Our September Industry Innovator is our in-house upgrade expert and one of our favorite guest bloggers, Mike Current. Mike is passionate about diving headfirst into the complexities of an OnBase upgrade and helping customers get the most value from their solution. On top of his role at DataBank, Mike is a public speaker and presenter who loves to make technical information approachable with corporate blogs, training, and e-learning.
What led you down your career path?
Customer service has been a passion of mine since my days in retail management while putting myself through school. When I started in the software industry, I began working as an OnBase cloud engineer. I enjoyed working on upgrade projects the most because an OnBase upgrade is a bridge between an often outdated system and one with more security and better solution capabilities. But upgrade projects can be complex and can give some admins nightmares. A good plan can make all the difference! I set out to evangelize OnBase upgrades and improve the planning and execution of upgrade projects.
How would you explain your job to someone who knows nothing about it?
OnBase is a highly configurable information platform. With that configuration level comes complexity, especially regarding server migrations and platform upgrades; each OnBase system is unique. I plan to upgrade projects, help our engineers know what complexities to look out for, and help our clients understand how they can best leverage testing and communication to have a better upgrade experience.
Tell us about a recent project that you are proud of.
We have a particular government agency whose last upgrade project, years ago, went very poorly. “Upgrade” became like a four-letter word to them. They dragged their feet to their most recent upgrade and only upgraded because they were forced to by integration with a more prominent government agency. However, as we implemented our project planning and led them through the execution of that upgrade, they were able to benefit firsthand from the organizational changes DataBank has made in recent years to improve our clients’ upgrade experience.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
Steve Jobs said, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” If I could click my fingers and put that on propaganda-style posters in break rooms of workplaces across the country, I would. I believe innovation and collaboration are our best tools to improve life for ourselves and our children. We set ourselves up for greatness by embracing change.
What is something you have recently learned from a client/partner about the industry?
At CommunityLIVE last year, I got to try a prototype for Augmented Reality (AR) integrated with OnBase. AR is so cool conceptually, but it was the first time I could see practical applications in my field. We’re still just getting started with everything that can be done with business information.
What three things will shape the technology industry in the next 6-12 months?
COVID has played a significant factor in accelerating change in the workplace, and trends that were projected to happen over the years suddenly were forced to happen almost overnight. More and more organizations must now enable their workers to function at home and on the go, as workers expect more flexibility. And more and more organizations are looking to cloud computing to offload some of the costs and hassle associated with keeping expensive servers onsite.
What is a common misconception about the technology industry?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is something that gets misunderstood by laypersons. In some instances, human error can cost human lives. It’s exciting to read about RPA and think of future applications.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Turning around a client’s expectations of upgrade projects. Turning “upgrade dread” into upgrade joy.
What book are you currently reading?
I know I’m supposed to say some book about leadership or “5 Steps to the Perfect Me” or whatever. But in a stressful year, decompression is more critical than ever. This summer, I discovered Agatha Christie, and I found a lot of similarities between a person trying to solve a murder mystery and a person troubleshooting software. Seriously! It’s relaxing but deeply thought-provoking at the same time. I find it helps improve my logic and reasoning when at work.
What are the most common challenges you are helping to solve in the technology industry?
Diversity and inclusion have historically not been trademarks of the technology industry. I advocate STEM accessibility because I know we can do much better as a society.
In your opinion, what makes DataBank different than other players in the space?
DataBank’s passion for our client’s success is unmatched. And that passion comes from the top down. That’s what attracted me to DataBank in the first place.
What is your favorite technology, and why? How is it different? How is it used? What do you think other people should know about it, and what benefits does it provide?
This is a weird one because I used to hate – video conferencing! Even six months ago, I would only use video conferencing if it was required of me. COVID forced me out of my comfort zone to stay connected with family and friends, DataBank Marketing gave me the chance to play game show host in a web-based event, and now it’s my favorite way of talking with people remotely. Try it for your next conference call! It’s been a game-changer for me.