We have had the chance to interview Mr. Kassarjian in Armenia and Mr. Mike Eissele SVP for Development at Teamviewer in Germany.
For those readers that don’t know TeamViewer here a few facts: TeamViewer is one of the leading remote desktop solutions, providing remote access, video conferencing and screen sharing. There are 1,5 billion TeamViewer installations, about 10 million concurrent TeamViewer connections at any given time, worldwide, provided by 700 employees from 40 nationalities. TeamViewer exists since 2005 and is based in Göppingen, Germany.
Raffi you are General Manager at Emerging Products Group, belonging to the TeamViewer GmbH in Germany. Could you please give us a short introduction to your operation in Armenia and your responsibilities in connection with TeamViewer.
In 2011, Monitis, an Armenia-based global SaaS provider, was acquired by the same parent company as TeamViewer. In 2014, both companies were acquired by a European private equity firm. Over the past few years, the two companies (Monitis and TeamViewer), have increased their joint cooperation, to the point where most of the resources in Armenia now work on joint projects with their Germany-based colleagues.
The teams in Armenia work primarily on products outside of the core TeamViewer product, which are grouped together in the Emerging Products Group, which I’m responsible for. For example, TeamViewer is launching a new product called TeamViewer IoT, which was the result
of close cooperation between product management, development, and marketing in both countries.
Mike as SVP for Development you have a clear understanding of skills and knowledge needed to develop, maintain and also to bring innovative ideas to TeamViewer. Could you please give us a short introduction of your requirements on skills and knowledge on the technical side?
As our company develops a wide range of technology and operating systems we also have the requirement of different technological skills. For sure, communication is
one of the most important aspects of making a cooperation work; therefore, our company switched to English as a default language.
People typically have a good education in technology skills, like programming languages, software architecture, etc.; however, given that we are a company that offers software to millions of people, the focus in software development shifts to maintainability, scalability, security, stability – much more for typical software development vendors. An awareness of these requirements is very important to us.
How does Armenia fit into the TeamViewer Group and how did you come exactly to Armenia – and not to Ukraine or Romania, which are much closer for instance?
We looked for an opportunity to extend our portfolio in a certain software market and found a startup in Armenia, that’s how everything started. We had a closer look at the company and the people working there and were convinced that it would be a good fit to merge with this company.
Raffi and Mike what are the things you value most on your co-operation and what are the aspects that were not so easy to achieve?
We really benefit from different cultures and different approaches to address issues. In contrast, keeping the communication active and balancing the aspects of both cultures is also a challenge.
I agree that cross-collaboration is key to exposing both teams to new ways of thinking and problem-solving. We found that creating personal connections (via joint training or office visits) is key to successful remote collaboration, and we have now incorporated this approach into our planning and execution. Recently, we invested in new, leading-edge IT infrastructure in Armenia to address many of the challenges posed by distance and language.
Thank you for this interview!
This article was published in the Armenia Outsourcing Destination Guide. For more interesting articles about the Armenian IT-market, download the guide here:
Mike Eissele has served as the Senior Vice President of Engineering at TeamViewer since June, 2016. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Engineering at TeamViewer. Mike joined TeamViewer in 2009 as the Head of Software Development, and since then, he has been responsible for driving the team behind the development and implementation of all of TeamViewer’s products.
From 2003 to 2009, Mike joined the Visualization Research Group at the University of Stuttgart as a research associate and earned his Doctor of Natural Sciences in Computer Science for his contributions to various visualization and computer graphics topics.
Mike studied Computer Science at the University of Stuttgart with a focus on visualization, computer graphics, and distributed systems. He also was awarded an MSc in Computer Science in 2002.
Raffi Kassarjian has been the General Manager, Internet of Things (IoT) and Monitis since January, 2016. Before joining TeamViewer, Raffi served as the Head of Product Management, Marketing and Retail Banking Services for Converse Bank, one of the leading retail banks in Armenia. Prior to this, Raffi was Chief Executive Officer of iCON Communications, which was one of the pioneering wireless internet service providers in the country.
Before moving to Armenia, he was Vice President and General Manager at Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FICO). He launched Fair Isaac’s first Internet service shortly after joining the company in 1999. He later oversaw various product P&Ls representing 20% of the company’s revenues, and was a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. Prior to Fair Isaac, he was a Senior Manager with Accenture’s (formerly Andersen Consulting) Strategic Services group, where he led strategy engagements for clients in financial services, telecommunications, and high technology. Raffi holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Stanford University.