Bremerhaven Adventures

By Chad Bates on December 17, 2010

This week, I visited our German sales and support office in Bremerhaven, Bremen, Germany. If you are not familiar with Bremerhaven, it is located on the harbor where the Weser river meets the North Sea. It is a rather new city by German standards, as it’s only 183 years old. The port has a very busy history. It was the point that millions of Germans left for North America in the mid 20th Century, and where hundreds of thousands of US military personnel arrived in Europe. This included my father during the Vietnam war, and slightly more talked about, Elvis Presley. As I found out last night, people still talk about Elvis coming to Bremerhaven and there is even a musical about it. For the other trivia nerds in the audience, Elvis spent all of 30 minutes in Bremerhaven, so that makes the musical about Elvis being in the city longer than the time he was in the city.

Now back to the business.

Visiting the German office has been an interesting look at how customers in different countries view what Winshuttle does. SAP is a German company and has a very loyal and large customer base here. Everyone knows SAP, even if they are not a user. Companies in Germany have had SAP since the R/2 days. Many are still using 3.1h and love it. They are not in a hurry to change.

For some of our German customers, they have spent extensive amounts of time planning how they will use Winshuttle products to make their business processes even more efficient and precise. This is why I love working with German customers and users. They have some of the most well thought out processes and uses for our software. They don’t do anything without planning and they execute the plan to a T.

This level of detail offers us some very useful insight into how and why our products are being used. Winshuttle Transaction is being applied across many business processes, but for some very different reasons. In the US we have seen it being used to speed up the input of data into SAP. In Germany, there is more use for the enabling of off line data entry. This entails the use of Excel or another input type being used outside of the office or detached from SAP in some way. This off line processing has opened up a number of new opportunities for Winshuttle and our customers to leverage the power of SAP and Excel in the real world.

My trip to Germany has been a great experience and has given me many new use cases to consider. We have much to learn from our German colleagues and customers.

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