Enterprise Architecture from Colombian Caribbean

04.12.2019

Miguel Ospina, the new Enterprise Architect in our Service Development Business Unit, is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia. You don’t know that place? Maybe you do: The famous singer Shakira sang about her birthplace in her worldwide No. 1 hit “Hips don’t lie” and in the work of the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, who spent part of his childhood and many years as a journalist in this city of millions in the northwest of the country, there are many descriptions of the lively commercial and industrial city, which is also known as one of the world’s largest carnival strongholds.

But back to Miguel! The 32-year-old has a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and a postgraduate degree in Enterprise Software Architecture. He then received the TOGAF certification (The Open Group Architecture Framework) and earned his master’s degree in Business Information Technology in 2018. As an Enterprise Architect at TSCNET Services, he strives to bring best practices for this discipline to life across the enterprise.

He has the experience to do this: Previously, Miguel worked as a Software Architect for an insurance related company and defined the roadmap and architecture of various relevant products such as underwriting and claims systems. Most recently, he worked for an airline as an Enterprise Architect leader and was responsible for business areas such as customer experience, marketing, and e-commerce. This also involved shaping the roadmap and governance for these areas, such as information systems and technology, and important future projects, such as digital transformation and e-commerce.

Miguel, a travel enthusiast, appreciates the fact that he is familiar with various industries and can now apply this experience to the energy sector and help shape TSCNET’s future architecture. We wish him all the best for his career with us and look forward to his work – fortunately, it does not have to be another world hit or a Nobel Prize in the end.

Miguel Ospina is the new Enterprise Architect in our Service Development Business Unit

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Honourable move to the Swiss customer

25.11.2019

While around 150,000 people with Portuguese citizenship live in Germany, almost twice as many live in the much smaller country of Switzerland. Usually we do not have the slightest problem with this at TSCNET Services in Munich, but now another Portuguese is moving to Switzerland, whom we will miss very much here as a first-class employee and great co-worker: Mário Martins, Senior Business Analyst in our Service Development Business Unit. He will join our client and shareholder Swissgrid and work in Aarau 38 km west of Zurich as a specialist for Capacity & Congestion Management. Chances are good that he will be collaborating with his former colleagues from TSCNET there, so “it’s not a goodbye, but a see you later,” Mário assures with a smile.

“I thank TSCNET and its employees for almost 5 wonderful years in this company,” Mário continues. “It is a great organisation to work in, and I am sure it will remain on its growth path and will become increasingly important as a pillar of European power transmission. And I personally feel nothing but honoured to have made a small contribution to this.”

He goes with a lot of good memories in his luggage. “I particularly liked the international, young, lively atmosphere in the company. The fact that most employees come from abroad and are far away from their families and friends also brings the team together outside office hours and leads to close friendships.”

He also appreciated management’s commitment to employee well-being and opportunities for personal development. He always felt that his voice was heard and respected and that his work was valued. Comradeship has always been a top priority and colleagues have always supported him when necessary. “I want to tell them that it was a great pleasure to work with them,” he says. He should know by now at the latest: The people here feel the same way. Despite all the melancholy about Mário’s departure, everyone wishes him all the best and much success with Swissgrid. It is good for everyone that Zurich is only 3 hours away from Munich.

TSCNET Services is saying goodbye to Mário Martins, who joins the Swissgrid

Linkup
> Visit Swissgrid webpage (html)

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Reaching the goal quickly with calculated risk

22.11.2019

Anyone who knows the Munich premises of TSCNET Services has probably also seen the photo wall with private photos of almost all employees. When the answer to the question “Do you have a photo for our wall, too?” is “Yes, but only one with me hanging head over feet out of a helicopter in the clouds”, you might think of a joke, but with him it’s none: Péter Szőcs, the new Data Center Support Specialist at TSCNET, not only has special professional skills, but also quite special hobbies. A native of Romania with Hungarian and German roots, he likes it fast and used to be an extremely successful professional motorcycle racer competing against the world’s best. Today he rather wants to go high and enjoy free fall as a skydiver. Here, too, he has an impressive international network and is well known on the scene.

For him, his personal and professional motivation is described by the fact that if he stands two and a half miles above the ground in an open aircraft door and can take a step into the empty space himself, then he could do anything. How can this be understood? Well, there is a saying circulating in the skydiving community that hints at the special magic of this sport: “For those who jump, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not jump, no explanation is possible.”

High speed and an experienced handling of risks also benefit Péter at work. In addition to studying history and journalism, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics and computer science. He has worked as a senior IT technical consultant on unified communication and contact centre solutions, e.g. for BMW, and as the Head of IT/Networking of the Transylvania International Film Festival.

Today he sees himself as a motivated and versatile professional with many years of IT experience, who is always looking forward undertaking new and exciting challenges. Together with his colleagues from the IT Infrastructure Services team, he wants to integrate and implement solutions that help TSCNET employees become more efficient in their business operation to increase productivity. “I want to be an active part of something that has an impact beyond our lives, where the focus is outward and the mission is more than the bottom line,” explains Péter. If this happens at a proverbial breakneck speed and helps the company climb dizzying heights, the co-workers will be the last to object!

TSCNET Services welcomes Péter Szőcs

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“Welcoming people from all over the world”

04.11.2019

Munich is growing and growing, also because many people from abroad come here for an attractive job. According to a study by the consulting firm Mercer published in spring, Munich is the city with the third-highest quality of life worldwide for expatriates. Of the almost 1.6 million inhabitants of Munich, more than one in four has a foreign passport. In addition to the quality of life, people from abroad especially appreciate the leisure activities, the environmental quality, the security and, last but not least, the career opportunities.

The vast majority of TSCNET Services employees also come from abroad – currently from almost 30 different countries. Jamilette Johnston, or Jamie for short, knows this situation well. Originally from NYC, she has lived in Miami, Madrid and moved to Munich almost ten years ago. She runs one of the most successful blogs for foreign employees and their families in Munich: “City Starlings”. The motto: “Inspiring Expats”! We met Jamie for a talk.

Hello, Jamie, let’s start right at the beginning: What is it like to move to Munich from abroad?

Moving to Munich, or any city for that matter, can turn out to be an amazing or a daunting experience. It depends on so many factors: If this is your first move abroad, it can certainly be overwhelming for anyone. If you are moving from a city with a warm climate, you might find the cold winter months in Munich challenging. If you move from a city with a lot of pollution or dirty streets, then Munich will seem utopian. It’s all relative, isn’t it?
But really, the only factor that will make this a successful expat experience is YOU. You and only you will take what life has to offer and turn it into the best adventure you can embark on.

Many do not come alone but have their partner with them. I read the following line from you: “A happy Spouse, makes a happy House!” What do you mean by that?

It is especially hard for the trailing spouse, who has left behind work, family, friends, an entire support system to start anew. I suggest using this opportunity to travel, to learn the local language, to meet new people and immerse yourself in new cultures. It is easier said than done, but maybe all your sacrifices lead you to finding your life’s purpose.

We also often experience that the partner is a very vital support when settling in. Who or what else can help one?

Luckily, the city offers countless opportunities for expats. Munich has become a very multi-culti city, welcoming people from all over the world. Due to this, there are several international groups you can join, such as Internations, Meetup, Munich International Women’s Club, etc. You can also volunteer for nonprofits, such as, ReDI School or SMILE – English Choir. Meet with like-minded people, but don’t forget to meet the locals as well. They possess a wealth of information.

That’s a good cue. We are convinced that we as an employer and especially the co-workers can be a great support, but we also always advise to build something up outside the office and the circle of co-workers and to take advantage of the many opportunities here.

You are spoilt for choice, just take the city’s cultural offer: I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but museums, opera, ballet, theatre, concerts, there is so much of a selection throughout the year, that you cannot get bored. There’s something for every taste.
Many times, your preferences will adapt to your new surroundings. Since coming to Munich, the outdoors has become my playground. I took up hiking and skiing, which was new and scary at first. But with the pre-Alps and Alps so close, I had to give them a chance and have fallen in love with nature. Walchensee, Benediktenwand and Tegernsee are great places for hiking. And there are so many great ski resorts like Wilder Kaiser, Ski Amade and Zillertal. For me, that had another positive side effect: This has made it easier for me to cope with the winter months 

That must have been a pretty big change. In the past, on a beautiful winter weekend, half of Munich was somewhere on a ski slope in the Bavarian uplands or in Tyrol. What role do the neighbouring countries play for expats?

It has been amazing to discover the beauty of these neighbouring countries – Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and so many more. Take advantage of their proximity. You can discover so many amazing places inside and outside Germany by car, but also by train. The “Bayern-Ticket” is one of the best kept travel tips – it can save families and large groups big bucks when traveling through Bavaria.
If you prefer to stay closer to home, Munich has much to offer: Oktoberfest, Tollwood and Auer Dult are only some of the many street festivals throughout the year. Get ready for the upcoming Christmas season! Christmas Markets usually start on the Friday before Sunday Advent and run through Christmas Eve. There are many throughout Germany offering spiced wine, food and local crafts. You can’t help being affected by the festive lights and cheerful mood of the locals.

What is your favourite among the Christmas markets?

In Munich, my favourite ones are the Medieval Market in Wittelsbacher Platz and the Christmas Village in the Munich Residenz.

Is there another tip for expats that we definitely shouldn’t forget?

Good that you ask, otherwise I would have almost forgotten the annual “Expat In The City” event – a very important event for expats. The next date is pending – so keep an eye out for updates on their website, which additionally has a lot of helpful resources for expats.
Also, venture out about town. Be a tourist in your new city. Munich is small, but there is much to see. Opt to travel by bike as much as you can. Bike paths throughout the city make it safe and practical to get around. But make sure you learn a few road rules before you do though.
And don’t give up when things get tough! I have had my ups and downs, it is not always easy. But I’ve slowly built up my support system consisting of both expats and locals alike. This balance has helped me in my own journey, and I have never regretted my move to Munich. I hope these tips help you settle into your new home.

Many thanks for the interview and all the tips, Jamie. And all the best with City Starlings!

“City Starlings” by Jamie Johnston is one of the most successful blogs for foreign employees and their families in Munich

Linkup
> Visit Jamie’s blog City Starlings (html)
> Visit City Starlings on Instagram (html)

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RSC Conference 2019: Rush to Copenhagen

08.10.2019

The weather turned out typically Nordic with quite stormy wind and some rain, but otherwise host Nordic RSC could be more than happy about a great success and a fruitful gathering of our industry – about 250 participants from all over Europe came to the third “RSC Conference” today in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The event was staged by Nordic RSC at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located in the Copenhagen Towers, which also house the offices of the Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) of the power transmission system operators (TSOs) of Denmark (TSCNET shareholder Energinet), Finland (Fingrid), Norway (Statnett), and Sweden (Svenska Kraftnät).

One of the key sentences fell quite early: “Nobody knows the future, but it will be electric!” In the European energy system that is already interconnected and will become even more so in future, coordination of cross-border electricity flows is one of the most crucial tasks for TSOs. To a large extent, this task is performed by Europe’s RSCs, with Coreso (based in Brussels) and TSCNET Services (Munich) as pioneers from 2013 onwards. In 2015, SCC for south eastern Europe followed in Belgrade and in 2016, Baltic RSC as well as Nordic RSC were established.

A good idea becomes a tradition
The RSCs have been holding conferences on system security since 2017, co-organised by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). TSCNET hosted the first RSC conference entitled “ElSeC” (Electricity Security Coordination) in Munich and one year later Coreso invited to “Power Coordination Europe” in Brussels.

The motto of “RSC 2019” was “Act locally, coordinate regionally, think European”. The event resulted in a closing speech by the CEO of the Finnish TSO Fingrid, Jukka Ruusunen, discussing how RSCs support efficient markets that in turn support security of supply. This core discussion was complemented by other general panel discussions and also by parallel, partly interactive sessions to cover as many interesting and relevant topics as possible. The topics were, for instance, “The Green Transition: The reason for change and innovation in TSOs”, “Ensuring the right competences in an RSC perspective”, “Critical Grid Situation Communication”, “Regional adequacy forecasting” or “Balancing projects and reserve sizing”. The key speakers came from the industry, EU institutions, markets and civil society.

Thomas Egebo, CEO of TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish TSO, welcomed the participants and illustrated the importance of the regions using the example of the Nordic region. The ENTSO-E strategy paper on “Enhanced TSO coordination for Europe” was presented by Joachim Vanzetta, Director System Control at the German TSO and TSCNET shareholder Amprion and Chair of the ENTSO-E Board. Eryk Kłossowski, CEO of the Polish TSO PSE, and Ben Voorhorst, COO of the Dutch-German TSO TenneT – both are TSCNET shareholders – participated together with colleagues from further TSOs in the general discussion: “TSO regional cooperation and establishment of RCCs – learning from best practices”. This discussion was moderated by Laurent Schmitt, the Secretary-General of ENTSO-E.

Increasingly complex with rapidly rising requirements
Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET Services, held a presentation on “RSC complexities and future challenges”, focusing on the intricacy of the challenges faced by RSCs in the continuous implementation of services, in RSC collaboration and in the adaptation and integration of requirements from the EU “Clean Energy for all Europeans Package” (CEP).

On the conference website, all speeches and discussions were broadcast via live stream. Soon all presentations will be available for download as well as numerous photos from the event. All good things come in threes, as the saying goes. The third edition of the RSC Conference was indeed great, but we are all the more looking forward to next year.

Around 250 participants attended this year’s RSC Conference on 8 October in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen

Linkup
> Visit RSC Conference 2019 webpage, with videos (html)
> See conference picture gallery (Flickr, html)

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New hire: Explorer with a technical thirst for discovery

07.10.2019

Christian Paúl Suárez is new in our Service Operations business unit but familiar with electricity market issues. The 26-year-old Ecuadorian, who prefers to be called Paúl by his middle name, is curious to experience the differences between the South American and the European electricity markets. At TSCNET Services, Paúl should find the ideal conditions for this and advance his own career together with his new company. We warmly welcome our new Junior Operations Manager.

In the major Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil, Paúl visited the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) and completed his studies as an electrical engineer in power systems. Before he graduated from the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja in Spain with a Master of Business Administration specialised in project management, he worked as “profesional de estudios económicos” (professional in economic assessment) for the Ecuadorian state power company Corporación Nacional de Electricidad, the country’s largest energy corporation with more than 1.2m end customers.

Currently, Paúl is demonstrating his ambitions by attending an online programme for a master’s degree in Renewable Energy and Energy Sustainability from the Universitat de Barcelona in Spain alongside his new job at TSCNET. As Junior Operations Manager it is his declared goal to become familiar with the functioning of the European market and network and to cooperate with the company in the management of the European interconnected energy environment.

Paúl finds not only his new company but also its location in Munich attractive. The world-famous German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt thought Ecuador was “the most interesting region in the world” because of the “high snow-capped peaks, the active volcanoes, their vegetation and the customs of their inhabitants” – we are curious to see what remarkable things Paúl will discover here in Bavaria. The Oktoberfest, which ended yesterday, might have given some impressions.

TSCNET Services has hired Christian Paúl Suárez from Ecuador as Junior Operations Manager in the Service Operations business unit

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Data centre support – experienced and young at heart

01.10.2019

Eric Paul, our new Senior Data Centre Support Specialist in the Business Unit Corporate Services & IT Infrastructure Services, has been living in Munich for quite some time, but originally comes from far away, even for the TSCNET standard, where we are used to and proud of our international staff from different continents. With Australian-born Eric on board, we have now closed a gap as regards Oceania. During his assignments in Sydney, London and Munich, Eric has already gained a lot of experience that he now uses to bring the TSCNET data centre and the hosting environments to an enterprise standard in terms of reliability, efficiency and scalability.

41-year-old Eric was born in Sydney, where he attended the University of Western Sydney (now the Western Sydney University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Computing and Information Management. He worked as IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Australia, for two years as a freelance contractor in the London financial sector and as Datacentre Manager for a global sporting goods company in Munich. Now Eric is looking forward to progressing his career at TSCNET Services and helping the company to develop further.

Coming from a very large enterprise, Eric finds it particularly stimulating to work in an environment that feels more like a family than politics. Eric has recognised that TSCNET Services has rapidly evolved from a small to a mid-size company and he is well aware of the challenges and opportunities that come with this. He thus considers being part of TSCNET a great chance to leverage his knowledge and experience in a meaningful way that can make a real difference to the business.

Despite his great experience, Eric has remained young in his very own style and when he considers himself, he finds that part of him never left the 90s. As a matter of fact, Eric is still passionate about techno and goes to raves when he has the opportunity. Since Eric has been living in Munich for a while now, we strongly assume that he does not need any recommendations in this regard. But maybe he’ll take one of his new colleagues to the next rave.

Eric Paul is the new Senior Data Centre Support Specialist in the Business Unit Corporate Services & IT Infrastructure Services

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The power of data in Gothenburg

27.09.2019

OSIsoft is a well-known manufacturer of application software for real-time data management, called PI System. On the second day of this year’s OSIsoft “PI World” user conference in mid-September in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second biggest city, the focus was on utilities and energy management in particular. One of the speakers on this day was Gábor Bús, Lead Data Visualisation & Analyses in our Service Operations business unit.

The topic of the Hungarian-born was “The Power of a Single Integrated Database”. He drew attention to the great responsibility of the 43 power transmission system operators (TSOs) in Europe. TSCNET Services enables them to bridge the huge differences in the characteristics and processing of their vast amounts of data. Several applications are hosted in different environments and work with different virtual identifiers that refer to the same physical network element, such as power lines or substations. Only the standardisation of the virtual identifiers and their storage in a single integrated data system makes it possible to use them effectively.

On the basis of predefined use cases, the experts at TSCNET have developed a total of 205 analysis templates, 13 notification templates, eight PI Vision displays and two ProcessBook displays to support and raise the efficiency of the operational activities. An early warning system for the Congestion Management service is also constantly being experimented with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Gábor’s presentation and a recording of the speech are available freely.

At this year’s OSIsoft “PI World” in Gothenburg, Gábor Bús held a presentation on “The Power of a Single Integrated Database”

Linkup
> OSIsoft PI World, presentation page and video (html)

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Soft skills training for concrete goals

12.08.2019

“Soft skills get little respect, but they will make or break your career,” says Peggy Klaus, a best-selling author and communication and leadership coach. We at TSCNET Services take a similar view. “We highly believe in the importance of continuous learning and growing together,” explains Aanchal Sood, HR & Development Manager and responsible for the TSCNET Academy with its training opportunities. The latest training is a good example of both our commitment and the opportunities we offer our employees.

At the beginning of July, one third of our employees took part in a tailor-made training programme in a well-equipped hotel directly at Lake Starnberg, about one-hour drive south of Munich. The two-day training was focused communication, team building, awareness, and diversity. A similar training was organised at the end of May and another batch is planned for September 2019 as well – this way all our employees get the opportunity to attend the programme and learn in a nice interactive environment with their colleagues. The training received first class ratings from the participants and enriched our workplace environment.

Impulses in a new environment
“When I look back at the training,” says Gopi Jayasurian, who recently joined as Junior Operations Manager, “I would see it as an overall learning experience in a professional yet very serene environment with beautiful nature around it. I think we all realised the importance of emotional intelligence and mindfulness for teamwork and organisation”. He also appreciated the direct communication and the exchange with his new co-workers. “I could not have asked for a better start than this!” emphasises Gopi.

One of Gopi’s new colleagues is business analyst Irina Boiarchuk, who has been with TSCNET Services for more than a year and a half. “For me, the training was a great refreshment through the new environment and the open, creative and motivating atmosphere,” she states. It was already her second soft skills training with us. “I have been able to further develop existing skills and gain new experience at the same time.” Irina especially liked the very lively teambuilding activities and the opportunity to get to know her colleagues and their so different personalities even better. She also gave high praise to the external trainers from High Balance, a local coaching and training provider.

All for one and one for all…
Its founder Nicola Rohner, dedicated to “holistic training and coaching”, was one of them – as often before. “Once again, we had an awesome training session in which we were able to work on the individual potential of the employees as well as grow together as a team,” she concluded. Working in such a fast growing and diverse company with so many different backgrounds and cultures is both a challenge and a wonderful opportunity. “In such a situation, being able to change perspectives and respect each other’s individual characteristics is not just nice to have, but an essential factor. But this is also one of the reasons why I enjoy working with TSCNET so much – the team’s unconditional will to change things and themselves for the better.” This by the way is exactly what we will try to do again with our future training offers.

TSCNET Services believes in first-class training and personal development (private pictures from training participants)

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New Project Manager in Portfolio Management

08.08.2019

The origin and meaning of the name Monica are not fully clarified. It could come from the Greek Monos and mean something like “unique”, or from the Latin Monachus for “monk”. Both should be fine in the case of Monica Fabi, the new Project Manager in the Portfolio Management business unit. It’s simple with the monks – the city of Munich is named after the monks and therefore has a very similar name in Italian: Monaco. And the “unique” we adopt for Monica’s professional skills.

Born in Rome, she has been working in IT for around 20 years, mainly in application development and maintenance, and has mostly worked in international teams. The 46-year-old has been living in Munich for several years now and loves meeting people from all over the world and talking to them about their different habits and cultures. That’ s why TSCNET Services is the right place for her.

Monica studied mathematics at La Sapienza University in Rome and holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s largest project management organisation. She wants to use her experience and knowledge to help her new co-workers cope with the many challenges that projects present, from deadline pressure and task volume to budget. Ultimately, it’s all about customer satisfaction, explains Monica. “I want to contribute to the growth and success of the company – and continue to enjoy my work,” she adds.

Next to work, she enjoys reading, trekking, visiting art museums and studying new methods and techniques related to her discipline. Even the museum trips could prove helpful: “Being a Project Manager is like being an artist, you have the different coloured process streams combining into a work of art,” as her well-known colleague Greg Cimmarrusti puts it.

Monica Fabi, the new Project Manager in the Portfolio Management business unit (picture: TSCNET Services)

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