Heather Newman interviews Laurent St Pierre

Heather and Laurent talk all things community, social media, sponsoring events and more.

Video Transcript

Alright here we are back again. I’m like back again back to back with a Heather

Newman at ESPC19 community reporter in the livestream booth and we have the
lovely Laurent St Pierre. Yeah that’s right. Did I do that well? Yeah that was
perfect okay fabulous from Sharegate. That’s right. And community enablement
manager. That’s right, that’s right. Yeah so, we didn’t go with the traditional
community manager because that has an association with social media. Yeah,
yeah. that’s not what I do so yeah, I don’t I don’t really touch on social
media I’ve got Sophie who’s probably somewhere right here is filming me without
me noticing but yeah.

So what do you do? Like what’s that job entail. Yeah so my job is it’s very
important for Sharegate to be involved in the community and before you know
when we’re a little bit smaller we were kind of like winging it and at some
point you know we needed to be more organized and what and have someone that’s
in charge of actually making sure that we’re involved in the community that
we’re sponsoring events that we worked with MVPs because well MVP’s are always
organizing their own events there are you SharePoint Saturday’s, meetups. So
essentially, I’m that person that works with them and make sure that Sharegate
them and supports the supposed community. That’s cool.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Honestly well I like traveling.
Sometimes there’s a little bit too much though. Yeah, yeah. Not gonna lie but
honestly just say getting to meet all those people yeah it’s fun like we’re
only based in Montreal right so we don’t have offices anywhere so my job allows
me to get out of the office and meet all the people yeah I get some
connections. You have home base and then you. That’s right yeah exactly so from
Montreal to pretty much everywhere.

Do you personally go to all of the events for the most part? No, I no, I try
not to like yeah there’s a lot. I mean how many events do you do a year? It’s
not that bad honestly, I managed to sit a few out. So I do the bigger ones you
know for instance like it’s like SharePoint France for instance, there’s a lot
of them in the year you see a lot of familiar faces so I’ll do a few of them
but I won’t necessarily do all of them so I’d say no between like 10 and 12
during the year. Then that’s cool then Sharegate is a gold sponsors is that
right? No, I think we’re platinum so yeah. You have a big old booth. So that’s
awesome and then are there folks from your team speaking as well? We have
Benjamin we did three, he did two sessions today I don’t remember what time that is so there’s another session today I don’t remember exactly at what time that is so I know he talked about, he got a session about teams got a session
about modern SharePoint yeah and I’m not sure what the third one is about. Yeah and we also have Stephane LaPointe who’s our he’s our Azure MVP. So yeahexactly so he did a session on Azure blueprints and that was that was Tuesday.

Okay you guys so with my marketer hat on. Yep. I really have always
appreciated your marketing um and you’re very innovative and you do fun cool
stuff so in that vein what’s fun and new and cool that you can talk about
that’s not a surprise? Now in terms of marketing stuff that’s coming up? It’s
kind of like a weird moment because we are in December when the work you were
doing all our strategy for 2020 yeah so, we haven’t done the whole strategy for
2020 yet. Most people haven’t let’s be real. Yeah so I know when we get back
that’s the first thing we’re gonna we’re gonna sit down and we’re gonna but no
I mean if you guys haven’t seen we’ve got our new our new stickers yeah I’ve
been pretty popular and so there are little puns around popular TV shows so
there’s people around here so if you don’t have the chance to be at ESPC will
be we’ll bring them with us at other conferences so there’s a lot of content
coming up as usual anything yeah anything outstanding. I mean you always have
great a great booths and I thank you for the party, Sharegate of course had a
really nice party the other night so thank you for that was a lot of fun and
many parties at many events which is what you’re great so that’s really
everyone in the community and the attendees always appreciate those. It’s you
know people are away from home you know it’s fun have some fun having a good time
so it’s important for us. I have to tell you something is like the photo booth
at that party was so fun that guy that ran it yeah it was sweet and we had so
much fun I mean I we kind of camped out there for you know because we put our
bags down and we did like the three a bunch of us just we kept getting pulled
in yeah with Tracy right I know Tracy she was like yeah like saying I’m a I’m a
user adoption specialist and she was like bringing everybody in there yeah and
she actually got it rolling thing I think you were part of that gang too. So,
it was so fun, that’s cool.

And so for you how did you like let’s talk origin story because I don’t know
that about you where’d you come from how’d you get into IT. I got into IT
through Sharegate honestly sorry I’m like I’m the sales and marketing first so
I used to work at a whole other industry there was construction materials so
nothing to do is my first job coming out of college so then it was like not
really my not really my thing yeah so yeah I looked at the G soft which is the
parent company at Sharegate and I joined already a four and a half years ago
yeah so I’m still fairly new to the IT scene but yeah you know slowly and sure
but surely I’m learning the ropes.

And where you from? I’m from Montreal born raised Montreal. Wow. So yeah, I
moved to the British Columbia when I was young so I got to learn my I got to
learn English there and not get too much of an accent too much of a
French-Canadian accent yeah, it’s a little bit there. How many languages do you
speak? Just the two. I know more people should speak many. Yeah, I mean it’s a
I want to I want to learn either Japanese or German I know those are both
flavours that sound very interesting to me and I was like just the sound of it.
Yes, just about your ear right. Exactly and but I never took the time to
actually uh yeah actually sit down though.

So, for you when you travel as much as you do and you’re running around all
the time so like what’s a typical something that you do to chill out or you
know just get away and what revitalizes you? Yeah that’s a good question I’ll
see if only they were there were time for that yeah. You don’t want to burn out
my friend. No exactly so no but it’s typically it’s depending likes to like a
nice city like Prague sometimes I’ll just get in a little bit early especially
when it’s in Europe right so you want to be able to fight the jetlag it a
little bit before you get into it so we get a little bit early. So honestly
like there’s no I just the walking around especially when it’s a beautiful city
like Prague but honestly, I don’t think there’s have like a magic trick
unfortunately do you have one? For me I do a lot of writing, so I do journaling
okay so not just writing for you know but journaling for me and I gotten into
meditation in the last year. Okay cool. And then finally getting a trainer
that’s been fun you know like getting in the gym and moving your body I think
is really important walking getting outside or whatever that’s easy to do it
you can just like do it straight from your hotel room.

Absolutely and for you all I think to me we’re really innovative in the use
of video for your marketing yep and I know there’s a story behind that team and
how that evolved. We always did a lot of I would we’d always did a lot of video
I think this year especially was important so I can trends in marketing that
there’s a lot of there’s a lot there’s a better reception when it comes to
video so we tried to tell you to try that out more so you might have noticed
there’s a lot more video and what we do in social media hence Sophie that’s
right there. She does a lot of content she’s a lot of content and we have Mac
at the office so he’s a digital content creator so he’s got all he’s all
audio/video so he’s a dedicated person in our marketing team that helps us with
all our all our video yeah so yeah he was actually working and coming back to
your other questions yeah we’ve got a cool little Christmas card video that
already there you go so. Mac has been working on that for a few days and he saw
he does a little spoiler review it’s a little flashback video a little of
Christmas to us so keep an eye out for that.

Yeah and you know do you we involved in know the story behind you know you
came out with a bunch of new products right and you know in one word names you
know yes we talked about that process of like building the brand for those a
little bit that was for Apricot yes? Yeah so different stories were those two
products yeah the big challenge was ok so we’re coming up multiple products people
know and love the share gate brand yeah so do we how do we go about creating
two new brands so that’s why we can’t read there’s a lot of thinking a lot of
long thought process behind that but we decided to take the name away from the
single migration product and make share gate not only a product but we become
the brand right so that was come like the hardest part. Yeah that was a big
change. Yeah and apricot also kind of like same process we had big brainstorm
with the whole company it’s like have a beer and we invited everybody was like
writing names on papers and it’s actually a pretty hard process to actually
apricot stick around but overcast on the other hand is something that was built
in what we call the G lab so that like I said share gate is part of a company
called G soft yep and we have some sort of innovation incubator in the company
yeah and that’s where overcast actually came out of so and after some time they
do like an MVP of the of the product right stuck people liked it so they decided
to move forward with it right and it just made sense to incorporate into share
gate because we are addressing kind of the same community right so it is also
something that has to do with IT yeah so I just made sense to incorporate it in
the in the share gate brand. yeah so yeah so, we didn’t we didn’t come up with
that name it was actually given to us with a with an existing name but we all
liked it. yeah I love the iteration of that it’s almost like the you know with
that one that was more I would not agency but it’s from your incubation house
right that’s right inside of yeah the parent company and then the other one was
really something that you not gamified but it was like one of the crowd-sourced
crowds yeah between everybody and. Yeah I think it’s Benjamin Benjamin’s baby
project you know he was he was out there on the field was talking to a lot of
people and you really saw that the NIEM you know four teams governance yeah and
we’re hearing a lot of people and they coming see us it like oh it’s not team
governance how can you how can you help us so there’s a need for that yeah so
yeah but you’re right though it was like it’s it is a little bit of
crowdsourcing it’s Ben being here having a lot of conversation yeah so actually
he’s Benjamin has also moved into a more product centric role so he’s kind of
like his pet project. That’s cool.

Do you find that you know I being at lots of companies and stuff and I find
that the sales and marketing sometimes when I’m going into a client right and
I’m looking at trying to help them with their messaging or their strategy and
all of that that those parts of the businesses are disjointed and it’s not like
I’m like is Sharegate you know it that’s not what I’m asking but it’s more
about like do you find the synergy between sales and marketing and yeah do they
do they work together well I mean I should like do because you guys? I mean
we’ve always had a good relationship but it’s it wasn’t always easy on us I
think this year especially we did a very good job at aligning both departments
but it’s true like the they’re all kind of rivalry because the leads aren’t
good it was like why are you not closing two leads that never happened that was
never an issue yeah but yeah it’s a there’s a lot of things that you don’t
think about it. It’s important that you know you we sit down often with the
same we have both in you this year we had both a new marketing manager and a
sales manager okay so and those guys got along really quickly right very well
very quickly so we’re always sitting down with the sales team especially for
instance for an event like this right so there’s sales objectives there’s
marketing objectives so marketing needs to attract people to the booth yeah so
but it needs to make sense for the for the people that did the salesman add the
boots also so yeah there’s a lot of log of collaboration it’s something that
we’ve improved I’d say okay over the years and it was a big focus for this year
but yeah you’re right it there they’re all there’s always seems to be that that
gap. Yeah well and I feel like also having you know like brand marketing for
AvePoint in work companies and I you know I’m here and I see all of these
booths and we know how much these things cost you know to come and if you’re
doing a lot of them the cost is a lot right and so making sure that you have
and cost per lead CPL isn’t the only thing you calculate and you have a lot of
people sometimes they come to these things and they like what I love what you
just said is that you’re actually running you’re running a program you know
you’re doing a pre-event on-site and post events right and it’s like we’re like
rinse and repeat right and using the same probably project plan and using and
just and actually tracking a budget yep yeah you know that’s super cool.

It’s something that we’ve improved over the years like before as we like
okay let’s go to a conference and yeah let’s do this you know and it’s like how
was the conference guys I think was pretty good and then over yeah you know you
use your you get more focused you send you know you’re really focused on your
objectives but yeah I mean objectives are there to help us you know make sure
we’re all aligned yeah but in the end I mean for us that what’s always most
important over getting leads is the brand aspect and connecting with the
community right so yes which like I said always in Montreal events like this
they’re not just like we can we can do marketing online you know if we come
here is because there’s all those connections that we can do with people and
that’s what’s the most important thing for us.

I love your job title yeah that’s super neat. It’s like there’s always I was
sitting with my manager because I used to work on the partner program and I
switch to that roles. So we worked on this kind of like job description and it
didn’t have a name so it was like oh how you so I was like how do you want to
call that and we’re like well there’s a really matter to me I know what I need
to do feels like it was a Community Managers like yeah I was like that means
you it usually means we do social media it was like and Sophie already does
that and she’s social media manager so yeah so just came was like what am I
doing what’s my role to take them I’m actually there to leverage Sharegate’s
resources and share them to enable the community.

So what’s next for you? For me? Yeah I’ve been in that role for about a year
now there’s still a lot to be done for us also with severe very exciting so I’d
say that the next big thing for me is all the azure side right so we’re very
well-known and we need to have a lot of friends in the office 365 community but
as we move within the Azure community with overcast right you know we don’t
know we don’t know many people not many people know us so it’s super nice it’s
a nice challenge but it’s also super exciting to meet all those new people. So
that’s it that’s pretty much the next big thing for me is right there getting a
we need not only myself but the whole company right so we’re kind of learning
the ropes we who’s who in the community are there events alright they are those events good for us yeah are they not wish do we you should which one should we go yeah and on the office 365 side we’ve pretty much like it’s like not nailed it but we’ve you know I mean we’ve yeah we’ve done the same events a little bit over year over year. But azure is just like completely new so we’ll get to discover that you know. I just walked in it was on my way to get my coffee yeah sure enough come in and do an interview yeah alright yeah.

So, thank you so much. Of course, it’s a pleasure thanks for having me.
Absolutely so everybody ESPC19 livestream booth with Laurent. That’s right. So Sharegate and go check out their booths and go check out their awesome
marketing and check out their great product so how about that and see you
later. Right. Bye guys.


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