Meet Gauri and Mikkel
Domain knowledge and product expertise: a solid cocktail for change
Armed forces across the world are digitalising at high pace, but they all face the same major bottleneck: efficient training in their software solutions. To address this challenge, Mikkel and Gauri of the SitaWare Aspire team combine product expertise and military experience to create a game-changing product.
For almost two decades, Mikkel Senniksen, Senior Solution Architect in the SitaWare Aspire team, was an officer in the Danish Armed Forces, and he was one of the first people to take Systematic’s command & control solution into use. Now, those very experiences are helping shape SitaWare Aspire, a digital platform training soldiers in using the SitaWare suite.
“I was in the Danish defence force when they first got SitaWare, and I saw first-hand how it greatly improved our ways of working. But a software solution is never any better than the people using it, so it is very meaningful to me to get to build a great e-training product that will support soldiers,” Mikkel says.
SitaWare is the world’s premier command and control system, used in more 50 countries across the world. It helps improve situational awareness, workflows, safety, and collaboration – but to armed forces, it can be a challenge to train users in efficiently and at scale.
“While the SitaWare Aspire team is relatively new, we hold a central function in Systematic’s leading suite of defence software. The degree to which soldiers know how to use our products is crucial in determining the value that they can gain from them. I know this first hand, and I apply this knowledge in guiding the team in making technical solutions to real-world challenges,” says Mikkel.
“To us, leadership is not just about leading. It’s equally important to involve. So, the whole team is very engaged in shaping and acting out the strategy.”
Gauri Varma Heise, Director of Service Product Management, Defence, Systematic
The triangle of change
In many ways, SitaWare Aspire represents an ongoing digitalisation of armed forces everywhere. Digital transformation does not happen overnight though, and the armed forces are no exception.
Gauri Varma Heise leads the SitaWare Aspire team as Director of Service Product Management, Defence – and helping overcome this challenge is one of her main focus areas.
“In many ways, SitaWare Aspire is revolutionary compared to how armed forces have traditionally approached training. With e-training it is possible to train at scale in an interactive learning environment. But e-training also presents a significant change in terms technology, organisation, and processes. When one of those parameters change, the others must be adjusted as well, and that takes time. Especially in organisations that relies on strong traditions,” says Gauri.
Today, most armed forces use the train-the-trainer model where suppliers like Systematic train the people who then train the rest of the soldiers – usually in classroom settings. E-training makes it possible to train at scale, when it suits the individual user, and in an immersive sandbox platform that allows students to get hands-on experience with the SitaWare suite.
- Mikkel and Gauri, SitaWare Aspire
Making your mark
As leaders of the SitaWare Aspire team, Mikkel and Gauri supplement each other well. Both in terms of daily leadership and in their strategy to make SitaWare Aspire the leading e-training solution within the defence industry.
“While our backgrounds are different, our mission is very aligned. I know about the business. Mikkel knows the domain and how to transform technical ideas to actual features that really benefit our users. To us, leadership is not just about leading. It’s equally important to involve. So, the whole team is very engaged in shaping and acting out the strategy. We believe it makes us all better,” Gauri says and Mikkel elaborates:
“It is really motivating to see how quickly our ideas and work come to life – and how they make a real difference for the users. It means a lot to me personally because the software we build ultimately helps soldiers.”