We've reached an amazing milestone
50 years of Innovation
On May 30th we turned 50 and the celebrations
have started around the globe
Can you remember what you did last summer? What about last year – let alone 50 years ago for those of us who were born! Some of our people can.
Here you will find stories, memories and experiences shared that all helped our company grow up through the last 50 years!
See for yourself how Software AG has evolved and transformed over the years. It may even remind you of a memory you had forgotten!
Enjoy travelling back in time!
Lilo Ford & Software AG – 30 years side-by-side
Lilo Ford has been a part of our company for 30 years. In an interview she shares her stories about how Software AG changed over the years
What was your first day like when you first started here 30 years ago compared to today's New Hire Welcome Days?
When I first started, there was an event for new employees every quarter of the year. With me 89 other talents started off with me, the number of new hires was so much higher then. At that time we still had the building in Friedbergerstraße/Messplatz. I especially liked the fact that there was a Software AG Gallery event. This was a vernissage that was held by Software AG every quarter. I took part before my actual first day and made many contacts. That was a really great event.
What else I consider a difference is the access cards. In the past, an official photographer took pictures from every single "newcomer". These pictures were then placed on our access cards. These cards were far more personal compared to the access cards that we use now.
How does work differ from the past?
There's a huge difference. At the beginning of my career we still used mainframe terminals. In order to write a letter on these devices you needed a special program and selected a language similar to HTML. In the past it was also common practice to type customer contracts on a typewriter. In those days though, the typewriters did not include any memory space. Hence, if you made a mistake you had to start all over again.
When we started to use PCs at Software AG, Outlook did not exist, instead we worked with Connect. With this specific program many things ran on public folders - accessible to everyone. There were things like:
- Page 13 - a place where you were able to read jokes or display them
- Real Estate function – if you were looking for a new home – for rent or sale:
- Offer/Search function – employees were able to sell things or search for specific things for example a cooking spoon
What was your best moment at Software AG so far?
I loved working in the Product Marketing department. Our former CEO Mr. Pagé came by our office a number of times and talked to us. Often we would fetch a bottle of champagne from the fridge. It was great to interact with someone was so close to the employees.
Another great moment was when I was asked to take over my friend’s training who was not able to hold the training herself as she was off sick at the time. I had never done anything like that before and had no idea how to do it. Despite many doubts I just did it and it was so worth it. I received great feedback afterwards - the participants loved it which made me feel so proud and happy.
Software AG’s Transformation - What will Software AG look like in the next 50 years?
In my opinion, Software AG's pioneering spirit has gotten lost in recent years. We need to dig that up again. Once that happens, I believe Software AG will continue to grow.
The most important thing for me though is that I still love working for Software AG. I enjoy coming to work every morning and love what I do.
Fond memories – Mario Salomon goes back in time
Dear Software AG
I have been a part of Software AG for a very long period of my life. My role as Natural Vsam and DB2 development manager were the best years of my life. I literally slept on the assembler code, knew it so well that I could zap customers without having the source with me. Those were the days. At that time Software AG was a small, wild group of people in Darmstadt, a bunch of people who were not only wild but also cool.
There was Mr. Mc Coin for instance - our colleague with the dog in the office who was always ready to shout out loud when something didn't suit him. Then there was the English colleague Mr. McBrice whose head turned fire red whenever I zapped the CICS so much that it crashed, while screaming “Saaaaloooomoooon” down all corridors!
The work with Peter Schnell and also Peter Pagè, my boss and Margrit Neumann were the most fun times during my entire working life. Day and night one was there for Software AG. At that time we did not have any internet, in the evenings I had the USA on the phone while in the mornings it was Asia’s turn. Singapore was the last stop of my Software AG career where I was technical director for several years. Right now I'm enjoying the fruits of my work and traveling the world. It almost feels like the past when I was still travelling under the Software AG flag.
How about organizing a get-together with former colleagues just like in the old days?
Let’s get the party started.
From analog to digitalization
Working @ Software AG in the 90s
Mandy Hildebrandt was twenty when she first set her eyes on Software AG – now 20 years on she is still going strong.
Let us go down memory lane with Mandy who initially started at Software AG in August 1997 covering for Heike Hartung who at that time was on maternity leave. Back then one of Software AG's offices was located in Alsbach and Mandy was part of the Logistic's department responsible for Shipping & Purchasing. Software AG already knew back then how important it was to invest in young talent and so in January 1998 Mandy was offered a full-time position and hasn't looked back since. ☺
The picture shows Mandy in the late 1990s. This was her office in Alsbach. The tube monitor was very hip and modern at the time. 20 years on and this monitor has reached cult status. ☺
Our flat building based in beautiful Alsbach-Hähnlein felt like a second home where purchasing, belt dispatch, warehouse, printing and shipping colleagues all worked under one roof.
Working in the IT Industry was surely different 20 year ago – it involved a lot of paper work. ☺
IT Purchasing was all about going through tons of catalogues to find the appropriate item that was requested by the customers. These goods were then ordered directly from the supplier by sending off a fax. The actual deliveries were only able to be tracked by calling the supplier directly using the well-known tool – telephone. One thing was for sure "Returns" were not accepted as that meant a huge time and cost effort. Remember – SAP was not installed in our company at the time nor did we have internet – unbelievable but true. ☺
This is not a film reel - this is how Software AG in 1997 sent out their products – we used tapes or floppy disks. License keys did not exist at the time.
Nowadays it is no longer called "tape dispatch" but something far more fashionable "product shipping", everything runs fully automatic via various interfaces. Deliveries are sent by clicking on "Send" in an E-Mail while physical deliveries are virtually non-existent.
In the picture you can see Mandy and Yvonne van der Meer (also still with us today - 27 years strong) in the print shop in Alsbach copying the Telekom mobile phone bills for our well organized and highly modern at the time filing system before they went to the accounting department for payment. At that time it felt as if we were printing kilograms of paper, the pages were printed on both sides and there were no printers that were able to copy on both sides. The effort (time) each month was enormous. During this time Mandy was also known as "Handy-Mandy". ☺
Today – we write 2019 and we have been a part of a digital transformation – thanks to internal tools such as global sourcing, digital document storage, etc our jobs have become more automated. While Mandy enjoys how everything has become more digital and therefore often faster and easier she fondly looks back at her "non-digital" life at Software AG.
My first 50 days at Software AG
Excited and thrilled - these two words describe my thoughts and feeling pretty well on my first day at work. My motto: "Let's rock and be curious, always".
Amazing how time flies - it's been 50 days since I first walked through those Software AG doors. 50 days filled with many beautiful moments and experiences and one thing I can say for sure already now is - it definitely never gets boring. When I look back at what I have experienced so far - Hannover Messe 2019 immediately springs to mind – my first proper project at Software AG. Together with two colleagues from the "Global Technology Excellence Operations" department, we developed our very own digital guestbook for Software AG's 50th anniversary. This digital guestbook will now make an appearance at all our global events. I was actually responsible for the guestbook on site. Being also part of the organization team during the entire HMI there was always something for me to do.
I am so grateful for the opportunity and the trust my team has placed in me. But not only that, it's nice to see and experience that we're all a team here, working together across departments. Thank you for the first 50 days which I will never forget.
As you have all noticed, I had many first experiences during my time at Software AG. This will be stored in a very special place within my memory box. Dear Software AG, let's be bold for the next upcoming years, let's shine and always be curios. All the best!
Software AG is celebrating the big 50 today – while a total of 127 employees already celebrated their 10th,15th,20th, 25th, 30th or even 35th anniversaries at the Wachenburg in Weinheim on 9th May . Together, they bring an impressive 2,745 years of company affiliation to the table.
Enjoy reliving your jubilee festivities here
Maria Breuing & Hardy Dreesen
Working at Software AG hasn’t lost its appeal for us, despite all the highs and lows. It is not and never has been about going solely by the book. Everyone has a certain leeway and contributes to the company’s success.
Over the years, we’ve taken the opportunity to grow our expertise in different areas within the company. Implementing new technologies and customer requirements in solutions is always a challenge. We never get bored!
Jose Daniel Encarnacao & Amruta Jinralkar
The IT world is currently growing at lightning speed. It can easily happen that we focus intently on a product that no one will be talking about five years from now. With the Adabas & Natural 2050+ promise, we know that we’ll be able to apply the things we learn today in the future as well.
50 years really is a long time, especially in the software industry! These days no one can even imagine naming a company Software AG. That’s like naming an automotive company Car AG. The company is established and yet visionary at the same time—just like it was back then.
It all started out with an interesting job posting: They were looking for a “reliable system programmer.” I decided on Software AG because the company offered me so many opportunities to learn and get involved. There was also a bit of chaos, of course, but I really had the feeling that I could make an impact here. The high degree of autonomy appealed to me.
After my time as a student trainee at Software AG, I initially wanted to see something else, but I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to start my career here, so I came back. I learned a great deal during my first year in Consulting. I was able to contribute right from the start. My work helped me become more confident and self-assured. It means a great deal that I was able to take on a lot of responsibility early and that my supervisors trusted in my abilities.
The 90s were really heady times. I was heavily involved in onboarding new colleagues and opening new locations. It was a real pleasure for me. It was culturally and personally enriching to travel all over the world to meet people, to coordinate their integration and to work with them. I have been to over 50 countries for the company. The friends from Software AG Canada that I made are still my best friends. I go fishing with them in northern Canada for a week every year. So overall it has led to a lifestyle of long-term friendships as well as relationships with long-term customers and partners that I have known for decades.
The mixture of the international and the regional makes working here so special. You focus on the region you’re responsible for, but are embedded in a global company. And you feel it almost every day when you collaborate with your colleagues: The rest of the world is just a mouse click or a Skype call away. I also see a lot of opportunities for me personally to go abroad, either temporarily or perhaps for a longer time.