Our IoT Heroes: Sebastian von Staden - Product Manager
With one ear to the market, Sebastian gathers requirements from integrators as well as other potential customers and translates them together with our development team into features for our open IoT platform.
What were your main reasons and motivations to join us?
After studying business administration, I worked for 5 years as a management consultant with a focus on finance. This is a very interesting but strongly regulated and rather conservative industry. Someday I came to a point in my career where I started looking for more speed and innovation. That's exactly what I found at Azena and it was really worth it to leave familiar paths and dive into the fast-moving structure of a start-up!
What are the central values in your working environment?
What fascinates me about this young company is the spirit of making a groundbreaking product great together. This is not about making your mark within the company but rather about achieving the overall mission. That's why cooperation plays a central role in our teams. Flat hierarchies allow everyone to find their own contribution to the vision of an open IoT platform in a self-determined way. Working at Azena is more about doing than about conventions.
“What fascinates me is the spirit of making a groundbreaking product great together.”
What superhero power can you draw on when you need it?
To put it in a nutshell, it’s my flexibility with regard to different tasks and people paired with a structured working method. That’s what I have learned in my work as a management consultant for banks. It helps me a lot now, in a very dynamic environment, to keep my focus on what is necessary to make our open IoT platform well known to integrators in the area of security applications and beyond. In my role, it is essential to react flexible to an always-changing environment, but not losing the overall picture at the same time.
I am used to adapting quickly to changing situations and clients, which also requires a lot of empathy. This is critical because I have to convince different people with individual goals and views. Besides, I try to always stay positive and pass that on to the team.
What are the most interesting topics you will work on here and what will be the hardest tasks to solve?
Integrators are not a uniform target group, but each individual integrator is different. I talk to a lot of people every day and learn a lot about their individual goals and motivations. Our challenge is to understand what our product must offer to deliver maximum value to their businesses. Not every integrator is immediately open to innovative concepts like ours. Some prefer to stay with their hardware-driven businesses. These are the hard nuts I have to crack.
“Our challenge is to understand what our product must offer to deliver the greatest value to their businesses.”
What do you see as the main trends in IoT in a business context and from your perspective as a Product Manager
My target group, integrators of surveillance systems, understand that markets and their clients' requirements are changing. New technologies offer new opportunities and potential for new business across industry boundaries. While integrators used to primarily run a hardware business, software and smarter solutions are now playing an increasingly important role. This reflects the underlying trend that devices in the IoT are becoming increasingly smarter. We want to create the basis for this with our open IoT platform.
Sebastian, thank you very much for the chat!
Interested in working with us?