Christian, Product Manager

Christian Reiser

Hi Christian, thanks for taking the time! With your background as a former Network Administrator, Requirements Engineer and Program / Product Manager you joined the Team in October 2022 as our Product Manager for the new SaaS Product.

How did you come to Checkmk? What made you decide to join Checkmk? How did you come to Checkmk?

To be honest I didn't know about Checkmk until Martin approached me and asked me if I was interested to help create a new Checkmk SaaS offering. During the interview process I got to know Marcel and Thomas from the product team. Everyone was really passionate about the product and their work. The role promised to be an opportunity to truly make a difference. And guess what? I never regretted starting at Checkmk for one second.

What does your working day look like?

The good thing is there is no typical working day or week. Working in Product Management is by definition a quite versatile job. It involves identifying customer's problems and pain points, understanding the market and competition. All of those inputs have to be condensed, filtered, prioritized, and ultimately converted into actionable items for the development team(s). Obviously, no one can do all of that on his own, so it involves a lot of communication and collaboration with different teams and people. Then again this is part of the fun since you get to work on a variety of different topics with all kind of different people.

What fascinates you most about your job at Checkmk and what are your tasks?

I'm part of the SaaS team whose task is to create a SaaS offering for Checkmk. Checkmk is a super powerful system for everyone using it on-premise. Our challenge now is to create a SaaS offering that is secure and reliable, without loosing its strength and mightiness. At the same time we are building up operations completely from scratch and are also working on a SaaS specific commercial offering. So there are a lot of tough challenges we have to tackle.

What tools/technologies do you work with in your team?

As a team we are very hands-on. Hence, we are very picky in terms of tools and technologies and only use ones which really provide a benefit to us. We use Slack for asynchronous communication, Zoom and Google Meet for meetings, we use Jira for sprint and roadmap planning. We currently still use Google Docs for documentation but hopefully soon migrate over to Confluence to be less fragmented. I use FigJam for visualizing flowcharts and other concepts, I use Figma for wireframes, mockups, our design system, and the final designs. Personally, I use Notion for keeping notes and manage tasks.

What is most important to you in your work life?

It's all about creating products that genuinely address real-world challenges, making everyday tasks a breeze for our customers. And the cherry on top? Collaborating with brilliant minds who share the same passion for crafting outstanding solutions.

Describe in your words the relationship between Checkmk and customers? What makes up this relationship?

I have never worked in a company before in which the relationship between customers and the company has been that important. We talk to and closely collaborate with customers and partners at every level. Sometimes we take decisions that not everyone agrees with but overall it creates a very strong bond. Just one example: at the recent conference, I had dinner with two customers/partners, and they told me they love open source, they love Linux, and they love Checkmk and stand completely behind it. What more can you say?!

What role do customer feedback and market research play in your work?

Being in product that's basically the bread and butter. The good thing about working at Checkmk is that there are so many customers and partners that are more than willing to spend time helping you to get a good idea about what their problems are, what works well in the product and what doesn't. Also within the company there is really an open and collaborative climate. Everyone is open to answer questions and exchange knowledge and ideas.

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