Recently, we sat down with our Product Manager, Brendan Rahilly, in an interview to get to know him better and learn more about his journey during his time here at Field2Base.
Question: Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where were you born, hobbies you might have, etc.
Brendan: Well, as you know, my name is Brendan and I’m the product manager here at Field2Base. I was born in Battle Creek, Michigan and I grew up in a small town a few hours east of Battle Creek called Brighton. I went to college up in Upstate New York in Rochester, New York at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I have a BS in Information Technology with a minor in literature. Quite an odd combination, but it I guess it worked out for me.
Question: How long have you been here at Field2Base?
Brendan: I’ve been with Field2Base since 2004 and I started work on November 1st, 2004. I got the job due to my relationship with one of our developers, Mike. We were roommates in college and I was visiting in the fall of 2004 to travel and get out of upstate New York. Mike was, at the time, in the Technical Support role here at F2B, and he asked if I would like to interview for his job since he needed someone to replace him to join the development team. I had an interview on that Friday when I visited, which went great, and I moved down to North Carolina a month later.
Question: Who else was here when you first started that is still here now?
Brendan: The other employees that were here at that time were Charles and Ravi, as well as Mike, from our development team. Then Alicia, our office manager, joined the organization shortly thereafter in 2005, I believe.
Question: What is your role with Field2Base?
Brendan: I am now the Product Manager, and what that means is that I own the products and will be the one to make the final decisions on what goes into our products. It’s also my responsibility to obtain feedback from all sources. External, internal…what have you. On the flip side, I’m also responsible for communicating these product changes and updates and making sure that everyone knows what’s coming next.
Question: How does this role differ from your role in the past?
Brendan: My role in the past was the Manager of Professional Services and Technical Support. Now, we have an entire team of professional service experts to handle my previous responsibilities. We’ve got Rachel heading the Customer Success Team and then the Professional Services team members like Howard, Derrick, and Mary. Stuart has recently been hired to help Alex with support as well. With these resources, we can really advance our support team at a higher level than before.
Question: Field2Base has multiple advantages, but what is the one feature you believe is the number one advantage compared to our competition?
Brendan: I would say our number one advantage would be our forms designer software solution and the use of paper backgrounds in our digital forms. Prior to going digital, customers traditionally fill out forms on paper, which we take to create an exact replica to use as the base of the form. We’re one of the only providers that can exactly match your paper forms, which really helps with training and adoption.
Question: That leads into the next question…how does this feature affect adoption of our products and services?
Brendan: Yeah, it’s powerful. Though the customer is implementing new technology, this feature helps our customer’s user base to increase adoption. If their Users don’t adopt it immediately, the consistency helps the users learn at a much faster rate. Using a digital form that looks like their paper form removes an important learning barrier because it’s familiar to the user. Also, the digital form looks the same to the user filling out the form, as well as the recipient of the form once it’s submitted. Nowadays, most everyone has a smartphone so adoption rates have improved, but there will always be problems with adoption; especially If you’re changing an entire process of filling out a paper attached to a clipboard to completing a form via a device they’ve never used. Using Field2Base doesn’t require your users having to learn a new system, it allows them to continue to work as they have been for years.
Question: You said you were in Rochester before you came to NC. Were you still in school or working during that time?
Brendan: I graduated college in 2003 and I’d gotten a job at a wireless franchisor that I’d been working at while I went to school. Back then, the wireless industry wasn’t as consolidated as it is today. The company that I worked for was called @Wireless, which is no longer in business, but they sold wireless products and services such as Think XM Radio, Sirius, Verizon, AT&T or Direct TV. Basically, anything that was Wireless or Bluetooth. My job back then was primarily as their web master, which eventually led me to getting into web development and multimedia development.
Question: What prompted you to go to school in New York vs. Michigan considering there so many great universities in Michigan; Michigan State, University of Michigan, Central Michigan?
Brendan: I was accepted to the University of Michigan, but the reason why I went to RIT was because I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Another factor was that I received scholarships to attend RIT that I didn’t have at Michigan. I had experience in graphic design and printing in high school, which was a focus at RIT, so I got some local graphic arts foundations to help with my tuition as well.
Question: Hobbies and things?
Brendan: One of my main interests is home brewing and craft beer, whether that’s going to a local brewery or hanging out with friends and brewing beer in the garage. Beyond that, I really enjoy watching sports. I’m a big Detroit Red Wings fan, love the Michigan Wolverines, and I’m sadly a Detroit Lions fan, but still surviving.