Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work series for the month of July! This month we are featuring a Director of Customer Community... Jamie Battin!  He just finished up in Q2 as our awesome Peer-to-Peer Community Manager for External Communities. If you are looking for someone who has been through the whole Community Manager experience, Jamie Battin started with an open source initiative for customers and ended up with Jive, and is still leading the community several years later! He also has a NASA control center setup with three monitors, just like I do! The only thing I'm missing is the view of a gorgeous pool from my office. Oh well. Let's move on to the interview!

 

Where do you work?

Ellucian - We are a software and services company solely focused on solutions for higher education. We are the leader in higher education technology and provide the software and services institutions need to help students succeed. You can find out more about what we do on our website: www.ellucian.com.

 

How would you describe your current job?

My title is the Director of Customer Community, but my responsibilities are wide ranging (something I'm sure most can relate to!).  In addition to being the business lead for eCommunities (our branded version of Jive), I am responsible for our entire Unified Customer Experience (UCE).  The concept is bringing together all of the solutions that our customers use as they do business with us.  We have a CRM solution that manages our support center, Jive, we use learn.dot, Zoomin, Bitbucket and we bring all that together with our enterprise search by Coveo.  I work across the org to bring the solutions together in a seamless way offering our customers an effective and easy to use environment.

 

How did you get into community management?

In 2009/2010 I was leading an effort to launch an open source initiative for customers to share and collaborate with one another and we needed a tool to support the program.  We tried using a homegrown solution, (for a few months)  but it was not effective.  Then we launched a hosted solution that met some of our needs, but in the process we began to realize the potential to use for many different kinds of collaboration.  So in addition to the open source initiative I became the owner of the community.  The community grew quickly and in 2015 we launched Jive and we have not looked back.  So while the position evolved, it is one that I am thrilled with and feel satisfied each day.  Here is a screenshot of our landing page.

 

*Our implementation was 3 months and needed to launch quickly with the basic functionality on V7 hosted.  This summer we are upgrading to V9 hosted and looking forward to re-designing our space and leveraging tiles!

 

How do you use Jive at work and what use cases does it serve for your company?

Today we use Jive for our external community of about 35,000 users and it serves a variety of purposes.

  • Peer to peer interaction
  • Customer to Ellucian
  • Ellucian provides important roadmap and strategy information
  • Ellucian provides important product updates and release notices
  • Overall multi-channel communication

 

What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

Our customers are happy.  They love the solution, it is easy to use, intuitive, but most important, it works!  It is a valuable resource for them to share and collaborate.  They use it to help resolve business issues quickly and at the end of the day it is all about improving efficiency.

 

What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

I use a PC during the day, with an additional two monitors, so with my three displays in my office I am really productive! In the evening I settle on the couch in front of the tv with my iPad.

 

Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

iPhone and iPad.

 

Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Gratifying.

 

Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Password keeper....in today's tech world with logins and passwords everywhere, without an effective way to organize it all I would be lost. All other apps and tools make life more fun and interesting, but there isn't anything I must have.....

 

Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

My Vitamix!  I use it to create lots of fun and great tasting pool beverages, healthy smoothies and you can even make soup!

 

What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

As I mentioned I have 3 monitors, (like a NASA control center).  My home office overlooks my pool, which is a great view, but very tempting on hot summer days!

What do you listen to while you work?

I alternate between quiet, TV, Spotify and Pandora.

For music I am all over the dish, love the 80s, Classic Rock, Current top 40 along with Classical... it just depends on my mood.  No heavy metal or rap.

 

What's your best time-saving trick?

It's going to sound weird in this age of online collaboration, but I still heavily rely on my email dist lists.  It continues to be the one thing that everyone has.  Not all of the people I communicate with are on Jive, not all in the company, Linkedin, or Facebook.  So if I need to keep a common group updated, I add them to contacts and build a dist list.  Saves me a lot of time and avoids having to look through emails to use "Reply All."

 

How do you balance work and life?

I tend to work throughout the day.  I am up early and like to get a jump on the day, but if I need to take care of things midday it is nice to be able to do that.  Conversely, I will work later catching up on mail etc.  It's a split schedule so to speak.  Here is another balancing aspect in my world.  This is Brady, a soon to be 8 year old Jack Russell.

 

What's your sleep routine like?

I like a routine.  Not much of a night owl, so 10:30 to bed and up around 6.

 

Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

Ambivert for sure.  If you review the classic characteristics, it fits me to a T!

 

What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

A former boss once said, "We are not doing brain surgery, nobody will live or die by what we do."  This was in the context of performing well, delivering excellence etc.  We want to do our best, but keeping it all in perspective is important.

 

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Jamie! It was great to learn more about what you do and how your community has grown. I can personally relate to the best advice you've ever received. Libby Taylor says "nobody will live or die by what we do" to me all the time, particularly when I'm trying to work overtime on an issue that can wait until the next day or a few days. It's good to keep things in perspective – it reduces stress and helps me keep my work/life balance... balanced.