DocuSign’s Jesper Frederiksen tells us about working with customers of all sizes across his 25-year career in IT
Tell us about your current role, how long have you been in IT and what are your areas of expertise?
I am the vice president and general manager EMEA at DocuSign and have been working in IT for the past 25 years. The last 18 years I’ve been working across EMEA and the US, living in Denmark, Germany and England I’ve developed a deep understanding of lots of different cultures.
My expertise lies with growing revenues at both VC backed growth ventures and publicly traded industry leaders. I also develop and lead international sales organisations, building alliances and partner networks.
What motivates you right now?
Companies are currently adapting to digital change at an ever increasing pace and all businesses are turning into digital businesses. A key motivator for me right is helping our customers on their journey to becoming a fully digitalised organisation, at every level.
What has been your favourite project so far?
At DocuSign we are blessed with working with innovative customers of all sizes, in all industries and in different functions which this exposes me to many creative, high-impact projects. My favourite so far would have to be Metro Bank, we have helped this disruptive bank take advantage of IT and digital revolution!
What technologies were you involved with ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was responsible for taking KVS Enterprise Vault, and email archiving solution, to market EMEA. KVS had just been acquired by Symantec so I was helping integrate KVS into Symantec. How the world has changed!
What do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
Well, if I knew which products or technologies would lead the market 10 years from now I would be running my own investment portfolio! Ten years out I believe we’ll see use of big data on an unbelievable scale, be exposed to Artificial Intelligence on a daily basis and have made functions in our daily lives performed by some form of robotics.
Who is your tech hero and who is your tech villain?
When I was in school, I worked in an IT reseller part-time. I remember the moment I power-up my first ever Apple Mac in 1994 (with 128Kb memory and disk drive) and was completely blown away by it. This started a life-long admiration of Apple, so my tech hero is definitely Steve Jobs.
On a purely fictional basis it would be Lisbeth Salander from ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy. She is a tech hero who dominates the tech world by being a world-class computer hacker.
Silva from ‘Skyfall’ would be my tech villain. An intriguing character who was formerly a spy and is now a terrible villain, he rigs elections, destabilises markets and interrupts satellite transmissions – as he says ‘just point and click’. He even hacks Q, another tech hero of mine!
What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
At the moment I have two favourites, the first is my Sonos music system. The sound quality is amazing, it’s easy-to-use and allows me to listen to music wherever I am in my home, with any device, from any platform be it radio or my music library. The second is Endomondo, a running app on my Smartphone. When I go running, it logs my miles done, pace etc.and lets my DocuSign colleagues challenge me so it is a great motivator to get me out on the road!
What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
The greatest challenge is how to combine rapid innovation with maintaining/running all the legacy systems, i.e. how traditional company react to the disruptors of today, like Netflix and Amazon, without missing a beat in their core business.
Apart from your own, which company do you admire the most and why?
I admire Uber for a couple of reasons: Firstly, I am fortunate enough to travel the world and their user experience is fantastic and has revolutionised how I travel. Secondly, they are not afraid of changing the status-quo and is delivering amazing growth.
To Cloud or not to Cloud?
I am a huge advocate for the cloud obviously, and I absolutely believe that the majority of all computing will move to SaaS and cloud computing. It’s inevitable and just a matter of time.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a journalist.
Jesper Frederiksen, is VP and general manager of EMEA at DocuSign.