Working within the SAP space has been woven into the IT industry career of Thomas Vogt, Partner of Infosys Consulting, for 25 years.
For the past two years, Vogt has been responsible for the SAP practice in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and focuses on manufacturing clients across Europe.
His career journey has taken him around the world from Southeast Asia to America which he says gave him “an international perspective on business.”
“After studying computer science, I started my career at Siemens and was responsible for setting up and managing the LAN network for a factory in Paderborn, Germany. So, I started in the technology field and in 1992 I had my first touché points with SAP R/3, the ERP solution from SAP.
“Somehow during my entire career I have stayed within the SAP space,” said Vogt, who has worked within managerial roles in Southeast Asia, Germany and the USA for Siemens.”
Vogt then took a role at T-systems in Germany where he was responsible for some larger delivery units and later for SAP Portfolio Management and Solution design before he moved to Infosys Consulting as a partner in 2019.
Vogt says he strives for an inclusive and gracious leadership style at Infosys Consulting and values open, clear communication, which is respectful.
“I believe all employees bring talents and experiences, and it is the task of the leader to help the employees to identify these. If leaders include team members in the decision-making process, value their opinion and act transparent and clear in the decision-making process, then leaders will make better decisions and get the required buy-in from team members.”
Considering the essential traits of an effective leader, Vogt cites modesty and fairness, adding it’s important that you are able to work with people from different backgrounds and with different personalities.
“If you’re able to form a team out of a diverse group of employees, then you will have the best results. You need to believe in the team and your personal vision and goals.
“You need to be modest; team success should always come before personal success. You need to be honest and fair. This enables you to communicate difficult messages as well as praise.
Vogt admires the leadership skills of some of his former mentors in the workplace.
“I would like to highlight some of the leaders I have worked for in the past. I admire them because I experienced their leadership and I know how they have been able to drive success and motivate and grow large organisations.
“The first leader who was a great inspiration for me was the CIO of the Business Division in Siemens, where I started my career. He understood the impact of Integrated Business Applications and the Internet for a B2B business. He had a clear vision of how he wanted to transform the business driven by IT. He was working with all employees at eye level. He communicated openly and created a team spirit and goal-oriented atmosphere. As a young professional I could approach him any time and he was able to provide advice and guidance. This experience formed my career and the style of management I strive for.
“The second leader I would like to mention I met at T-Systems. He took over the CEO role when the company struggled and had difficulties to transform. He understood the structural and cultural issues and initiated a transformation program that redefined T-Systems strategy and course. He addressed the way of working, the cultural and people issues in an absolutely open and transparent way. He addressed the behaviour and self-assessment of each individual manager. Via that he could change the mindset of many managers and employees and embark on a cultural and business transformation.
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