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Employee Story

Katrin and Christian

How does internal IT work without a boss?

At first glance, Katrin, a language enthusiast, and Christian, a computer fan, have little in common. At a second glance, however, the two are united by a common mission: bringing people together through technology! Together, they are building Arineo’s internal digital communications architecture. But before the mission could begin, the allies had to get used to cooperative organizing.

Man meets machine at Arineo


Christian used to take computers apart and, with the help of Google and the like, put them back together again. What constitutes a PC and how does an operating system work? The application side of technology is then what keeps him interested. After studying business informatics, he trained with a Microsoft partner to become a Microsoft Certified Solution Expert and joined Arineo as an IT consultant in 2019.


Katrin, a computer linguist, was less enthusiastic about programming but rather about what was possible with software that had already been developed. Her focus of study – the communication between humans and machines – has been a common thread throughout her career. She and Christian came to Arineo at the same time and just started – without a defined role.

"What can you do? There is enough to do here. Off you go!"

While Christian is heavily involved in customer projects as an IT consultant, Katrin takes care of the company’s internal and external communications. This is exactly what Christian advises customers on. His treasure trove of best practices grows steadily. This inspired Arineo to also improve communication and collaboration. If only he, the consultant, were more connected to his colleagues! However, he didn’t know how to bring up the topic with Arineo. He approached Katrin because she is so well connected and knows almost everyone at Arineo. Her door was open to the idea, because she is an advocate of effective communication. At a party, the two came to the only logical conclusion, to join forces in order to digitally represent “the team spirit of Arineo”. Christian is responsible for configuring the intranet and Katrin is in charge of filling the whole thing with content.


“My goal from the beginning was for all Arineo employees to get the most important information in real time. For example, having our intranet as the homepage in their browser enables them to see the latest news and social media activity at a glance.”

From concept to project team

With great enthusiasm, the two started on the very next working day. Since there are no bosses, they have free rein. However, the project is also likely to fizzle out if they don’t find more allies for their idea. The benefits of an intranet are immediately apparent to Katrin – change manager, change facilitator, and communications professional. However, she also knows that a goal has to be translated into the languages of those who need to hear it. The aim is to bring together a group that mirrors on a smaller scale what they aspire to achieve on a larger scale – to have a team that combines different disciplines, mindsets, and characters. That is the secret of their success.

“We succeeded because we built a diverse team, even though I had to learn how to meet the needs of different personalities.”

Christian Herzler

From the goal to the path there

“We learned how to package the content challenges in a way that would resonate with the management,” Christian concludes. In the end, not only was the goal on paper, but also the path to get there.

Ein Mann und eine Frau vor einem Bildschirm

Ralf was the next to come on board. At home in management consulting, he is always at the forefront when it comes to strategy issues – with clients or at Arineo. In his role, he initially had more than a dozen questions for Katrin and Christian. “We felt challenged by him,” Katrin says with a cheeky smile.

“An intranet can cover a lot of things, but it also has to be used by the colleagues. A communication platform like this lives from the people who use it and get the information they need. But what exactly do our colleagues need?” Christian wonders.

To answer that, they collectively look at where the pain points lie: Arineo is growing and that means more and more information is coming into circulation. This makes it increasingly difficult to gather the necessary information. Again, Ralf helps them to quantify the challenge and translate their project into the language of numbers.

Venturing into self-responsibility

There are always dry spells. When the manufacturer’s support is unable to assist, Christian takes it upon himself to figure it out. He finally configures the intranet successfully. This is where it really starts for Katrin: the content needs to be gradually integrated into the intranet, department by department. Whether from the HR, Training, QM, Legal, or Office Communications teams – each individual takes on a role based on their own abilities to give the whole project the necessary support. Katrin and Christian particularly enrich the collaboration in the project team.

“If I want a pink llama, Christian says: ‘We don’t have one, but I can offer you a pink monkey. Should it also sparkle?’ Of course,” exclaims language enthusiast Katrin.

This allows for free expression. Even though it’s not really about llamas and monkeys, but rather their idea of a news feed and social media channels on the intranet’s homepage. “It’s a start, but an intranet is never finished,” says Christian, “It should continuously evolve through user feedback. Otherwise, it will become as irrelevant as the system we’re replacing.”

Ein Mann und eine Frau vor einem Bildschirm

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