Integration Hero: Alex ten Harkel
Enable U consists of individual heroes. Some work with customers, others send...
But the Enable U machine works so efficiently because of our many integration heroes. This series of integration heroes is intended to honour those individuals.
Seth, how did you end up in the integration profession?
“From my previous employment as a consultant, I have always had a lot to do with National Facilities and municipal interfaces within the StuF standards. Complex projects with all kinds of customized solutions. So it was not surprising that integration is a major challenge for many governments. I’ve always found making connections fun and challenging. Eventually I came into contact with JNet through the Municipality of Amsterdam and I decided to make the switch. From 2021, JNet will be part of Enable U.”
What has changed for you since the acquisition?
“Not much has changed for me. My work and my customers have remained the same. This is nice because I have built up a long-standing relationship with my customers. Of course, it is always drastic when two companies merge. The merging of processes, systems, working methods, you name it. The situation regarding Corona has of course not helped in this regard. I am pleased that there is now more opportunity to work in the office and to work more personally with colleagues.”
What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?
“Complicated please! Give me a solid project that I can sink my teeth into. For me, it becomes fun when two applications can’t actually talk to each other and you really have to dive into the matter to find the best solution for the customer. Sometimes you end up with a short-term solution, to quickly solve an issue, and from there on you think further about a structural solution. For this it is important to communicate well with the customer and to ensure that you involve them in the process. I am always honest and transparent with the customer and find it important to keep in touch. They can always call me.”
So problem solver is your middle name? And what about other hobbies or interests?
“People who know me know that I love coffee. In another life I would have liked to become a barista. Now I am a rower in a Skiff (single rowing boat) or C2 and I like to run to clear my head. Rowing is especially nice because you can do this both independently and in a team, and forms a nice change with the mental puzzle work. I would like to row in a larger boat with 8 people, that seems even powerful to me, I will certainly try this in the future.”
In conclusion, could you give a practical example of a great project you worked on?
“The other day a customer came up with the question; ” How can we go live with a new case system while the old case system still has to be consultable?” There was no solution for this from the case system suppliers, nor from the calling system. We then came to the solution to make a splitter where under certain conditions we could only question the old case system, and for other conditions the new case system. For the situations where it could not be determined in advance, both systems were questioned and the answer compiled from the received answer. This splitter was successfully used during the transition into production, so that questioning of the two case systems remained available. A very useful solution that prevented the customer from having to carry out manual work and allowed the transition to the new case system to go smoothly.”