Meet Uri Kogan, Nuxeo’s Vice President of Product Marketing focusing on our strategy, positioning, and messaging for the Digital Asset Management (DAM) market.
Here’s his story.
Q: Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be a part of Nuxeo. What makes Nuxeo different than other companies you’ve worked at?
I’m incredibly lucky and excited to be at Nuxeo. It’s been nearly a year since I joined, but I still pinch myself to make sure it’s real on a regular basis!
I grew up in central Iowa, where a surprising number of DAM folks have roots.
After college in the Midwest, I headed for Washington DC and worked in economic consulting. I missed the Chicago winters terribly, so returned to the Windy City for an MBA. One and a half frost-bitten years later, I fulfilled a childhood dream of moving to the West Coast, where I joined HP in Silicon Valley.
At HP I had a wide range of leadership roles; in my final posting I fell in love with all things martech and focused on A/B testing and web content management. After our business was acquired by another company, Nuxeo came knocking.
What I love about Nuxeo is that our people really care about delivering amazing technologies to the market.
Nuxeo has assembled a team of technology visionaries who worked under the radar for quite a while building an amazing platform very well suited to today’s enterprise content challenges. Even after a year I keep discovering more great capabilities with every passing day.
The incredible technical strength and relevance of our platform has in turn drawn in a tremendous team of industry veterans, who for all their experience are eager to redefine the industry. Most of the organizations I’ve been part of had either great technical talent or great market expertise, but not both. When you combine them – watch out!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight that we like to have fun. From our foodie CEO to our bar-hopping engineering team, we work hard and know how to celebrate in style, as well. One of the unfortunate downsides of a customer-facing career in enterprise software is a fair bit of travel. But one look at our office locations and you’ll see it could be a lot worse.
Q: As the VP of Product Marketing at Nuxeo, what are your responsibilities and focus areas?
We’re blessed with an absolute embarrassment of riches in our marketing organization, so I’ve been able to put my focus largely on our strategy, positioning, and messaging for the Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems market. That means I get to spend my day talking to customers and partners about DAM challenges and how we can help meet them, dreaming up the next innovations we’d like to bring to market together with my awesome colleagues in the product team, and coming up with as many ways as I can to share our story with the market (like this blog post!).
Q What direction do you see the DAM market heading? How has it changed over the years and what does it mean for Nuxeo?
The DAM market – like the broader content services market – is undergoing one of the most profound upheavals in the last 30 years of its existence. Frankly, it felt played out – many customers, services providers, and thought leaders thought innovation was mostly in the past, and lamented what might have been had vendors continued to push the art of the possible.
The good news for us, is that we have a tremendous opportunity to bring innovation into this market. While the DAM market was asleep, the cloud was born. And artificial intelligence made it out of academics and into, well, just about everything. Open source became huge. Meanwhile, the demands of DAM customers have changed dramatically, with the incredible growth of channels they need to serve, the focus on end-to-end customer experiences that has made the organizational silos of the past barriers to success, and the accelerating complexity of the marketing technology stacks businesses have assembled to meet their needs. So between tectonic technology shifts that passed legacy vendors by, and changing market needs, there’s a yawning gulf of opportunity for us to help our customers.
Q: Can you share some of the common DAM pain points that you see organizations struggle with, and how can Nuxeo help solve those?
Yes. Here are some of the ones we’ve seen recently from organizations we’re working with:
1. Managing complex workflows is difficult: one luxury goods maker spends a huge sum on external vendors for marketing photo shoots. They want to internalize this, and need to build an application that can manage the content and the related workflows. A lot of other DAMs don’t have the native workflow capability necessary to do this efficiently.
2. Folks are struggling with poor productivity in legacy DAM systems. Sometimes, the burden falls on overburned creative, marketing, or IT teams who have to spend more late night or weekend hours getting routine tasks done, but the organization is insulated from direct costs. But for one company I’ve recently spoken to, the cost is very, very real. Their agencies have started charging them about $1 million a year because the legacy DAM the company is using is so time consuming for the agencies to work with. Ouch!
3. Content creation is too centralized: a lot of companies, especially those with far-flung operations, have realized that keeping control too tight is both slowing them down and leading to local teams that find ways around formal processes to accomplish what they need to do, with the brand suffering in the process. Increasingly, these companies are turning to template-based design tools that let many people be content creators and contributors, within certain design constraints that keep everyone on brand and on message.
4. Silo’d content adds cost, time, & risk: Given the incredible complexity and dynamism in the marketing technology landscape today, it’s no wonder content is ending up all over the place. Filippo Catalano of Nestlé called this “assets in many content lakes, puddles, and cul-de-sacs” at Henry Stewart DAM in London back in June – props to him for a great turn of phrase. The consequence of this mess is that content becomes ungovernable and really hard to use. Consequently, pushing content through APIs instead of replicating it all over the place is a key priority in a lot of organizations.
Q Are you working on anything interesting at the moment?
Always! Here are 3:
1. I am part way through a series of blog posts on zombie beliefs in the DAM market that customers need to reconsider. They’ve held on to these outdated beliefs because legacy vendors who didn’t have great answers to changing needs didn’t disabuse their customers. It started out as a webinar we did with Henry Stewart, but the blog format has allowed me to expand on some of the ideas a bit.
2. We are cooking up some great stuff in our Nuxeo laboratories. It takes a dash of genius (luckily we have some very bright product folks on the team), a pinch of magic fairy dust, and a lot of user interviews and validation, but there is some very exciting stuff in the pipeline for 2018!
3. Henry Stewart DAM in LA is around the corner, and we’re really excited to have another chance to connect with the DAM community and hear what’s on their minds. I’ve really enjoyed meeting DAM folks in New York, London, and Chicago, so it’s good to wrap the year up so close to home! (And it’s not too late to sign up; you can use my discount code URI100 if you’d like.)
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
My wife and I have two boys, 4 and 2, so if you call me on a weekend morning, you’ll probably find me chasing them on their bikes on the way to a playground, or coaxing them to go just a bit further on a short hike in one of the beautiful nature spots around us in the San Francisco. My favorite vacation ever was a two-week backpacking trip along the Haute Route in Switzerland after graduate school, but with a few exceptions we’ve been staying a bit closer to home until the boys are a bit older. We also used to visit a lot of museums and attend a lot of concerts before we had kids; these days I’ll occasionally sneak in a performance on a work trip, as I did recently at Cadogan Hall in London. I also enjoy combining exercise with sightseeing; in every city I visit I try to make time for a jog!