Five minutes with TNG Technology Consulting
January 23, 2024
IT consultancy TNG Technology Consulting recently opened its UK subsidiary, choosing Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Innovation as its home. The well-established global company was founded in 2001 in Germany, where it maintains its headquarters, and has additional offices in Switzerland, Hungary, Estonia, Australia – and now a UK subsidiary.
We spoke to the Managing Director of its UK office, Daniel Vincent, Germany-based Founding Partner Henrik Klagges and Managing Partner Thomas Endres to find out more about the company and its expansion into the UK.
The Nerd Group
TNG Technology Consulting was established as a group of self-proclaimed nerds – ‘The Nerd Group’ (TNG). The idea was Henrik’s and brought together 12 original partners, all with a love for mathematics and computer science and a drive to innovate, create new, useful software tools, and improve existing ones.
Henrik says the company’s fundamental identity and philosophy has endured since it was established over 20 years ago. Rather than relying on individual genius, the company harnesses the best from collaborations. Its team comprises mostly software engineers from around the world, collaborating and delivering services and products to global clients, “in a model that embodies freedom and efficiency,” says Henrik.
They value innovation and continued learning. Thomas leads the R&D team to tackle the boundaries of the latest technologies, including AI. He remarks that they have a lot of fun in the process, while knowing that developments could become their bread and butter in the future.
TNG’s philosophy has been scalable and the company group has grown organically year on year. It now boasts a workforce of 821 employees worldwide, 99% of whom have university degrees and 55% of whom have PhDs.
TNG provides end-to-end software expertise, building efficient, maintainable and scalable systems according to a client’s needs. This includes design of software architecture, development, delivery and maintenance. It serves multiple industries, including telecommunication corporations, car manufacturers, banking and fintech companies, research and development institutions, as well as smaller, innovative start-ups.
Daniel says, “The company maintains a good balance of projects. We do work for large corporations that provides a stable income, but we also work with small start-ups, which may be less stable clients but are doing interesting things that often push our own learning and innovation.” Since setting up their office in the Oxford Centre for Innovation, Daniel has appreciated meeting like-minded innovators from a number of the companies in the centre doing incredible work.
Having seen clients’ needs for more AI-based solutions growing, the company has also increasingly invested resources and time in AI development. Its teams have built a number of prototypes. For example, they have developed an AI algorithm-based fraud detection system for a fintech client and have built an AI-based size recommender for an online e-commerce clothing company.
They have also built the first real-time deep fakes that can mimic one’s own facial expressions in a virtual mirror. In this project, they trained AI to detect which pixels belong to the face, and from this, with some training, they have built a GDPR-compliant security camera that can blur out faces in images when necessary.
Henrik acknowledges potential harms of AI technology developments, including challenging a person’s right to privacy. They are working on developing AI tools which are personal and run on local machines, rather than the cloud, so that individuals retain more control and the technology becomes useful and meaningful without compromising privacy.
Expanding to Oxford
Henrik was awarded his MSc in computer science from the University of Oxford and has maintained a strong affinity to Oxford. The company values the access to talent coming out of the university. Over the years, it has hosted many interns from the university in the Munich office. Now, with a base in Oxford, it has a stronger connection to such talent. Interns may now work in their Oxford office, with a clear path to continue working in Oxford after their studies or go on to lead other companies that can benefit from their services.
At only 25 years old, software consultant Daniel is heading up the new office. Henrik says when he asked who would like to lead the country office, Daniel stood up boldly for the challenge. Henrik says, “If someone would like to do something, let them do it. It then has a high probability of success.”
Daniel says, “This reflects the management and day-to-day functioning of TNG. Almost everything is voluntary and who does what is determined by who has the drive to do it. Almost everyone in the team is a software engineer, but all take on tasks beyond the usual for an engineer. It is a very empowering culture.”
The Oxford team currently has seven employees. Although work can be done remotely, the office is set up to work comfortably, where teams can benefit from face-to-face time, social engagement and connecting to others in the innovation centre. Being so close to the train station makes it easier for colleagues to come to Oxford from all over the country.
While having an Oxford office provides benefits for employees, the company also aims to grow its UK client base and expand its UK footprint within the year, and grow its team accordingly.
We wish you every success and welcome to the Oxford Centre for Innovation!
For more information on TNG, see https://www.tngtech.co.uk/