SME sector that I enjoy. Together with the users who will use the solution. This enables deep immersion in technical discussions with specialist departments. For example, I experienced it at BRITA in an enterprise data warehouse and at nwb in a retread of the planning process. It is very satisfying that even after five years, all the data warehouses built in my first noventum phase still exist and continue to support our clients. It was great to talk to some of our customers in my first days at noventum and hear how we have left a lasting mark on the process model and architecture there.
Quality is expertise in constant teams
nc360°: This brings us to the "quality" factor.
Felix Möller: The "quality" of our work is reflected in the soundness and consistency of the consultant team and in our consistent technological focus on Microsoft in the area of business intelligence and our systematics.
Despite, or perhaps because of, our relative size, noventum has for years attached great importance to a uniform process model and technical templates. Our data warehouses look similar everywhere, so that new colleagues can quickly get an overview.
nc360°: Is that what you expect from a medium-sized consultancy?
Felix Möller: No, it's special in that way and definitely puts us on a par with the big players in the industry.
nc360°: Microsoft is set as the technological basis in this context?
Felix Möller: Yes, for us as noventum BI consultants this is the strategy. If in the past BI projects often had to take different manufacturers and products into account, then today we say for our part: BI means Microsoft BI for us. Even Microsoft BI needs years of experience to be used comprehensively. Anyone who says today that they have mastered every technology has mastered none of them properly. If a process model is to be usable, the technology reference must be clear, otherwise you would need a separate process model for each basic technology. The quality we strive for can only be achieved through a technology focus.
An important aspect of the quality of our work is also the technological perspective towards the cloud. For some time now, noventum has been working on an ETL framework that will improve performance and increase automation. This is particularly important for the leap into the Azure Cloud, in order to be able to operate solutions for our customers cost-efficiently there. However, the same basis also allows for local execution. We will be hearing more about this in the future.
Bringing industrial experience to the SME sector
nc360°: How can SMEs learn from corporations?
Felix Möller: In recent years, large corporations have taken the opportunity to build intensive automations with Azure DevOps for Data Platforms, to create ETL frameworks in Scala or Python on Databricks and to deal intensively with the PaaS services of the Azure Data Platform (Azure SQL Database, Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse, Azure Data Lake Gen2, Azure ML, Azure Databricks, Azure Purview).
All these solutions go beyond Lift&Shift and offer cloud-native ways. Ultimately, they are new products that - once they are in use - make work much easier. In practical terms, this means that customers no longer have to deal with infrastructure problems, software updates or security aspects, for example, but can invest their energy more directly in their actual tasks. The investments by big industry have paved this way, now small and medium-sized businesses can be the beneficiaries.
I would like to make this knowledge available to noventum customers.
nc360°: What are your next tasks and goals at noventum?
Felix Möller: We have been working on the further development of our process model for the cloud for quite some time and I see my task as a technical pioneer and strategist to actively share my knowledge and experience with my colleagues. After many years of successful implementation on premises, we are now adapting to Azure PaaS services. In this way, our team can make my knowledge and experience from large projects available to noventum customers.
nc360°: Welcome back, Felix, and good luck!
noventum consulting GmbH