Q&A with Alan Taylor, Cubmaster and Principal Product Manager
Alan Taylor, based in Lubbock, Texas, is Principal Product Manager for Service Management and Voice Solutions at Ivanti. He’s also served for nearly eight years as Cubmaster to a pack of Cub Scouts in the Lubbock area, so he knows a thing or two about the Cub motto—Do Your Best!
For more than 10 years, Alan has guided companies through the labyrinth that is IT Service Management maturity. In his current position he takes a proactive role in product planning and design and is involved in all stages of the lifecycle—conception, definition, development, release, and post-release activities. He also drives product strategy, product planning, and marketing execution.
Here’s your chance to get to know Alan a little better through this brief Q&A.
Q: If you only had a ride up an elevator to explain what Ivanti does, what would you say?
AT: Am I going up one floor or headed to the penthouse? The ride itself can really have an impact on the explanation. This is why I feel every Ivanti employee should be well versed in what we do and why we do it. This way, it can be explained during short and long rides. But what I would say is that Ivanti enables companies around the globe to manage and optimize the IT services they deliver to their business users and customers. Likely the conversation would branch off from there based on questions.
Q: Which way are the industry winds blowing?
AT: I see the industry headed towards leveraging cognitive services, which is a set of capabilities vendors use to make their application more intelligent, automated, and engaging. Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is the hot topic from my perspective, particularly in how companies engage their business users or customers. The most common application of this is with Chatbots, where humans interact conversationally with a virtual agent or other technology to answer questions and submit issues or other items.
Q: What’s your one key takeaway surrounding the future of Ivanti in the market space you’re primarily involved with? Where do you foresee both the challenges and opportunities for the company?
AT: From my perspective, particularly in the service management space, my takeaway for Ivanti would be that we’ll have to contend with the sheer number of new vendors that have popped up. Some have broader service management capability, and some specialize in specific areas such as knowledge management or AI. It might be a bit of a challenge to Ivanti as some of these vendors offer solid capability at a much lower price point.
While challenged by this, Ivanti also has a great opportunity as we can also offer capability that these lower-cost vendors provide, and when combined with Ivanti’s asset management and security capabilities, customers can benefit from very broad, best-in-class capability, without the large price tag that often accompanies solutions that offer similar capability. Further, customers will benefit as Ivanti provides capability that these other vendors simply cannot provide without customers having to deal with the cost and administrative overhead of multiple add-on solutions; which suddenly makes that low-cost solution not so cost effective, and in the end, contributes to high costs, a bloated vendor landscape, and would require customers to hire a team of people to manage.
With Ivanti, customers benefit from great solutions across multiple disciplines that are integrated, easy to manage, and have rapid return on investment, all from a single vendor.
Q: What has your professional journey been like to get where you are today, and how has your role changed over the years?
AT: Prior to my Ivanti career, I was a bottle-flipping bartender for TGI Friday’s. My Ivanti journey started in 2000 when I was hired as a technical support rep for then FrontRange Solutions, supporting HEAT and GoldMine. I moved through a number of roles in Support, being a Supervisor for the HEAT support team, and then Manager for the Customer Care & Maintenance Renewal Teams; ITSM v6/v7 support teams, and finally managed the GoldMine team. In the mid-2000’s I moved over to a Sales Engineer role for HEAT, then manager for the SE team, and then Director of Pre-Sales Engineering up until late 2017 where I took on the role of Principal Product Manager for Ivanti Service Manager and Ivanti Voice.
I can honestly say that after nearly 18 years I continue to be blessed by waking up to do what I love each day and am looking forward to adding value where I can to help move Ivanti forward.
Q: Tell us something you’ve done in your life that you’re particularly proud of.
AT: Fulfilled a dream to get to see Mount Everest in person, having traveled there in 2009.
Q: Tell us a little about your name; its origin; who named you and why that name?
AT: My great grandfather on my mom’s side was named Alyn McLeod. I believe I was named after him with a bit of adjustment in spelling (from Alyn to Alan).
Q: What are you reading?
AT: Origin by Dan Brown.
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