January 20th, 2023
The Humans Behind the Bots: Anne Brouillard
At Rasa, our team is building the standard infrastructure for conversational AI. Behind the scenes, the people of Rasa come together from diverse backgrounds to solve today’s most interesting challenges in NLP and dialogue management. We’re pulling back the curtain to highlight a few of the humans behind the bots.
1. Hi, Anne. Tell us about yourself! What was your path to joining Rasa?
I accidentally fell into CS in tech about 6 years ago. A friend introduced me to a really cool Montreal startup and I fell into managing the post-sale client relationships. I really enjoy building strong relationships with clients and I think I have a natural inclination to project manage situations. I like to move things forward!
A few months ago, someone that I respect and enjoy working with reached out about a new opportunity at Rasa and even though I wasn’t looking to join another ‘startup,’ Rasa seemed to be in such an interesting position. Rasa has a really mature Open Source community and I knew the framework was complex enough that I would be learning something new for a long time.
2. Take us through a typical day as a Customer Success Manager. What types of projects do you work on?
I currently work with some of Rasa’s largest North American clients. Arguably the most important part of my job is making sure that my clients see the value that they are getting from Rasa. Even though ‘success’ is in my title, I really cannot do this alone.
Rasa has a Customer Success engagement structure that ensures Executives on both sides are speaking regularly to set the priorities. Then the Customer Success Team takes that to the project level to make sure priorities are being implemented. I work with our amazing Customer Success Engineers who provide really rich and extensive Rasa expertise to our customers.
Most days are spent preparing for upcoming meetings to make sure I’ve pulled in material from the right subject matter experts, the right content is in place, and the clients have been briefed. I also try to share information across Rasa about what took place in client meetings and what are important next steps.
If I have a bit of spare time, I like to try and watch a few videos from the Rasa YouTube channel. The concepts are way above me so I’m doing my best to learn as quickly as possible!
3. Which areas of your work are you most passionate about?
The people! I love this job because I love building relationships. Both with our clients and my colleagues. I get to know really smart and interesting people who live around the world and who are all using the same tool to do a million different things. I am also excited about the opportunity to learn more about AI and Machine Learning.
4. What's an important problem you're solving at Rasa?
I hope to act as a kind of link between different internal and external teams. I want people on the business side, sales, and executives, to know what’s happening on the project level. I want the product team to hear feedback that I’m getting from the client. Moreover, I want the different teams on the client side to be aware of what’s happening at the different levels as well.
5. How would you describe Rasa in three words?
Smart, fun, fast.
6. How do you collaborate with other teams at Rasa?
I am a big fan of meetings or quick syncs. It’s an unpopular opinion but I'd rather jump on a 5-minute call and work something out than go back and forth on Slack.
However, in a global company like ours, it’s nice to be able to send a message to someone who is 6 hours ahead and get a reply when they are back online the next day. Slack is a really effective way to work but I would always choose face-to-face time, even if it’s virtual.
7. What does a culture of diversity mean for you at Rasa?
When I hear a company talk about diversity and inclusion, I always look at the company’s leadership. Are the people in decision-making positions diverse? And how is that reflected in the team? At Rasa, there’s a lot of diversity in leadership. And I do believe that is reflected in the hiring and in the team.
8. How has working at Rasa helped your professional development?
The kind of clients we work with and the complexity of our product are going to make me a better Customer Success Manager. At Rasa, I am surrounded by really smart hardworking people in both the Client Office and on the technical side. My current career philosophy is to surround myself with people who are smarter and more experienced than me.
9. What's the most interesting thing you've learned lately?
I learn every single day at Rasa. I learned very little about AI and machine learning before joining Rasa. I still don’t know much, but every day I try to spend some time reading, watching, and listening to resources to get a better understanding of what our customers are doing at Rasa.
10. What's the best career advice you've received?
It’s not advice per se, but I thoroughly enjoy learning client relationship strategies from my colleagues. When people have more experience than I do or vastly different experiences, I always take the opportunity to listen to their strategies, listen to their advice, and debate ideas. This is my favourite way to learn!
Thanks, Anne! You can find Anne on LinkedIn.