Interview: Kevin Ogrodnik, president of Sherpa Software

Kevin Ogrodnik is the president and CEO of Sherpa Software, a Pittsburgh-based software and solutions company that has been in operation for more than 12 years. Here are some facts about Sherpa Software:

SHERPA SOFTWARE General Infographic.fw

I recently sat down with Sherpa’s President & CEO Kevin Ogrodnik, to ask him a few questions about Sherpa Software.

MM: How did the company get its start?

KO: In 1998, a customer came to us for a custom solution – we developed the product and won their business. At that point we saw what our team could do and the value of the product we had created.  There was a market for the things we were capable of creating, so we packaged a version of this original product and began marketing it as Mail Attender. This product sold very well, and we began creating additional related products to address other business needs and we have evolved these solutions over the last decade to become the company we are today.

MM: What is your greatest success story in initiating change within the company?

KO: Attender Online – for 12 years, we’ve been working with the traditional on-premises offerings that were in our comfort zone and that our customers wanted. Now, we are shifting our focus to the services platform/market to meet the evolving needs of our customers who want to take advantage of the cloud. We had to shift our resources to match up with developing and delivering the services around Attender Online.  This solution has been extremely well-received by the market and has garnered rave reviews from customers, analysts and media.  Attender Online was recently selected as a finalist for the “Best of TechEd” award among other accolades – but the true measure of success for us is seeing how it solves and addresses business needs for our customers, and solves their information governance challenges.

MM: How do you see the industry evolving, and how will Sherpa Software adapt?

KO: I think this answer is reflected in my response to our greatest success story. In essence, we are going from traditional on-premises products to a more solution-oriented model, combining products, services and platforms both on-premises and in the cloud to really address the changing business needs of the market.  We will continue to survey and collect feedback from our customers and prospects to drive the roadmap that allows us to continually evolve with market trends and demands.

MM: What is the most important thing Sherpa can do for a customer, in your eyes?

We have the capabilities to help customers accomplish their goals by whatever means necessary. Every request is important to us. We measure our success through the eyes of our customers. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.

MM: What do you think is the secret behind the happiness of Sherpa employees?

KO: I wouldn’t call it a secret because we’re pretty open; we want to make sure everyone’s happy and challenged in their jobs, to make this a great professional opportunity but also maintaining a good work versus play balance. We want it to be a fun, yet hard-working environment where people enjoy their work and meet goals while not taking ourselves too seriously. A happy employee is a productive employee.  We have a tremendous focus on creating an employee-centric culture.

MM: Name a time where the company went above and beyond in order to help a client.

KO: As we have discussed, going above and beyond for customers is embedded in our culture.  We take pride in our customer satisfaction rates but at the same time strive to do an even better job.  We often spend time on the phone with customers, even in the middle of the night, to help solve their business challenges. We have developed a reputation for our flexibility and dedication to our customers, and this is something that won’t change as we grow. Earlier this week for instance, Sherpa received a call from one of our customers who needed to perform an eDiscovery search that night. The customer himself did not receive the request until after 5 p.m. and one of our product managers began working with the customer to help complete his search requests. Another technical support representative began working with the customer for another hour or so, and by the time the work was over and they had completed there searches, the customer stated this kind of customer service to be one of the reasons he really likes Sherpa; knowing that the tech support representative stayed extra late to help him solve a problem, was valuable to him.

MM: How is Sherpa Software socially responsible?

KO: This again is an area we feel is very important for both our employees and our community.  We participate in donating to and working with several charities.  We make a donation every year to a local women’s shelter, as well as participating in their winter Giving Tree drive where the company adopts a family and provides for all their holiday gift needs. We are also very involved with Children’s Hospital. They invite us every year for tours, and we sponsor certain rooms within the hospital. There is a Sherpa-sponsored MRI room in their distraction-therapy program. This allows the kids to go in for scanning with less of a chance of having to go on anesthesia. This eases their anxiety and makes for a safer procedure and overall better experience for the kids and their parents. Also, each year each of our employees is allotted a particular amount of money to donate to a charity of their choice. Everyone at here enjoys being able to give back to the community through their work.

MM: Where do you see the company in three years?

KO: We will continue to focus on our customers and employees, building the company they both want.  We will evolve our Attender Online and Social Attender platforms and adapt our solutions to the ever-changing nature of the business.  Our goal is profitable growth through innovation, culture and customer satisfaction.  We will strive to be the leading provider of information governance solutions for the IT, legal, compliance and records management communities while maintaining our reputation as a great partner and a great place to work by staying up with the latest trends and making sure that our offerings complement, but also provide, our customers’ needs.

 

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