Meet the Face Behind #1 – Roland Streber, CEO ProNewTech and Member of the Board LSBC

Issue #1 – March 2017.  Meet the Face Behind is a LSBC monthly issue that wants to bring together and get to know the faces that bring development to Slovenia. The first issue is about Roland.  

 

Tell us something about yourself and your company.

After finishing preliminary education in Luxembourg, I went to Vienna to study telecommunication technology at the Technical University Vienna. I started my career as an engineer at Philips Professional Systems where I was trained in different business lines. After 6 years, I took a new challenge and created a new department in a Luxembourg based consulting company named Luxconsult. Fourteen years later, in 2009, I decided to create my own consulting company named ProNewTech. Today this company is composed of a small team of ten engineers and 6 freelances who want to convince our customers by offering them our consulting services in different IT – ICT, Project Management and Facility Management Engineering domains.

We focus our consulting activities on creating network designs for telcos, public and private sectors like large national and international companies. R&D in high tech domains and classical engineering tasks. Energy efficient high tech environments are our focus activities in order to grow the green footprint.

Personally, I like to travel, to combine international jobs and leisure. Married with 2 kids, I consider that life is too short to separate business and private life. Combining both, having pleasure to connect to companies in other countries, getting grants for special efforts allowing to travel makes a lot of pleasure and allows to learn a lot more about what is going on elsewhere. Integrating those national and international experiences on a day to day basis, connecting to people from other countries, getting positive feedback from abroad does not only give satisfaction but makes as well a huge amount of pleasure.

Would you tell us something about your experience as a Member of the Board at LSBC and how did you decided to join?

My first contact was with Iztok Petek, Chairman of the Board. He came to my former office in the Solarwind building in Luxembourg. He was in my opinion impressed to see an administrative building with windmills on the roof, having inside a cradle to cradle furniture approach and a Smart Building architecture for tenants economizing about 30% energy compared to similar buildings.

I myself was interested to find high quality stuff / engineers for our international projects. Iztok and Natasa Zajec, Executive director helped me to find Adnan Šupuk, CEO at Management Development Consulting Ljubljana. After a visit with my customer SES in Ljubljana, a decision to sign a contract for a 3 years mission under the umbrella of ProNewTech was signed. Joining LSBC was a logical step, helping Slovenian companies to find Luxembourg partners, having access to the R&D of University of Ljubljana where next development steps.

After a prospection visit in Slovenia, we decided to look for other commun prospective approaches. A H2020 project was submitted together with University Ljubljana, LSBC showed presence at different events in Luxembourg. After two years, LSBC asked me to propose candidacy for the “honorary consul” position for Slovenia in Luxembourg. This is a great honor for me and it will be a challenge to find new success stories in the exchange LSBC is looking for.

Could share some success stories with us?

At ProNewTech we designed the first mutualized, virtualized ICT building infrastructure for multiple tenants. Apart of being a very flexible approach to all the tenants of an administrative Building, the energy efficiency of such an environment is about at least 30% better than the classical situation of similar environments.

With MDC specialists, a Slovenian Project Management company, we are in charge to design and to follow the build phase of a tele hub in Qatar, a 7.000 sqm administrative building with two aisles of datacenter, one redundant to the other. Since now roughly 3 years we are collaborating with success on this project. Our customer is as satisfied that he mentioned ‘never change a winning time’! Meaning that we can design similar approaches in other parts of the world together.

Our team is since five years working to design the network and the safety environment of the new campus of the University of Luxembourg and the city of science in the southern part of Luxembourg. A 1.200 sqm application Datacenter as well as a 1.000 sqm High Performance Computer (HPC) Center have been entirely designed by our engineers, the implementation of the infrastructure has been supervised by our team. Special multimedia environments for auditoriums or the University library as well as the cabling, the optical backbone, access control for 10.000 badges are designed and integrated under the supervision of our engineering and Project Management team.

Why Slovenia? What are the things you like the most in the country?

Slovenia has similar quality standards when compared to Luxembourg. Being a small country of the EU, Slovenia has a similar position to Luxembourg and I do believe that small countries are supposed to work together in order to be successful. People in Slovenia speak English & German, which makes it rather easy to communicate as these languages are also well known in Luxembourg. Beside these similarities, I believe that Slovenia has a great natural beauty and diversity which is not necessarily that well known in Luxembourg.

Most Slovenian companies do not only have similar quality standards and requirements, their size is also comparable to Luxembourgish companies. Therefore they tend to be rather flexible and I have the impression that people still love to work in Slovenia  and are still ‘hungry’ and grateful if you give them opportunities to work in collaboration with you. They have an high education level and they still want to travel abroad for jobs.

Culturally, I think we are really similar, reason why we trust each other when we do business.

Would you tell us more about what opportunities you see ahead in bilateral cooperation between Slovenia and Luxembourg, especially in IT and R&D?

We want to develop new opportunities in the context of R&D for ESA. Slovenia as new member country and Luxembourg as an existent member can easily gather forces. Together with LSBC we organized a meeting where Slovenian R&D companies can present their space research in Luxembourg. A bit like LSBC organized a business matchmaking event in the fintech domain. Those matchmaking events in the space and fintech sectors are for sure opportunities for companies of both countries. First contracts have been signed. Especially IT developers are lacking in Luxembourg. Slovenia can help and it is a fact that it will be easier to work with software companies from Slovenia than companies coming from India or China.

MDC together with ProNewTech is in contact with the University of Maribor related to R&D in the Smart City domain. Other R&D subjects are under discussion with the University of Ljubljana. Business Angel contacts has been tied by LSBC for Slovenian companies in Luxembourg.

ProNewTech is as well looking to collaborate with Slovenian companies for new international business opportunities like large datacenter environments. We feel that our service offer is a lot more performant if we can collaborate with Slovenian partners when we have to challenge large multinational competitors.