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Learning ERP from scratch

– Learning to become an IT consultant is something completely new for me. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who thrives on learning and trying new things, and not least: to leave my comfort zone. So, when I was approached with this opportunity I jumped, says Trainee, Michal Brandl.

In 2023,Mazeppa employed six young and talented people in a trainee program we’re setting up together with our biggest partner, Infor. The goal is to find new talent and develop the next generation of ERP consultants.

Football player turned marketer turned ERP consultant

Brandl is 25 years old and comes from Teplice in the Czhech Republic. He has a huge passion for sports in general, but have played football since he was five years old, and professionally for a number of years.

Different from his trainee colleagues, Brandl has previously studied marketing in Prague and worked in a marketing agency specializing in sports and e-commerce.

– It matched my personal passion for sports and football, when I had the opportunity to help manage the e-shop for a football club in the Czhech Republic while I was still in school, he says.  

Having no prior experience working in the ERP industry, Brandl knew he was taking on a challenge when he decided to join the trainee program with Mazeppa.

– I was approached by our county manager here in the Czech Republic, Stepan Ludvik, who told me about the trainee program and asked me if I’d like to join. As it happens, I’m the kind of person who loves to learn and try new things, and to leave my comfort zone. So I thought, this is something completely new, so my response had to be “why not!”

A rewarding journey

Four months into the program, the trainees have finished their initial training with courses and workshops, getting to know and navigating the Infor LN system. Brandl admits that it was quite challenging at the start, with a lot to learn, but that he sees the reward in the end.

– The world of ERP is complicated and the systems are complex, but the training we’ve received from the senior consultants is top notch, and they’ve shown a great ability to reach all of the trainees on different levels, he says.

– Also, the other trainees had previous experience working with ERP, and while I think they’ve been able to build on that during the program, it’s a bit different for me since I didn’t have that same experience to build on. On my part however, I’ve been able to learn about the Infor LN system from scratch, from knowledgeable and experienced people – both the seniors in Mazeppa and from the trainees. That has been a great challenge and really rewarding.

Having had this deep dive into the system on the technical side, Brandl is now looking to specialize in model CPQ which communicates with the LN system.

– This is moving more toward sales and configurations which share some similarities to my field of expertice which is marketing. That would be very exciting for me, he says.

Currently, the trainees are in the process of moving past the very technical part of their training, and over to working with clients, which is something Brandl is looking forward to.

– It’s great to see how everything actually works and works together in an real project. The consultant job itself is very practical and hands-on, so having a more practical approach to our training in the coming months will probably be what teaches us the most.

Great expectations

Going forward, Brandl hopes to learn even more about business from an ERP point of view; how business and ERP work together and how he can actually utilize all the possibilities within the systems to help clients improve and grow their business.

– I’m eager to learn more about how to work with and communicate with clients. Really how to actually be a consultant, he adds.

Being a social person with a great passion for travelling and an interest in technology and business, life as a consultant is appealing to Brandl.

– The trainee program has way passed my expectations! One thing is learning so much about the system itself, but a whole other thing is the team at Mazeppa. More times than not I feel like they’re more friends than colleagues. We’ve really connected well, and we support each other both personally and professionally.

In the end, Brandl emphasizes the importance of tech companies doing these kinds of trainee programs to preserve competence and lift young talent up and forward.

– It's a big investment for a company and it might be too early to say anything about the return after a year, but I’m confident that it will be worth it in the end. The current trainees at Mazeppa is a great team, the program is really high quality, and the seniors have a unique know-how that is exciting to learn from.