Today’s interview is with Kerim Akgonul who is Senior Vice President of Products at Pega and is responsible for the company’s suite of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications. I had a chat with Kerim at their annual customer event: Pegaworld 2016to find out more about what they are up to, what makes them different and how they are fast becoming the big, new challenger in the CRM space.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Your people know the best ways to improve your organisation – Interview with Cathy Brown of Engage For Success – and is number 182 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to their customers.
Disclaimer: I was invited along to attend Pega’s annual customer event: Pegaworld 2016 as part of their influencer outreach programme. They paid my travel and accommodation expenses but I was not paid to attend. Also, I was under no obligation to write anything about or interview anyone at the event. This podcast interview and another coming up in a few weeks came about only as a result of some of the interesting things that I saw at the event that I thought would be worth sharing. Disclaimer over. Enjoy.
Here’s the highlights of my interview with Kerim:
About Kerim (taken from his Pega bio)
Kerim Akgonul is Senior Vice President of Products and Pega and is responsible for the company’s suite of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, including Pega Customer Service, Pega Marketing and Pega Sales Automation, as well as our Case Management, Decisioning, Mobile, and BPM software.
Kerim began his career at Pega developing applications for customers in financial services and insurance, and he put his customer-centric perspective to work in establishing the company’s product management function. Early in the company’s history, Kerim recognized the power of connecting back-end operations to front-end, customer-facing applications and has focused the product management team on applications that allow business visionaries to innovate how their organizations interact with customers.
Kerim is focused on leveraging technologies such as mobile, cloud, social, IOT and analytics to support business users. He is an advocate for building software that makes the underlying technology transparent and serves the needs of the business. This focus on business impact has contributed significantly to the company being recognized as leaders in CRM, Case Management and BPM.
In addition to leading the Product Management function, Kerim also established the company’s eLearning Platform, PegaAcademy.com, which provides the courses and training necessary to become a Pega Certified Professional. To date, Pega Academy has delivered more than 1.5 million lessons to more than 36,000 students around the world.
Kerim holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.