The coronavirus has led to severe disruptions worldwide. Fortunately, our team and our work have only been indirectly affected until now, but even this can be quite serious in individual cases. This also applies to our latest hire: Abel Belliard Soto, the new Information Security Analyst in the IT Infrastructure Services team in our Corporate Services unit. Instead of leaving his home country at the end of February as planned due to the pandemic, the 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic was only now able to start his new position at TSCNET Services after a delay of more than five months. And this in a particularly sensitive area of work: In the energy sector, it is no wonder that effective and reliable protection of information is regarded as the backbone of good risk management and the basis for a secure supply. But finally, the wait is over – for Abel, and for us!
Last year, Abel earned a master’s degree in information security at the Royal Holloway University of London, one of the few fully-certified MSc courses by the Government Communication Headquarters of the U.K. In addition to his academic education, Abel has gained important practical knowledge in a wide range of companies of all sizes, working in a variety of industries from security systems to finance to telecommunications. In recent years he has worked as an IT and electronic security systems analyst, support engineer and most recently as an information security analyst. In his previous positions, his responsibilities focused on infrastructure security, vulnerability and security management, and database security. “Thanks to these experiences, information security has proven to be my true passion,” says Abel.
Accuracy and a big pinch of adventurousness
In his new role, Abel will apply his academic and practical knowledge to ensure that information is processed efficiently and, most importantly, is always well secured. “He will mainly take care of all security aspects of our IT activities,” said Mark Beregi, Lead IT Infrastructure Services. “But he will also be involved in security operations in support of ISO activities.” As Abel puts it, he is keen to start exciting projects in the new working environment. “I know from experience that a medium-sized, diverse company with an open culture where everyone can contribute their ideas for the benefit of the company is a great place to work,” he says. Aside from work, Abel is excited to be in the heart of Europe and close to the Alps, as it allows him to explore the continent better and try new things, such as skiing – preferably with his new colleagues.
In Abel’s home country there is a saying “Al que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra lo cobija”. This could be translated as “The one who leans on a good tree will get the good shade”. We have made inquiries, and the saying can evidently be applied to good friends as well as good work. Therefore, this is the right expression for us to thank him once again for his great patience and to wish him all the more a great start with us!
Abel Belliard Soto has joined TSCNET Services as Information Security Analyst in the Corporate Services business unit
At TSCNET Services we support Europe’s transmission system operators (TSOs) as both service providers and groundbreakers on a partnership basis. To master this tough task, we need experts from very different fields to work hand in hand. The Human Resources department plays a key role in identifying the right people with the right skills for our growing company and bringing them together to form a powerful team. US expert Trisha McFarlane once said that HR is “fun, risky, mesmerizing, captivating, and unique – the closest comparison I could make is that it is like a circus”. So, the ideal candidate would have to be someone with years of circus experience, especially at one of the best and best known circuses in the world. Well, here she is: Geneviève Retzlaff, called Gen, the new HR & Development Manager in our Corporate Services business unit.
Gen is originally from the French-speaking part of Canada and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Human Resources from the Université du Québec en Outaouais. She gained professional experience as a Head of HR at a visual effects studio, worked for seven years for the world famous Cirque du Soleil as HR business partner and recently started to work as a coach and HR consultant. Many pieces of a mosaic, which together create optimal conditions to form a team of individuals from different cultural backgrounds and contribute to maximizing the efficiency of all HR-related processes.
Gen’s experiences and expertise will also play a decisive role at TSCNET to master the challenges of the future with talented and motivated employees. During her time with Cirque du Soleil she travelled no less than 42 countries and worked in 182 cities. Always on the road with a huge cast of very different people and tons of luggage, constantly faced with new adversities, and yet the perfect show must be put on night after night. In power supply, the safety net and protective measures are more important than the breathtaking jump from the trapeze, but we are still looking forward to the one or other successful feat with Gen. “Bienvenue chez TSCNET!”
TSCNET Services welcomes Geneviève Retzlaff, called Gen, the new HR & Development Manager
“You’ll never find one like that – you’ll have to bake one yourself first,” one of the team members interjected when we talked about the ideal candidate for the position of a working student for corporate communications and PR at TSCNET Services. And today? We seem to have found him! Marcos Moschovidis has been on board with us for a few weeks now and is demonstrating his potential in external and internal communications in a pretty impressive way.
Primarily, the 26-year-old is currently completing his master’s degree in politics and technology at the Technical University of Munich. So, the first special feature: While most people in the PR industry prefer lifestyle topics and are at best open to technical issues, our newcomer really understands them. Number two: He fits in one-to-one with the diversity in our company and the European spirit: Marcos grew up in Germany as the son of a Greek father – which is why the “s” in his first name is not pronounced – and a Croatian mother and has a deep personal passion for Europe.
Around the globe…
Let us take a look at a few details from Marcos’ CV. As part of his studies, he was a visiting researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and participated in an exchange programme with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for several months. He also completed a traineeship with a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels and worked for the non-profit consulting firm Bavarian Research Alliance in the Department of Environment, Energy, and Bioeconomy in Munich. During this time, he gained valuable experience in informing the public on a variety of EU-related topics via on- and offline tools. This explains why besides classical communication tools he also is skilled in social media. For instance, he very successfully launched his own information project “EU FOR YOU” on Instagram to encourage young citizens to participate in the European elections. Within three months, the project reached millions of people and was mentioned in various media such as the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” or the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation.
At TSCNET, Marcos will be active in all areas of communication from corporate design and presentations to website and social media channels. He is already very keen, Marcos says, “to persuade the audience of the importance of cooperation and coordination to maintain the world’s largest synchronous power grid”. He will not lack the energy and courage to do so. If so, his Croatian relatives might have the right proverb for him: “A person is worth as much as the number of languages he speaks”. And from Greece, too, there is an appropriate saying: “Here is Rhodes, jump here!” – now prove what you can do. No matter what Marcos will listen to: His new colleagues and the company’s so-called dialogue groups can already look forward to discovering even more special features of this multi-talented man.
Marcos Moschovidis has joined TSCNET Services as a working student for communications and PR
Back in ancient Greece, the great Plato dreamed of “tools which would teach men their own use”. After all, every hammer is only as good as its user – and vice versa! The provision of tailored information for users, the imparting of knowledge and the training of skills were therefore already central components in the range of today’s TSCNET Services when it was launched almost seven years ago. Our HR & Development Manager Aanchal Sood from the Corporate Services unit oversees all online and offline offerings of the TSCNET Academy. Especially the user seminars and trainings are also closely connected with Enes Halilovic, Lead Operations Manager in the Service Operations unit. He is not only “a man of the first hour” at TSCNET Services and has helped to develop the company and most of the services, but above all he has played a major role in the development and implementation of the training offers. We have met the man, who has been called “Doctor Grid” a few times in recognition, for an interview.
Where does your passion for this important topic come from?
I owe my passion for the training world to two factors: Character and experience. Character, because I am a person who loves to share and pass on knowledge, especially to the younger generation. In my eyes, when knowledge is being passed on and merged with innovative ideas from those who receive it, great positive changes come about. Experience, because I was actively involved in providing trainings at my previous job at ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator, and learnt about its strong importance for a company’s long-term success.
What role does training and educational activities play at TSCNET Services?
As we started, we first organised only internal trainings, because we were group of individuals with vastly different level of experience and we wanted to bring all operational staff to the required knowledge level. Afterwards we started also offering trainings for customers, and following their needs, the product trainings developed through time to three various levels. To bring TSCNET closer to the customers, we first organised Starter Training, presenting the whole TSC idea and TSCNET vision, goals, and service portfolio. Training was suitable for new employees of both, TSOs and TSCNET.
Does that happen here in the Munich offices? The technical facilities are ideal …
That’s true, but today this training takes place mainly online, because this way every user can go at his own pace, independent of time and place, and, if desired, team up with colleagues. It could not be more flexible.
That makes sense. What about the second level?
Well, on request of our customers, we introduced practical AMICA Features training, where we inform the users, i.e. the employees of our customers who work with it, about the various functions that are constantly being expanded. AMICA stands for Advanced Multisite Integral Congestion Assessment and is a main tool for the security assessment of power grid operation for TSOs in the TSO Security Cooperation initiative. Here, training is primarily about interaction and practical experience. For this reason, it takes place in person in a conventional classroom training. AMICA is constantly being developed and therefore the training programme, material and duration are adapted accordingly.
And finally, what is number three?
That is the so-called operational simulation. To make sure that the acquired knowledge can be applied in the right way, the handling of problems and their effective and efficient solution is crucial. There are two kinds of trainings in this level. Some are organised as online courses, but with live participation, when users interact with each other online from their home TSOs, and together they tackle simulated real-life problems to better understand how the various tools work and how they are most useful to them. The other one is organised as a workshop, when representatives from TSOs in specific region meet physically in TSCNET premises and work together as a team to work out the solutions to the simulated extraordinary operational situation.
What components must a good training portfolio have in your eyes?
Well, it conveys everything that is necessary to be able to take on and fulfil tasks. This also includes understanding the employer or partner company. But it also requires so-called soft skills – from communication and coordination to efficient work and IT tools. Lastly, product training for customers is key. It is great if there are innovative technologies and knowledge, but it’s far better if the user has the ability to really make use of them. It also lays the foundation for fruitful exchange – a common understanding as a prerequisite for great improvements.
How would you see the current range of professional training courses?
Our company is growing each and every year, our services are becoming more and more complex, and our industry is also evolving in seven-league boots. In this demanding situation we have managed to also expand our training and education programme in many exciting new directions. And we have also kept on breaking new ground. The best thing from my point of view is that we are still as committed to continuously improving our services as we were at the beginning.
So, what do you actually do when you develop a new training or course?
The basic principle is always the same: the needs of the participants, that is the users and employees. First, we identify the demands and wishes, then we collect material. Once we have enough, we decide on the format, including whether e-learning is suitable. We put ourselves in the position of the participants and estimate the time required for the individual aspects. Then we plan and organise. This takes between two and three months for small modules and up to six months for larger ones. During this time, we accomplish a variety of milestones, the main elements and also the right trainer.
Is it different with online courses?
For online courses, we collaborate with a specialised partner who has extensive experience in creating e-learning courses. We provide the ideas and content, and the specialists visualise them or create multimedia animations. In our experience, an online training course should be between 22 and 40 minutes long in order to achieve optimal effect. In a multi-stage process, we revise all content until the quality meets our high expectations. Only then do we release a course module.
How can the success of a training course be measured?
That depends on the training format and has also changed over time. Since the beginning we collected the feedback of the participants after each training was finished and asked them to evaluate different criteria such as room quality, material, IT equipment, trainers, etc. We collected the different points that the participants gave us in each of these categories to see where we stand. If we got more than 7 points, we considered the training a success.
Have you managed to achieve this goal sometimes?
Fortunately, the lowest overall number we ever achieved was 7.7! But nowadays you can measure success also directly, for example with a little quiz at the end of each module. The participant then knows immediately whether he or she has understood the content or not. And we know right away! Furthermore, occasionally the feedback on e-learning modules is collected from the customers and based on the feedback, the recent version is prepared to maintain the high quality.
How do Covid-19 and the coronavirus pandemic affect the trainings offered?
Unfortunately, a lot! We had to cancel and postpone several sessions already. This is really a pity, but we are not letting ourselves be beaten and are concentrating on turning these obstacles into opportunities. We can count ourselves lucky that we already have an established and proven e-learning platform. A good example is the MRA module, i.e. for Multilateral Remedial Actions. It has been an immense learning experience for both participants and for us. Or the GSK module on Generation Shift Key – it is exemplary for a high-quality, concise learning product. Or our Grid Repository Training, which presents various challenges and prospects of our sector. By summer 2020, all TSC TSOs will be presented with their respective modules.
One question to conclude: Which things would you like to change and improve in the future?
As I have more and more management tasks to take on now, an important task is quite banal – the search for a successor. Apart from that, it is primarily a matter of expanding technology and IT. On the one hand this means such simple things as enough data transfer capacity, especially in times like these, but on the other hand it also means new methods and functions. The corona virus “only” puts more pressure here. All in all, I am not afraid of the challenges. On the contrary: I am excited about the new approaches that will emerge. I am immensely proud to have been part of this exciting journey so far, and look forward to being one of the shapers and pacemakers of what the future holds.
Many thanks for the interview, Enes!
To enable customers to make the most of the RSC’s services, a wide range of training and courses is available at the TSCNET Academy
At TSCNET Services, we are committed to providing the best possible service for our shareholding transmission system operators (TSOs). International understanding is thus not actually our primary corporate objective, but we are nevertheless encouraged by the perception of our new Senior Finance & Reporting Manager in the Corporate Services business unit, Houssein Ben Boujemaa. We were already able to recruit him in September last year. When asked what particularly intrigued him about TSCNET in addition to his personal career prospects, Houssein mentions the fact that we are a company with a good 60 employees, but above all 28 nationalities. We can only say: Welcome aboard, Houssein, and great that you have already added some additional facets to our diversity.
35-year-old Frenchman Houssein holds a master’s degree in Marketing and Applied Management from the IDRAC Business School in Paris and a master’s degree in International Business from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce et de Gestion de Paris. He has gained professional experience in various sectors. For example, he served as a Business Controller for France for the medical and travel security services company International SOS. At EBI SA in Paris, an affiliate of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, he oversaw the global corporate revenue planning and control for Africa and handled trade finance and loan syndication for the sub-Saharan Africa commodity market. And in the IT sector, Houssein was responsible for EMEA operations at the German branch of the computer software and service company PTC in Unterschleißheim near Munich.
For TSCNET, Houssein has been working successfully to improve financial processes and financial management since his start with us. Of course, he appreciates not only the international working environment at our premises, but also the dynamic growth of the company to which he wants to actively contribute. We are pleased that our finance area is already giving a good account of itself!
Houssein Ben Boujemaa is our new Senior Finance & Reporting Manager in the Corporate Services business unit
“This is the most important member of the team”, says Michael S. Hyatt, and as a successful manager and bestselling author on leadership and business growth, he should actually know. Who he is talking about? The Executive Assistant! Hyatt has developed a compelling idea about this role: “A good executive assistant is like an air-traffic controller for your whole life.” TSCNET Services in Munich now also has such a marvel: 39-year-old Rebecca Brauer, called Becky.
Born in London, she has more than 15 years of experience as an Executive Assistant and has worked for global organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Barclays Capital, Deloitte, and Citigroup in cities such as London, New York, Moscow, Berlin, and Brussels. She gained a wide range of international experience in different cultures and took on a variety of administrative and project management responsibilities, as well as co-ordinating on-site and off-site events.
In addition to important clients and other stakeholders, Becky on her travels around the globe fortunately also met her husband, a confirmed Bavarian, whom we owe her move to Germany (however, they got to know each other thousands of kilometres away, in California, but that’s a different story). Since New Year’s Day 2017, the two are the parents of an enchanting little daughter. “Becoming a mother has been the biggest challenge yet most rewarding role of my life,” Becky says. Now at TSCNET Services she wants to master both roles and “make my daughter proud”. With all her experience in culturally different and diverse environments she wants to support the management team and the whole company in their development and make them even stronger.
“I felt like I was going to be joining a team of highly skilled, multi-cultural individuals who all have a common aim to make TSCNET a thriving company within their industry and provide exceptional services to their clients,” reports Becky. And she quickly gained traction in her new position. “I felt that the people at TSCNET were very welcoming and had a real ‘family’ feel about the culture right away.”
As always in life, there will also be setbacks and hurdles to overcome. For such times, Michael S. Hyatt had a quote from Edward Everett Hale on the wall of his CEO office: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something: and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” This by the way also goes very well with air-traffic controllers!
TSCNET Services has welcomed Rebecca Brauer as new Executive Assistant
Office assistant positions can be found in all sectors and have a broad spectrum of skills. They are sometimes referred to as secretaries or administrative assistants, but what they actually do is help make an office work. The tasks are very different, often based on the specialisations they have, how much professional experience they possess and what career aspirations they have. This also goes for Jara Ibañez, who joined TSCNET Services as an Office Assistant within the Corporate Services unit at the end of 2018.
The 30-year-old Spanish has successfully completed a vocational training in administration and finance. She grew up in San Sebastián in the north of the country and lived on the Spanish Mediterranean coast before moving to Munich in autumn 2017. In the course of her life, however, she has already travelled to 17 countries. “They all taught me something lasting and revealed a part of their culture to me,” says Jara. Besides travelling and exploring new countries, sport is her most important leisure activity. “Sport is the best way for me to get away from the daily routines,” she explains.
For a total of five years, Jara worked for a manufacturer of dance- and sportswear in administration and customer service. Then she felt a need for change and professional growth, exploring a new culture and challenging herself. At TSCNET, she mainly supports in administrative and financial work. She is particularly attracted by the interesting industry with its advanced technologies and the company with its team spirit and great potential for personal and professional development. “I felt the warm and dynamic environment right away during my interview,” says Jara, “and that proved to be true during the first few weeks here.”
Jara Ibañez has joined TSCNET Services as an Office Assistant within the Corporate Services unit
Sardinia is famous for its white sandy beaches, a wild, dreamlike nature, idyllic mountain villages and cultural treasures from around eight millennia. But the inhabitants of the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily are also known for their scepticism towards strangers – “whoever crosses the sea is a thief”, is a famous saying. But this does not at all apply to Daniela Sanna, a native of Sardinia. The new HR & Development Manager in the Corporate Services unit is on the contrary decidedly cosmopolitan and enjoys traveling.
The now 37-year-old has a Master’s degree in Communication Systems in International Relations from the University for Foreigners in Perugia (Università per Stranieri di Perugia) on the Italian mainland and has been to Poland and even to faraway Japan during her studies thanks to scholarships. Now she has spent several years working in recruitment, first in Italy, then in Germany. She has worked for such well-known companies as Intel, Texas Instruments, Airbus and Huawei. Also at TSCNET, she will focus on employee recruitment including on- and offboarding. Although the energy sector is new for her, there is a cross connection as well: Her father worked for Italy’s largest energy supplier.
Obviously, another Sardinian proverb seems to fit better in Daniela’s case: “When the wind comes, you should use it”. What is meant is that one should take an opportunity that comes up. We are pleased that the winds in the Tyrrhenian Sea led her to Munich and that she has seized the chance with us.
Daniela Sanna has started as a new HR & Development Manager in the Corporate Services unit
TSCNET Services can introduce a new Project Management Officer (PMO): Juan Ramirez, coming from Colombia. He is part of the Corporate Services team, but will also help with the structuring and management of projects from other teams. The new co-worker brings a lot of experience: Juan has worked in the banking industry for five years as accountant, business administrator, and financial expert in the areas of financial analysis, corporate strategy, and project management. He decided to leave Colombia for Germany to do his Master of Business Administration in Leipzig at the Graduate School of Management (“HHL Leipzig”).
Now he has joined TSCNET Services as PMO. “Working with TSCNET combines three elements that are essential to fulfil my professional and personal ambitions,” says Juan. “Firstly, my role as PMO is not only a fantastic challenge in the face of the company’s rapid growth, it also allows me to contribute my own ideas and also to implement them. Secondly, I am attracted by the amazing work environment with its truly open character and a really international team. And thirdly, I can learn here from an industry that has the power to help shape the future of a country.” As they would say in Colombia: “¡Bienvenido al equipo!”