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MagiCAD Group at 40: In the words of our MagiMakers, part 1

16.11.2023

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Over the last 40 years, each one of our employees has left their mark on our company’s history and their contributions make us the company we are today. Meet five unique MagiMakers, some of whom have been here from the early years and others who are only at the beginning of their journey.

In Part 1 we hear how our five MagiMakers got their start with us and what the company and the industry looked like at the time.

Remember to check back next week for Part 2.

Can you briefly share your journey at MagiCAD Group?

Pertti Pavela, Product Development Engineer, MagiMaker since 1985:

  I joined MagiCAD Group in 1985 when the company was only 2 years old (Pertti was in fact the first hired employee of the company). I had studied energy technology at Tampere University of Technology and was still a little bit “computer-adverse”. We didn’t have laptops then, so to demonstrate anything, we would carry our table-top computers with us to meetings with customers. In the early days, the company was small which meant that roles and responsibilities were still broad. As the company has grown our roles have naturally become more specific and defined. It is nice that there are still some of the same people from the early years.

Johan Sörensson, Product Manager, MagiMaker since 2002:

I started in November 2002 as technical support and instructor at the Gothenburg office, which had just opened. During 2014 I started to support our dear UK friends with technical demos and trainings to UK customers. In 2018 I moved on to become Technical Area Manager for Scandinavia and Iceland and then in 2019 Product Manager for MagiCAD for AutoCAD. Since 2020 I have been the Team Manager for the MagiCAD software product management team.

Riitta Korri, Director, Manufacturer Business Unit, MagiMaker since 2003:

I started in 2003 with 3D and data modeling and soon, beyond modeling work, began selling modeling services to manufacturers and leading the modeling team. After some years I started getting more and more involved with manufacturer software projects and ended up doing customer communication, sales, project management and team leading. Since 2020 I have been heading our Manufacturer Business Unit. So for me, my 20-year journey has truly been about growing together with the company. On a very practical level this has also meant that speaking almost only Finnish on a daily basis has changed into speaking almost only English.

Ruggero Valsecchi, Area Manager, Italy, MagiMaker since 2007:

I joined MagiCAD Group in 2007, after two interviews with company founder Mauri Susilahti. The last one was over a glass of wine, with Mauri asking, “Can you start on Monday?”. A bigger office in Turku was being established and most of the colleagues there are still in the company. Roles and responsibilities were still a bit blurry and I was in charge of direct MagiCAD sales to new countries, relationship with some partners and developing our CRM (read “Excel”). After a small detour in 2012 I rejoined the company to work with manufacturer customers. From 2017 I gradually started to take a lead role in our Italian chapter and since 2021 I am fully dedicated to it, coordinating an amazing team of five people.

Adam Oelschläger, Sales Engineer, MagiMaker since 2023:

I am still pretty new to the company as I only joined in February of this year. So, I would say that I am still at the very beginning of my hopefully long journey at MagiCAD Group.

 

What was happening in the industry, and in the world, when you joined the company?

Pertti: Microcomputers were “state-of-the-art” then and coding was a lot more difficult as we had to use a separate floppy disk drive for running the code and another one for taking turns at using a translator and word-processing software. Overall, it was a period of change in the industry. AutoCAD came out in 1983 and was in use at the Tampere University of Technology already in 1984.

Johan: In 2002, MagiCAD Electrical was launched and 3D design was the new thing, there was a lot of hype that all MEP design should be done in 3D. Some other things that were happening in 2002: Introduction of the Euro in most EU countries, US invasion of Afghanistan, and ending of the production of Chevrolet Camaro…

Riitta: MEP design got more and more exact with equipment looking like their actual real-life counterparts. Digital data transfer between different MEP software also started to be more common.

Ruggero: While in the Nordics, it was all about BIM, elsewhere most in the construction industry had not heard of it. Revit was also mostly unknown to people. When promoting our solutions, only on AutoCAD when I started, it felt like we were talking science fiction stuff at times. We tried different things to get into new markets, like doing a roadshow in the Emirates in 2009 and introducing MagiCAD for Revit in Italy in 2010. We were far ahead of the times, but it was super fun.

Adam: As we all know the last couple of years have included some negative developments like the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the effects of the Covid crisis. So, you could say that these have been rather tough times, therefore I am happy that some positive things happened on a personal level and I was able to join MagiCAD Group.

What was new at MagiCAD Group at the time when you joined?

Pertti: When I joined the company was just starting out, so practically everything was new then. We started by making pipe and duct calculation software on MS-DOS followed by custom software for manufacturer customers. MagiCAD software, as we know it today, started to take shape towards the end of the 1990s with the addition of a graphic user interface on AutoCAD.

Johan: Our Gothenburg office, which I work in, had just opened and was completely new at the time.

Riitta: We had entirely new 3D technology for modeling BIM objects in use when I started; Qmodels. At that point BIM objects were used in MagiCAD for AutoCAD, but later on they were converted to be Revit compatible as well.

Ruggero: In 2007 company founder Mauri Susilahti decided we need to develop MagiCAD on top of Revit. Our guys were like “Revit what?”, but with hindsight it looks like it was the right move to make.

Adam: I have never worked in this specific industry and have never worked for a company from Finland. So, there are plenty of new things for me – even on a daily basis. These are exciting times and I am looking forward to the next months.