Who are the people behind CCS? What drives them and what inspires them in everyday life? Using a series of portraits, we answer these questions and introduce you to our colleagues - those who make CCS the ambitious company it is today. In this particular portrait you will be introduced to:
Competitive by nature, Alexander was born in Gibraltar and lived in Milan as a young boy for several years before settling in Rotterdam. His dream of becoming a pilot took a different turn after 9/11 so, eventually, and with great success, he opted for a career in IT. Alexander joined CCS in 2008 as a junior consultant. “CCS has always offered me opportunities to develop myself. Perhaps because of this, it is amazing how quickly time has passed."
“My father used to work for Shell and we lived in Gibraltar for his work. Not long after that we moved to Milan, again for my father's work. I lived there for about 5 years, until he passed away. After his death, I came to the Netherlands, where I currently live in Rotterdam with my girlfriend and new-born son.”
“I started out with a course in Logistics and Economics, which turned out not to be the right choice for me. I had no idea what to do, but I really liked the transport sector, especially aviation and airports. Initially, I wanted to enrol in a Pilot Training programme, but it didn't quite go as planned. The attacks on the Twin Towers took place on the exact same day as the open day. They immediately advised against embarking on a new training programme, because they had no idea what effect 9/11 would have on the aviation industry. I've always had a broad interest in different subjects and eventually I completed a course in Integral Safety and Security.”
"CCS has always offered me opportunities to develop myself. Perhaps because of this, it is amazing how quickly time has passed."
“After my studies I started working for an employment agency specialized in ICT services. There, I worked for many different companies, such as the municipality of The Hague, the police in Amsterdam, animal protection and a large multinational in the field of water purification. I held various roles. I started at a helpdesk and eventually became a Systems Administrator. To this day I am happy with this journey, because it has given me the opportunity to see different organizations from the inside. Such experiences serve to open your eyes and give you an idea of where you think you might fit in.
I started at CCS in 2008 as a junior consultant. In the beginning I did a number of different assignments for Rabobank. The nice thing is that, after all these years, I am still involved with Rabobank. For my first assignment I took care of the reporting of a business scan. The project concluded with a business presentation and part of my assignment was to design this presentation. I assumed I wouldn’t be presenting it myself, as I was still pretty inexperienced. However, my manager at the time had so much confidence in me that he put me on the spot, in front of the whole of Rabobank, and said: "Well, Alexander, fire away! I can tell you that making a presentation and giving a presentation are two different things. With my heart in my mouth, I wrestled my way through a presentation of 100+ slides. Fortunately, it went well, and I often think back on this moment with a smile.”
“Over time, I have progressed to the position of Business Analyst for Level, Marketplace and more recently Level X. I still occasionally do assignments as a consultant. Personally, I think it’s a really nice combination, because it enables me to keep in touch with what is going on with the customer.
As a business analyst, I work on the functional expansion of the products CCS offers. I translate the customers' wishes into concrete solutions. In my case, I coordinate the customer wishes, or change requests that come to me, with the product managers. I try to involve our customers and partners in the development process as much as possible. By creating that link, I believe you can offer the best solution.
It's great to see that solutions like Postex and EMS are being developed through Marketplace and that customers are immediately asking to use it. Mainly thanks to the arrival of the current CEO, Max Speur, the idea of offering our software as a platform has been increasingly promoted within CCS. I really believe that this is the future for insurance, because it allows you to speed up innovation and to link all kinds of partners to your solutions. I definitely feel that we are on the right track."
“Diversity in my work is very important to me. CCS has always given me the space to do many different projects. If you want something, it's up to you to seize the opportunities that arise. The best thing about my job is the wide variety of business areas and technologies we work with. The different types of customers we have ensures that no two days are ever the same.
For me, what makes CCS unique are the people. Granted, I've been here a while, but you really do get to know your colleagues. Everyone is well-engaged with each other and that makes it special. This is reflected in the things that are organized by CCS and the staff.”
"If you really want something, then it's up to you to seize the opportunities that CCS presents."
“I am super customer-focused and I have a huge drive to win. Everything I do is a competition for me. I can be pretty tiresome sometimes! If I see someone lift 100 kilos with CrossFit, then I have to go and lift 101 kilos! I can be annoyingly competitive."
I used to play hockey at a fairly high level, a sport that has always been a common thread throughout my life. At one point I quit hockey, but, in the end, I could not resist, and I took it up again, joining the first team. My team had just been relegated and, after the first game, I remember yelling out loud that these were the worst players I had ever played with. In my opinion no one could hit a ball, yet, in the long run, we ended up the champions. We were a very strong team, which again proved that, together, you can go far. My motto is therefore, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ For me this has been a pearl of wisdom that I still apply in my work every day.”
This is also reflected in our business. I think our Marketplace ecosystem is a good example. On your own it is difficult to offer such a wide diversity of solutions. “If you do this together with a dedicated team of partners, you can achieve great things.”
“CCS has given me many beautiful moments to look back on, but the birth of my son is surely the most special and intense thing I have experienced in my life. The corona pandemic has been a bizarre period in all our lives, and working from home was incredibly challenging with a little one at home. My girlfriend teaches at a school for vocational education (MBO), which is seen as a vital profession, and so our son could have gone to day-care if it had not been for the fact that he was very ill at the time when the corona pandemic first took hold in the Netherlands. Because of this, our son had to stay at home, which meant that my wife and I had to coordinate all our meetings in order for us to take proper care of him. The wonderful thing about this period is that we were able to be completely involved in his care and to witness his growing up first hand.
My son makes it easier for me to put everything in perspective. From the moment he arrived, and I was able to hold him, there was an indescribable bond between us. It's a cliché, but from day one you feel an overwhelming, unconditional love.”