Specialists for Enterprise Information Management

Interview with Ursula Flade-Ruf, Managing Director, and André Vogt, Managing Director of mip Management Informationspartner GmbH

MIP Office Area

Having exceptional know-how in the company has been the goal and objective from day one for Ursula Flade-Ruf and Markus Ruf when they founded mip Management Informationspartner GmbH in 1988. It is the foundation of a success story, during which mip not only became a premium partner of IBM but also could count Mercedes-Benz AG, Theo Förch GmbH & Co. KG, and other renowned companies among its customers. Since last year, mip has been part of the CENIT Group. The managing directors Ursula Flade-Ruf and André Vogt talked to us about the merger and the way women see things differently.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mrs. Flade-Ruf, last year mip joined the CENIT Group – the latest milestone in the development of your company to date. Please outline the journey there.

Ursula Flade-Ruf: In principle, we cover all the developments that the industry has gone through over the years: from management information systems to data warehouses and business intelligence to the complex issues of distributed platforms, through which we were able to reach a larger audience with our systems. As we progressed, topics such as big data and later AI were added. Our development was strongly influenced by strategic partnerships with software and hardware companies, especially the very close contact with IBM, which has been almost a ‘lifelong friendship’.

MIP - Managing Director André Vogt
Managing Director André Vogt sets a clear goal: The CENIT corporate group aims to become number 1 in the market in the area of Enterprise Information Management
MIP - Managing Director Ursula Flade-Ruf
Managing Director Ursula Flade-Ruf founded mip in 1988 together with her husband Markus Ruf. She encourages women to tackle the things they want to achieve

The latter is not least a proof of the outstanding know-how we have in the company: At IBM, we have been known from the beginning as a specialized house for data warehouse, data management, data integration, and data analysis. This is evident not least in the fact that we not only have three IBM Champions but also two Gold Consultants for the IBM Db2, IBM's leading database, in our team. The merger with the CENIT Group represents another important step: We are very pleased to be able to support André Vogt in particular in ensuring that the Business Unit Enterprise Information Management continues to be one of the leading providers in the market in this field.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Vogt, what does this merger mean for CENIT?

André Vogt: I would like to say, a very important milestone – and in the end, this is also thanks to IBM – was the getting to know the Ruf family in this context. I had the opportunity to take many trips to the USA, Canada, and other countries, guided by IBM, together with Ursula Flade-Ruf and her husband Markus Ruf, where we always had access to the IBM laboratories and were trained and further educated there. Over these ten years of regular meetings, of course, a lot of trust has been built, so that for the CENIT Group the question of where a strategic gap can still be closed could be combined with the personal element of mutual trust and appreciation.

As the core element that mip contributes to the group, I see the incredible technical expertise and the associated very stable, long-standing customer partnerships that it has built up and which, of course, are to be further developed and continued. Our focus is now on pooling everything that has relevance in the context of IBM-based software and hardware products and making it available to the entire group and its client base. In this respect, we are strongly focusing on the theme of cross-selling and synergies within the group to achieve our goal of becoming number 1 in the field of enterprise information management with themes of analytics and document logistics.

MIP Corporate Structure
The companies of the EIM Group within the CENIT corporate group
MIP - Team Event
In the fast lane on the go-kart track: mip- Team Event

Wirtschaftsforum: Ms. Flade-Ruf, you founded mip in 1988. Even today, IT is still predominantly a male world, but back then you were quite a rarity as a woman in this field. Did you think about that when you founded the company?

Ursula Flade-Ruf: In fact, I didn't think about whether I should dare to do it as a woman or not. But I stand for, also as a role model, that women should dare to tackle what they want to achieve. Women lead differently – if they are allowed to – because they look at things from different perspectives and seek different solutions. That's why it's so important that men and women build the future together!