AITech Interview with Aurelien Coq, Product Manager at Esker

Aurelien, could you elaborate on how your professional experiences and background have contributed to your current position as Product Manager of Esker?

Prior to my current position as Product Manager of Esker’s Customer Service solution suite, I managed Esker technical support teams both in France and the US. I wanted to use the customer knowledge I gathered while helping Esker customers and bring my contribution to providing better products that fully answer customer needs. That led me to becoming a Product Owner within Esker’s R&D department, following the Agile Scrum methodology. I then became a Product Manager for a predictive lead scoring startup where I developed the necessary skills to position and market a new product, aiming at helping marketing and sales professionals develop their businesses.

I then came back to Esker as a Product Manager where I can combine my technical background with my many years of business and technology experience to deliver solutions that relieve Customer Service professionals from time-consuming tasks and enable them to develop new skills.

What is Esker’s overall vision and mission as a company? How does the organization strive to make an impact in the market or industry it serves?

Esker’s mission is to create a better business experience: businesses face uncertainty and need to build stronger relationships with their employees, as well as their customers and suppliers. We want to enable all stakeholders in the ecosystem to generate value together and never come at another’s expense. This is what we call the Positive-sum growth.

With our AI-powered cloud platform, we want to make an impact by automating finance and customer service processes, ensuring team members are more productive and engaged and eventually strengthening the business ecosystems of our customers.

As a Product Manager in the Order Management domain, what are the key challenges you face in delivering a successful SaaS product? How do you address these challenges?

The first challenge that I face is actually not specific to the Order Management domain but rather generic to all product managers: how do you make sure that you identify the most important problems and pains for your users and how do you make sure that you address them and provide value. In a nutshell, you need to remain close to your users and keep this user-centricity when developing your solutions. But I’ll come back to this topic in the following answers.

Then, as our solution targets B2B companies and each company operates slightly differently, another challenge consists in identifying the common needs that can make our product better globally, and not only for a niche of customers. But at the same time, sometimes, we want to provide features that mostly make sense for a given industry (such as pharma, medical device, or building materials), because there is a pain that is not answered by the market and we cannot only rely on the customization capabilities of our consultants to bridge the functionality gap. So, finding the right balance between adding generic and target industry-specific ones is a challenge.

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