In our department (or product unit, as we call them) we develop imaging systems for microscope applications in the biological and biomed research field. Our main products, the cell family systems, are sold by Olympus throughout Europe and segments of the Asian market as well. We offer similar product families on the North American market and other markets around the world. My tasks as product developer comprise product specifications, development coordination and taking care of communication with Olympus sales partners.
Our team consists of 4 biologists who interface between software development and sales (support) colleagues. One of our most important tasks is taking the demands of our customers – who are mainly biologists as well – and improving products; or initiating entirely new products based on this input. This means our day-to-day work involves the following: defining customer requirement specifications, discussing implementation with software developers, putting together a timeline and naturally comprehensive testing before releasing the products. As our focus shifts more and more from Europe to global markets, project sizes are increasing and project management becomes that much more important day-in, day-out.
To keep abreast of current innovations it is also important to get out and visit the labs. This may mean organizing a product demo at a customer site, providing support for an imaging course and going to international trade fairs to get an overview of new research trends and new products of competitors.
And finally, our department is involved in the development of an in-vivo system, a product by Olympus Tokyo, our parent corporation. As the contact person for this project I am in charge of communication and coordination between our developers here in Germany and the project team in Tokyo. It is indeed exciting and has, for one thing, given me my first opportunity to visit Tokyo.