Today’s blog is a part of one of my favorite series here at Acorio: The Acorio Spotlight. The Acorio team is full of passionate, unique employees, and we love sharing their stories with you.
Today we’re introducing you to Adam Plfantzer, Functional Lead of Visual Design here at Acorio. Keep reading to learn more about Adam’s background in creative advertising, his passion for political science, and how he began building customer experiences.
The Elevator Pitch: Adam in 30 Seconds
Adam’s political science degree led him to the Peace Corps after graduation. After a bit of traveling, and learning a second language, he wound up in the creative advertising world. Adam’s background at creative advertising agencies and TV broadcast studios, where he’s been building innovative products for big organizations for the past 10 years eventually led to the start of his relationship with ServiceNow. Adam began working with the ServiceNow software 7 years ago, as a developer for an international broadcast company. From there, he began his journey at Acorio, where he now builds customer experiences.
How did your background in creative advertising agencies lead to your role here at Acorio?
I worked for an advertising agency, Oglivy, and then from Oglivy, I went to CBS which wasn’t a huge transition. At Oglivy, I worked on internal portals for a government account, and my work at CBS was similar, except I worked in their innovation department, which handled their emerging technology, which at the time was ServiceNow. My team worked with ServiceNow as a platform for front-end engagement with employees, allowing users to submit tickets and do standard things like ITSM table stakes.
They wound up using the Service portal, and that’s where I was able to introduce myself to the Helsinki version of Service Portal. I got familiar with it and then took those skills and applied them to the career I have now with Acorio, which is working on the Service portal but also having a greater understanding of the underlying platform technologies that have been growing pretty frequently and extensively over the last seven years.
You studied Political Science, which is a degree you can do a lot with. How did you choose your path?
My passion truthfully is still probably political science and I still want to be a spy truthfully
When I after I got out of school I joined the Peace Corps and a part of what you do in the Peace Corps is learn a second language because you’re dumped somewhere outside of the U.S. where they don’t usually speak the same language. I wanted to be in a place where I was able to learn Russian, and then translate those skills into taking the foreign service exam and becoming a spy, but it didn’t work out that way.
I wound up traveling the world a little bit and went to places like China, Israel, and India — just totally different places, and then I wound up stuck at my desk working on ServiceNow, so it all worked out.
You have a background of working for big companies, what piqued your interest in Acorio?
I think the opportunity to be at the center of a Fortune 500 innovation is cool, but being able to see multiple instances and how different companies are doing different things and being able to take part in helping them implement solutions and moving their technology forward is also a pretty cool place to be, and it was appealing to me to have the opportunity to do that with the Acorio.
Acorio’s reputation was one that included quite a bit of talent and a lot of innovative ideas. For example, my manager, Jeremy Mandle, who I’d known beforehand, was kind of an early innovator for the Service Portal, so it was pretty cool to have an opportunity to work with that type of talent.
What made you fall in love with ServiceNow and want to continue working with the platform?
For one, the adaption of ServiceNow across an ecosystem of companies that are doing innovative things has allowed ServiceNow to be at the center of innovation.
To be able to see that level of engagement and drive to build products that allow companies to be able to do things that they couldn’t do in the past to me is cool and motivates me to come to work every day.
What three words would you use to describe your role here at Acorio, and why?
Fast-paced, unique, culture.
Fast-paced because we work on a lot of different projects, and we are able to see a lot of different instances of the software. We have a unique understanding of what clients are doing across the ecosystem and I think with that exposure there’s also this fast-paced mood within the company and we like to keep things towards the bleeding edge of the technology.
Unique because we’re in a transition phase, the same way that our clients are in transition phases, so we understand what it’s like to be in that unique position of going through some transformative processes.
Culture because Acorio allows you to sit in your home and be the person that you work best as.
You have the ability to work where you want and how you want, as long as you’re meeting the needs of your clients, and I like to take advantage of that.
Some mornings, I’ll spend two hours working in a coffee shop if I don’t have meetings that I need to attend, and then other days I’ll stay at my desk until 9 pm.
Describe a day in your life as Functional Lead of Visual Design.
A typical day has me taking client meetings for a good portion of the day to be involved in projects and make sure that we as a leadership team have oversight in terms of the direction of the architecture of the experience and the use of the technology that builds that experience.
There’s also time spent on mentorship, where we’re able to meet with some of the resources within the organization that is aspiring to be more involved in the user experience practice and try to grow that resource pool and talent pool.
I usually take lunch with my wife and try to take a break for at least 30 minutes. Some days, we work into the evenings, and some days we kick off on Slack and check in with each other.
There’s definitely time for development and mentorship and then some fun with Acorio friends.
What is your favorite ServiceNow release and why?
My favorite ServiceNow release is usually the most recent release because each release is jam-packed with goodies. The San Diego release has been cool in that AI search supports task table indexing and all the children of the task table. I’ve been playing around with building an experience using the Employee Center for CSM and now I can use case search, which is important for that experience.
If you could choose the next theme for ServiceNow releases, what would it be?
I think either historical figures, mythological creatures, or maybe even planets or something to do with space and the solar system. There are a lot of options for once they hit “Z” in the cities series.