Joshua Tan, our Director of Support based out of San Francisco, is a dynamic leader of Accelo's technical teams. He has been with us for nearly four years and in much of that time has served as a professional services consultant for dozens of businesses before stepping into a leadership role with our support team.
His main focus today is promoting technical success and excellence on the Accelo platform by building a robust product knowledge base while fostering a burgeoning user community. Here's how he's Accelorating his career!
I had previously completed my Master of Technology Management from UC Santa Barbara, which focuses on building the skills for a leadership career within technology-driven organizations like a SaaS company. So while in business school, I worked on my graduate thesis on potential non-traditional cloud-based work management tools for CPAs and accountants. I also worked at AppFolio down in Santa Barbara, a practice management solution for property managers and lawyers.
After graduating, I moved to San Francisco and worked for a digital agency managing large content projects for Intel and NetApp. So having already been on the client-side of several verticals that Accelo caters to, I was a pretty solid fit for an early professional service consulting role here! After several years of client-facing experience from implementations and project management to hosting webinars and industry conferences, I stepped into a managerial role and took on a major new project to establish our Accelo community from the ground up.
While in professional services, my days consisted more heavily of client-facing meetings and training sessions, with time in between being used for project management and technical platform configurations.
Nowadays as a director, I tend to get pulled into whichever direction I’m needed throughout the day depending on which types of issues are being escalated. I have recurring 1x1 meetings with all of my support engineers to check in on their work progress and generally spend much more time in internal meetings focussing on department processes and company strategy.
I will also regularly pull our team’s metrics against various KPIs to make sure that we stack up well against our strategic goals every quarter. Finally, I’m also our primary community manager as well and besides moderating all of the published content and user interaction, I can also still play a strong individual contributor role as well by resolving client issues because of my strong background in our product.
I don’t want this to sound like a cop-out answer, but there are truly so many - and you tend to use a little bit of everything in a managerial role. Project management is the first piece that comes to mind as you can easily compare your billable time accrued against pre-established budgets, timelines, and goals.
I also find my inbox integrated with Gmail to be a solid homepage to visit when I begin my workday as I have a very "checklist-driven" work persona and find this to be the ideal place to respond to clients, track my time on meetings, and easily relocate activities to stay organized.
I also enjoy the weekly timesheet view since it’s a great way to see where you’ve spent all of your weekly hours and with which clients (something that we sorely needed while back at the digital agency by the way).
Nowadays since I manage our support organization, I spend more time in our internal platform configuration and make a lot of use of our triggers, custom fields, and automations within both the request and ticket products to make sure that our team hits all of our service level objectives for our Plus, Premium, and Accelorated Support packages.
Finally, our new reports product has been invaluable as well for several use-cases, but one in particular to highlight would be better reporting on requests, which we didn’t use to have a whole lot of visibility on. Since our support org receives thousands of incoming client requests a year, having better reporting data on the typical types of basic requests that we receive really drives our overall department strategy.
The most fulfilling part of directing our support organization is knowing that all of the processes and structures that I’m helping to put into place are very impactful.
Not just to create a better work-life balance with my team, but also to foster a more seamless client experience with support.
Support interactions with our team may appear simply technical on the surface, but we are always striving to build that culture of a real human who is behind the scenes, determined to run tests and troubleshoot in order to resolve your issue in record time! We see this constantly reflected in the outstanding survey reviews and comments left by the folks we help every day.
Definitely very fun and close-knit. We enjoy each other’s company whenever possible, but also have the flexibility to work from home which is nice to have during the pandemic. Unpredictable Bay Area commute times can also make the flexible option ideal for busier workdays from home.
We enjoy weekly team lunches, card games, ping pong matches, happy hours in SoMa, nearby gym access, a run club, soccer and basketball teams, late-afternoon workouts at Salesforce park, and dogs constantly roaming around our pet-friendly floor!
These days we partner with WeWork to share a variety of coworking spaces close to Market Street, which makes sense now that the team has become largely spread out across the Bay Area.
Ready to make an impact? Keep an eye out for open roles on our support team here on our careers page! Josh and the rest of his team are always looking for driven and passionate individuals all over the globe to support our growing Accelo community.