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Françoise Tourniaire is the founder and owner of FT Works, a consultancy firm that helps technology companies create and improve their support operations. She has over 20 years’ experience as a Support and Services executive.
Prior to founding FT Works in 1998, Françoise was the Vice President of Worldwide Service at Scopus, a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool manufacturer. Before that, she held executive and other positions with Intel, as well as with Sybase and Ingres, both database manufacturers.
Her areas of expertise include designing customer success programs, creating and pricing support offerings, soft skills training for support and customer success professionals, creating staffing models, selecting support tools, designing effective metrics and dashboards, and conducting assessments of support organizations.
Françoise is a frequent contributor to support industry newsletters and conferences. She’s also the author of The Art of Software Support, a practical guide to running software support operations, Collective Wisdom: Transforming Support through Knowledge, a handbook for enlightened knowledge management in support organizations, and Selling Value, a guide to creating, marketing, and selling support packages.
She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Paris, France, and a Ph.D. in Math and Science Education from the University of California at Berkeley.
Rizwan Dhanani brings over 15 years of software experience, ranging from engineering to support, including over 10 years in senior management positions.
He spent 14 years with OSIsoft, helping grow the support team from a handful of engineers at headquarters to a global organization spanning hundreds of engineers in twenty-plus countries. He designed, built, and managed a global onboarding program to train support and field service engineers on high-complexity products, cutting training time by more than half while enhancing depth of knowledge. He has particular expertise in people management, coaching, process, and hiring and recruiting.
Most recently, Rizwan has been working in the non-profit world, fighting food waste and helping feed underprivileged communities.
Rizwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley with a minor in Business Administration, with graduate work in Computer Science at Santa Clara University.
Lainie has a background in technical writing and marketing and has held executive and consulting positions in several technology companies. She has more than 20 years of experience leading teams, working with CxO level clients, and managing large-scale web and multimedia projects.
Lainie specializes in strategic communications, customer assessment, and user experience design. She has helped create a variety of award-winning technical support websites and documentation materials.
Lainie studied at Cal Berkeley and co-owns an art house cinema in Oregon.
Bonnie Gustofson has over ten years’ experience in customer service and technical support, with particular expertise in process definition, soft skills training, coaching, and project management.
At Siebel Systems, Bonnie held senior management positions. Leading the Americas Technical Support team and the Global Customer Service team, she implemented virtual teams and designed processes to scale with growth while maintaining some of the highest customer services scores in the industry. Earlier in her career, she also led the Scopus escalation team.
Bonnie has served in key roles during acquisitions, and she knows how to leverage trust relationships to motivate employees to embrace change and move forward in anticipation of new processes and systems. She is PMP certified.
Becky Staaden has over ten years' experience in engineering and customer support management. Her uncommon combination of technical knowledge and communication skills makes her an ideal facilitator for soft skills training.
An experienced technical support manager, Becky is adept at coordinating across departments and locations to achieve customer-oriented results. She's also a skilled creator and implementor of streamlined support processes.
Becky has a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from California State University, Chico, and has created a College Board-approved syllabus for AP Computer Science A.
Eric Eidson is an advisor to FT Works in operations, marketing, partner and channel management, and sales support. He has delivered trainings in customer service, technical support skills, and technical support marketing; lectured on support issues for nationwide service and support seminars; been invited to speak at service and support conferences; and authored articles for service and support industry publications.
Through the years, Eric has held director level and management positions with Bay Area technology companies, including Autodesk, Sybase, Applied Materials, and BEA Systems. His career has included virtually every aspect of service and support, from taking customer calls, building organizations, and managing support delivery operations, to driving strategic direction and developing a comprehensive approach to maximizing the revenue and profit contribution of support services.
He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing from Indiana University.
Darach Beirne brings over 20 years' experience in building and leading B2B Customer Support, Customer Success, Professional Services, and Sales Engineering teams for hardware and software providers, including Contenix, Huawei, InQuira, Siebel and Ingres. Over the years he has led services organizations from startup size to large global organizations in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Darach helps high-tech companies develop strategies to improve customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn and increase scalability.
Most recently, he worked with a leading SIP trunking services provider to establish a CSM program and create processes for onboarding customers and managing churn. He created a customer feedback process using transactional CSAT and semi-annual NPS surveys, and he designed and implemented action plans to act on customer feedback. As a result, the company's NPS moved to 67 from 58, and the CSAT average reached 98 percent.
Prior to that, Darach advised Bank of America on the redesign and successful implementation of their self-service online banking system, which resulted in an 100 percent increase in usage and improved customer satisfaction.
Carmen Yem is a support and service consultant with over 20 years’ experience in enterprise support and customer service. She helps businesses design and implement processes to help create satisfied, loyal customers and retain staff.
She has particular expertise in process definition, coaching, tool implementation, and project management. Carmen has also worked for customers in the high-tech, insurance, healthcare, financial, medical devices, and retail industries.
Prior to consulting, she held support management positions at Siebel as well as at startups. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from San Jose State University and an MBA from Purdue University.
Emil Flock founded Computer Hand Holding in 1983 and invented third-party technical support (later known as outsourcing). In ’94, he sold the firm to SEI and promptly helped them grow the idea (from 100 employees to 2000) and go to an IPO. He moved on to build award-winning support organizations at NetObjects and Keynote, among others. He has authored five computer books and numerous articles. He specializes in outsourcing and offshoring, as well as pay-for-support programs, knowledgebase systems, CRMs, IVRs, ACDs and lots of other three-letter acronyms. He attended Columbia University back in the age of vacuum tubes and has one of the earliest computer science degrees ever granted. He’s old enough to have programmed in Algol.
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