When Trilix Founder and CEO Tim Hebert approached Randall Jackvony to be one of the founding executive members of Trilix, he excitedly said “yes.” Passionate about entrepreneurship and leadership, Randy was eager to create a company focused on people and process and using technology to truly improve the way clients do business.
“Based on my experience with customers, I knew there was a need for a technology company that is process focused and not focused on using technology just because it is there. I had been thinking about ways to start a company like Trilix, so the opportunity to be a part of creating Trilix was tremendous.”
We stole a few minutes with Trilix’s Principal, Technology and Client Services, to chat about everything from how a childhood love of computers morphed into a lifelong career in technology to why technology implementations all too often go south fast…
You seem to have dove straight into technical roles upon graduating college, working for a number of years at Lifespan, Custom Computer Specialists, Atrion and now Trilix. What inspires you to pursue technology-driven roles and did you always picture yourself in this industry?
I arrived in the technology space somewhat by accident. As a kid, I loved playing with electronics and computers; I liked writing programs on machines like the Commodore 64 and Apple IIe! The first computer we got at a home was an IBM PCjr. Dating myself a bit, but it didn’t even have its own hard drive. Every time you had to manually load the operating system by way of floppy disk and then it would load into the memory. I won’t go into further detail because it will make me seem super nerdy.
But surprisingly enough, despite my interest in computers as a kid, I ended up studying history in college. I was actually a teacher very briefly but I quickly realized that wasn’t where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. So about a year or so after college, I began working for MEDITECH as an Applications Consultant and that’s how I got started down the technology road.
Since making the jump to the technology space, what has kept you excited about the industry?
I was always interested in technology and the possibilities it could bring, so the further I got into the space, the more I enjoyed peeling back the layers with regards to how technology—and the right approach to process—can transform businesses.
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In your previous roles and today, you have had to possess a great understanding of the ways in which technology and business come together. Why is this a challenge for most companies?
As more and more technological advances come out and more tools are available, we are actually realizing a smaller percentage of value from technology because it’s getting very complicated. To get the most out of a technology implementation, it’s imperative to think about technology in a logical, strategic way. The more technology advances and is available, the more important that becomes.
Technology and business can often be at odds with one another because both sides are scared of each other’s domains. Technologists often approach projects looking to shoehorn in a specific technology regardless of process, while business can have expectations that technology is going to immediately solve their woes and process won’t change. To be successful, you have to bridge the gap; that’s when you move your organization closer to true positive change and improvement.
You were one of the founding executive members of Trilix. What made you say “yes” to such an opportunity and what are your goals for Trilix as we head into the latter half of our first year in business?
As I have matured my career, I have often thought of starting my own company and considered what type of company that would be—everything from its goals to how it would operate to the unique ways it would help clients solve process and system complexities. Tim Hebert [Trilix CEO/Founder] and I were aligned on the fact that there are plenty of software development companies that lead with technology, but what was missing was a company that is business and process focused. When we began fleshing out the idea of Trilix more, with additional founding team members, we knew what we wanted to create to really help our clients, it was truly exciting to see it come together!
At Trilix, we are focused on infusing our methodology into each client engagement in a way that helps bridge the gap that traditionally exists between business and technology, which ultimately prevents organizations from reaching their desired future state. We keep the user at the center and bake in sound business process and technology implementation. We recognize the important role people, process and technology play in a successful engagement and how each depends on one another. If any one component fails—for example, if the people don’t know how to use the technology or the process is unnecessarily complex—it is going to drag down the other two.
Which of the three—people, process or technology—gets ignored the most?
People seem to be the most ignored. After all, a lot of technology projects don’t take into account the individuals actually using the technology and, more importantly, how they will use it. Think of smartphones. They have a number of great features but when people who are not terribly familiar with technology get a new phone, they end up not using a lot of the features because they are not comfortable with them. When it comes to a successful rollout, companies need to first focus on the end user, how they are using the technology and in what environment and then decide on the proper technology path.
At Trilix, you are directly responsible for assembling, coaching and training our team of developers, designers and architects. What do you think makes this team so special and what would you look for in future candidates?
One thing that is very unique about our team is that they can talk business. They are not afraid to ask questions about the business, and they know they have to possess a deep understanding of the business’s goals to be able to successfully do their development work. Secondarily, they all exhibit the eagerness to learn and that is the single most important thing I would look for in any developer. In order to be a good developer, you have to constantly be learning because the landscape is changing constantly. You don’t want to end up being like a COBOL programmer with only knowledge of outdated technology.
I can ask someone on our team something on a Thursday that they didn’t know much about and by Monday they will have installed that technology in a test lab at home and come ready to work with a report out, simply because they were really interested in learning for learning’s sake.
Shifting gears… if you had the chance to meet your great-great grandparents or great-great grandchildren, who would you choose and why?
Great-great grandparents. I think it would be fascinating. I don’t know where my great-great grandchildren will be but I know where my great-great grandparents were, and they were probably tending sheep on the mountainside of Italy. I would be interested to know what their life was like and what was their impetus to come to America. Despite the fact that it they lived in the mid-1800s, I could learn a lot from them about life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Chance favors only the prepared mind” by Louis Pasteur. You never know what will come your way so it’s better to be mentally prepared in general. And I’ll throw one more out there and it was from my grandmother. She would say, “Remember that you are not better than anyone else, and no one is better than you.” It was her way of saying everyone is equal, and that has stuck with me. It’s a good underpinning to keep everyone grounded.
Final question… if you could choose one age to be forever, what age would you choose?
My early 30s. When I hit that age I realized how much I didn’t know and I was cognizant of how much I had to learn and open to learning different things. At that age I was at a good point where I was experienced enough to get by, open-minded enough to learn something new and young enough to be able to still say out all night (not that I did!).