Meet Brett Ackerman, Vice President of Professional Services at Nuxeo. He heads our professional services team and is responsible for the successful delivery of our consulting projects worldwide.
Here's his story.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
I love technology. My first computer was a Laser 128 which was essentially an Apple II clone. Unfortunately, that meant most of the software wasn't fully compatible. I would spend hours figuring out how to change certain parameters to make the software work. Problem solving is what really drives me.
After studying electrical engineering and computer science, I began working in the consulting industry and never looked back.
Q: How did you come to be at Nuxeo and how do you like it here so far?
I joined Nuxeo this past January and it's been absolutely GREAT! One of the things that continuously impresses me is the absolute caliber of the individuals we have across the company. Whether working with product, engineering, support, marketing, operations, professional services, finance or sales everyone is on their game.
The other thing that I found very refreshing is the amount of collaboration and transparency across the groups. Often times with a company as distributed as Nuxeo, you find that information doesn't flow easily or consistently. That's not the case here. We use Slack A LOT, but also are heavy into video conferences and so whether you are in Los Gatos, Brooklyn, Lisbon, London, or Paris you really get to know and work closely with the whole global team.
Q: As the VP of Professional Services, what do your responsibilities include? What aspects of your role do you like best and what are the most challenging?
At a high level, I'm responsible for the successful delivery of our consulting projects worldwide. Below the surface this might mean working closely with a project delivery team at key points during a project, recruiting new team members, developing partnerships with other professional services firms, working with product and engineering to understand how a customer's need might fit into the product roadmap, or helping customers understand how Nuxeo professional services can help them achieve their business goals, just to name a few.
I really enjoy my role at Nuxeo, while it is challenging, it is very rewarding. Nuxeo is growing very quickly and there is always more work to do than time allows, you really need to prioritize. Understanding the difference between what is urgent and what is important and finding the balance is really key.
The Nuxeo professional services team is on the front line helping solve real problems and creating value. It's not easy, but when you have clients tell you that you are saving them between 40-80 hours of work per month, or that you've transformed their business, that's what it's all about.
I have to say, professional services at Nuxeo is quite unique. At other companies, professional services teams are typically solely focused on the project go-live and that's it. Because the Nuxeo Platform is a subscription, Nuxeo professional services is focused not only a successful initial go-live but are just as focused on the client's on-going success, days, weeks, months, and years after that initial go-live.
Q: You work with many Nuxeo customers on a regular basis. Could you share any interesting stories from customer projects or feedback you’ve received?
I'll never forget my first call with a Nuxeo client. They were interested in having Nuxeo professional services develop a migration strategy to move them off of their legacy Autonomy solution to a modern Nuxeo Platform. After about five minutes of discussion about the project scope and objectives, the conversation abruptly shifted to the client telling me how amazing and unique the Nuxeo Platform was in the market. He spent the next 20 minutes talking about the benefits of Nuxeo's robust APIs and the scalability of the Nuxeo architecture.
At first I thought this conversation was unique, but as I talked with more and more clients I realized that this passion and excitement for Nuxeo was pervasive throughout our clients. Usually you have to explain to clients why your software is so great, at Nuxeo the clients explain it to you. VERY cool!
Q: When hiring for the Professional Services team what are the key qualities, experience, and education you look for in a candidate?
We are not a big team and don't want to be one. Our goal is to hire rock stars and no less. That way we deliver the highest quality results in the quickest time possible for our clients and they can realize business value now rather than later.
Beyond all of those very specific skills, we look for people who are eager to learn, are strong team players, thrive in a fast-paced environment, want to work with some of the latest technology and above all like to have fun!
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
As much as possible I like to spend it with my family. As you can imagine with a 6-year old daughter, a 4-year old son and a 1-year old son, my wife and I are kept quite busy. However, when possible we like to get away on an "adventure" as my son calls them. We really enjoy heading to the mountains and snowboarding in the Winter. Having just recently moved to Southern California, I suspect surfing is in our near future as well. That's just like snowboarding, right?