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Meet Søren from Stibo

Søren Lundtoft, 27 years old

Technical Product Manager at Stibo Systems

Master's in IT Product Development from Aarhus University in 2016


I love being able to see ideas and concepts go all the way from the drawing board to realization. That experience is the driving force and motivation for everything I do, and the reason I am absolutely thrilled with my choice of education. What initially appealed to me about the IT Product Development program was that it's a broad interdisciplinary IT education, where you learn to work at the intersection of design, software development, and business understanding. Together, these three areas summarize the entire development process when an IT solution develops from idea to reality. For me, it was particularly exciting to learn how to develop prototypes in a business context because you are forced to think strategically in terms of business understanding and market needs. The IT world is filled with examples of great ideas where the concrete needs of end-users and customers have been overlooked. As a student in the IT Product Development program, you learn from the outset to focus on users because you are always focused on making your projects usable in real life.

Entrepreneurial spirit in the programme

There is a great deal of entrepreneurial spirit in the programme because you constantly have to think creatively and across many fields. This was one of the main reasons I chose to write my thesis project in Stibo Accelerator, which is a hub for university students to engage with the business world at Stibo Systems, where I work today. The accelerator gives you a unique opportunity to work on your study project in a business context and bridge the gap to the business world with your thesis project. When you mix this "anything-is-possible" approach with methods from entrepreneurship and the broad synergies and resources of an established company, you get some truly unique working conditions for innovative product development.

My thesis project focused on how to improve the shopping experience in a supermarket for the user with new digital technologies. We collaborated with the supermarket chain REMA 1000 and developed new shopping concepts focusing on the digital, social, and physical shopping experience. It was both fun and exciting to develop a business case that had the potential to disrupt the retail industry in this way.

Engaging with many fields

After my thesis project, I was hired at Stibo Systems, and today, I am responsible for a project called Tagglo. With Tagglo, we help manufacturers of, for example, tools or groceries manage and transform product data for retailers. It could be The Home Depot or Walmart, which need product data in a specific format when they act as intermediaries between the manufacturer and the customer. You could say that we make it easy for the manufacturer to get their product out to the customer on the other end. And you could say that Tagglo is a good example of how fast things move in the IT industry. With Tagglo, Stibo Systems supports other industries with solutions that nobody even knew there was a market for just 10-15 years ago.

In my job, I am in contact with many fields. You could say that the interdisciplinary nature that is a big part of the IT Product Development program has given me a language I can use to communicate with businesspeople, designers, developers, salespeople, and end-users. The education is the "glue" that enables me to get an overview of all the links in our business and development process and ensure that everything works together: for example, I can both organize development tasks with our developers in Poland, but at the same time collaborate with our team in Boston in the USA on future milestones, customer cases, and the business side. One of the best work experiences I've had was showcasing our application and business concept to some of our American customers. It was great to see how they worked and interacted with a solution we had worked so hard on. When you see how your own work effort can facilitate other people's work tasks and processes in this way, it all just makes sense.

"You should study IT Product Development because the field of IT is developing rapidly, and there's always something new going on."

- Søren Lundtoft