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Image Roger Wollert IKOR
Roger Wollert: "There is no one-size-fits-all knowledge within our team. A wide variety of talent brings a high level of expertise and communication skills to the table - customers can rely on us."

– Company and Culture

Managed Services: "Like an orchestra playing in harmony"


As one of IKOR’s longstanding employees, Roger Wollert has been part of IKOR since 2005. Back then, the Managed sService expert looked after industrial customers, and he continues to do so today: "We have been offering complete run-and-change support since 2017. That was a first major customer to completely outsource the SAP support to us," recalls Roger. In the interview, he talks about how maintenance and operations have evolved over time and what the IKOR Managed Services department (formerly: "Dock Application Lifecycle Management"), which Roger manages together with Katja Schmidt, is continuously adapting to changing industry requirements. His credo: "Help shape change!"

It's hard to imagine IKOR without you in Run and Change, the maintenance and operation of IT. What topics do you typically deal with in an average week?

Roger Wollert: My main focus is on building up the business, expanding and maintaining direct customer contact and ensuring that our customers' expectations are met - for example with regard to the design of managed services under SAP S/4HANA or in a cloud context. Also critical is providing team leadership by developing, motivating and especially retaining our valuable staff. For example, I helped shape the training concept for IT specialists at IKOR and supported it until 2017. We confidently chalk this up as a success story wherein our "next generation" has found a permanent home in many of our departments.

Since you joined IKOR in 2005, I assume a lot has happened in your field?

Roger: The standards have changed. Customers must and can rely on us. In many companies, we are a functional part of the client’s IT department. This relationship of trust has grown considerably, as we have been successfully supporting many of our customers for over ten years.

What else has changed?

Roger: We are now also adapting our range of services - methods and topics - for other sectors where operations are becoming increasingly important. In addition, IKOR and the X1F Group are now closely interlinked. From an overall brand perspective, managed services are now a significant building block within the range of services we offer our customers.

„Robotics will ensure the quality and performance of our customers' 'run and change.' In an IT environment, the requirements are not only pronounced in terms of efficiency, but also because of demographic changes.“

Together with Katja Schmidt, you manage the new Center of Excellence "Managed Services", which was set up at the beginning of 2024 and emerged from the former "Dock Application Lifecycle Management." How are the two of you working together?

Roger: Katja has set a productive tone right from the start, for example, with ideas and concepts on how we can roll out operations and maintenance to other markets. Thanks to her strong insurance background and expertise, we have expanded our service offer to other sectors. However, expanding our business also means growing in terms of personnel while bringing together different skills and mindsets. In short, it's all about people working together.

What business goals have you set for yourself for this year?

Roger: We will grow our business in the insurance industry. Thanks to Katja, we are already successful here, taking over operations for a major insurance company and working on other potential new customers. One important topic is the integration of further X1F subsidiaries into the central X1F SAP landscape. We are proud that the X1F Group is relying on us here.

With the focus on large insurance customers that you mentioned, you are picking up on a market trend...

Roger: From our perspective, this is much more than just a trend. Managed Services are now also a necessity for regulated industries and their IT providers, as services and products are increasingly important for our client’s success. IKOR and the X1F group of companies are aligned on this critical market sector, providing continuous collaboration with our customers. Combined with the potential of our sister companies in regulated industries that have not yet made intensive use of managed services, this creates extensive growth opportunities. Insurance companies are increasingly turning to operations and maintenance outsourcing.

This phenomenon in turn requires more presence from your department...

Roger: That's right. At the same time, IKOR is raising its profile and generating recurring income, while customers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to outsource everything that is not part of their core business. This is where we provide support with automated processes. The aim is to establish a future-proof operation and continuously improve it. Robotics, for example, will ensure the quality of our customers' "run and change" in the coming years. This is because it will increase performance. All of these trends are particularly pronounced in the IT environment, not only because of increased efficiency requirements, but also because of demographic changes.

Finding, attracting and retaining IT experts with the necessary cultural fit is a priority at the moment. How are you preparing the basis for team growth and continued staff continuity?

Roger: We don't just need people with a high level of technical expertise. We also need people with a strong mindset: our customers generally cover a large proportion of the day. It's not feasible for colleagues who only want to work rigidly from 8 am to 5 pm. If necessary, we support a customer with flexible service times. This means on-call duty at night, weekends and on public holidays. We would therefore like new employees to help develop smart care models - models that describe how we can guarantee comprehensive care. In addition, our customers are increasingly requesting support for cloud solutions. Here, too, we have to use mechanisms to ensure functioning operations, precisely because a hyperscaler has different operational requirements.

When we talk about service quality, we also have to talk about employee loyalty to the company. After all, I know there is extremely low staff turnover in the Managed Services team. Why is that?

Roger: Our team is like an orchestra playing in harmony - which is why many of our apprentices have chosen to stay with us. Some of them have been with us for a very long time. Our personal togetherness comes from solidarity and shared responsibility. All of this has shaped our team for years. At IKOR, you can approach anyone with any question and usually get a constructive answer. There's no one-size-fits-all approach. We are all very different characters, and we all have a high level of expertise and communication skills.

What makes your team so successful?

Roger: The commitment to the customer is the big link. You can rely on us, true to the maxim: IKOR is part of your IT.

What is currently driving you the most with "Run and Change"?

Roger: During operation, the run, we are concerned - quite classically - with whether all programs and interfaces at the customer's site are running continuously and smoothly, and whether there are any disruptive influences. In addition, it is our job to constantly change and adapt functions, processes or solutions. For me, change means designing, developing and integrating solution scenarios together with customers from different industries and transferring them to ongoing, normal operations. This applies more than ever to regulated markets such as insurance companies, financial institutions and also industrial customers.

What role does your department management currently play?

Roger: Since 2005, I've had a consistent team around me that has continued to develop. As a result, we work together more or less on demand. We know one another very well and trust each other. Thanks to IKOR's growth strategy, more and more new colleagues with different mentalities are joining us. This also gives the topic of leadership a different meaning.

Speaking of which, you share the team leadership with Katja. How do your roles differ?

Roger: I'm delighted that Katja brings new ideas to the table and that we complement each other well. The combination is just right at the moment, and the management team will certainly continue to develop in the future. In the future, Gen Z will be at the helm - and that's a good thing. But back to your question: I bring many years of customer and technical expertise, while Katja contributes her experience in the insurance industry and is building up the new "Center of Excellence." This is closely interlinked with the industry-focused specialist departments, especially with colleagues zeroing in on Insurances & Corporates.

What is the biggest highlight in your almost 20 years at IKOR?

Roger: The team is my highlight! It's also meaningful for me that we've always been able to show great consistency over all this time. A lot has changed around us and we've always done a great job - without being old-fashioned. We have demonstrated a high level of customer understanding and at the same time have always helped to shape change. Thanks to our consistently good work, we have gained a positive perception within the company and form an essential part of IKOR's and X1F's future strategy. We also have fun and can laugh together. I think that's good.

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