Our Chronicles of the Pioneers series has delved into the journeys of some of our most long-standing figures. In this last interview, we explore the journey of Max, our Payment Management Coordinator. A steadfast member of Contabo’s financial department for over a decade, from his humble beginnings as a junior employee in payment management to his role as Payment Management Coordinator, Max has witnessed and actively contributed to the evolution of Contabo. In our discussion, we explore the challenges posed by the ever-expanding digital landscape, and the strategies employed to ensure Contabo remains at the forefront of the cloud hosting industry. Join us as we uncover Max’s insights, achievements, and aspirations, providing a unique perspective on Contabo’s growth and the exciting prospects on the horizon.
Max’s Journey and Milestones at Contabo
Max, you’ve been working in our financial department for over 10 years. Can you share a bit about your journey and how you found yourself in the role of Payment Management Coordinator at Contabo?
I started working as a junior employee in payment management at Contabo shortly after completing my training. The department had just been restructured at the time, and I was able to help shape a lot of things.
Over the years, the tasks increased and also changed significantly. I’ve worked in the other departments to gain some insight and understand what we could improve in the billing department. After several years, I was promoted to coordinator of the department, and now I manage it.
I remember opening the Data Center in Nuremberg in 2014. It was a great team effort to get our second data center up and running, and to move running servers to a new home overnight. Everything fell into place like a well-orchestrated symphony.
I would also highlight the introduction of our bestselling VPS S in 2018. Contabo aimed for a tightly calculated product to entice customers looking to make a modest initial investment. There was strategic thinking behind the scenes that contributed to the product’s success.
Adapting to the Growth of Technology and Digital Transactions
With the growth of technology and digital transactions, how has your role evolved over the years, and what strategies have you implemented to adapt to these changes?
Our products have constantly been improving, and our number of customers has grown. Of course, this was only possible with some process automation, which we’ve always looked at from the customer’s perspective.
Also, dealing with payments in multiple currencies, including the acceptance of USD starting from 2021, introduced new dynamics. Different currencies are a great offer to our customers worldwide, but for us they were associated with some difficulties, which were all overcome in the end. Changing the currency for existing customers was especially tricky. Even today, we still have occasional cases of customers paying in the wrong currency, which we unfortunately must refund.
Navigating Growth Challenges at Contabo: Automation and Customer Focus
Contabo has experienced substantial customer growth over these years. How did you navigate the challenges of automating processes to keep up with the increasing number of customers?
We have always tried to provide an advantage for our customers with every automation process, or at least no negative effects. We have always succeeded in this.
Setting up orders is now highly automated, whereas at the beginning we had to go through many manual steps for each one. The journey started on day one, and it is not over yet. As our customer base has grown, so have our employees.
Achievements, Career Advice, and Future Prospects
Reflecting on your role, what achievement are you most proud of, and how did it contribute to the overall success of the company? What advice would you give to those considering a career in the cloud hosting industry?
The introduction of semi-automated verification according to hard criteria and its continuous development is certainly the most extensive project I have been able to carry out. I am proud to have (co-)created a process that both guarantees our customers faster setup and makes our work much easier. The introduction of new currencies and a lot of automation are also worth mentioning here.
The industry continues to grow, and I can only recommend entering it at any time. Of course, a little technical affinity helps immensely.
As Contabo celebrates its 20th anniversary, what does this milestone mean to you personally, and what growth opportunities do you foresee for Contabo in the future?
20 years of company history and 10 years which I have been a part of naturally make me proud. Much has been achieved, and the number of customers has increased twenty-fold during my employment alone. We are now able to offer our customers many locations all over the world and there are plans to add even more. The future looks bright, and I can only look forward to it.