People of Aceik: Jen Gorshkova, Account Manager

We have launched a new series to introduce you to our talented and hard working team mates. They’re behind the success of our client’s projects – working diligently to ensure we exceed our customers’ expectations.

This month, we sat down with our Account Manager, Jen Gorshkova.

Jen, tell us about your background.

Jen: I moved to Melbourne in 2014 when I started my career in business development at Epicor, ERP software solution. I fell in love with helping clients by finding the best solutions for the business. Getting the “Aha” moment from my clients after the implementation was the most rewarding, and seeing their business succeeding and growing further.

In 2016, I joined Revolution IT as an Account Manager, where my role was to build and maintain strong, long-lasting customer relationships with the clients and partners. I was working closely with the Product Owner and Marketing Manager to push out a new product – Crowdsource testing. The new and most effective method of digital testing platforms.

In 2018, I joined Aceik as an Account Manager to look after our exciting clients and ensure world-class delivery.

Tell us about joining Aceik

Jen: I met Jason, our CEO, in 2018 because he had an account manager role available. I joined Aceik because Jason wanted to build a company that is different from any other. The company that deeply cares about the quality of the work delivery, and ensures honesty and transparency with their clients.

At that time, Aceik was at the start of its growth journey. Jason had won a few large clients and projects and required help to provide the best service! I was looking forward to bringing my expertise and experience working with enterprise clients to help take Aceik to the next level. I was learning new skills and taking on responsibilities outside of my role from the day one. It was also great to see how close the Sitecore community is.

Why did you join Aceik?

Jen: I was impressed by Jason’s vision of wanting to build a unique company. A company that is known for providing high-quality work, full transparency and honesty with its clients. I wanted to be part of a team that doesn’t cut corners, always thrives and offers learning and improvement opportunities.

I got really excited about contributing to the success and growth of Aceik. My work ethic always included providing the best possible solution to my clients, and ensuring that they are happy with the outcome. The Aceik culture is very much aligned to how I operate.

I was also thrilled with the line of work, as Aceik provides a great range of digital services from a full rebuild to solution review to ongoing support. Aceik stood out from most companies out there, and I knew that my skill set and can-do attitude would benefit the team and company.

What’s your favourite thing about working for Jason and with the team?

Jen: I like working in a close-knit team where each day is different and never boring. You always have to wear different hats, and take on extra responsibility, learn a new skill set and see new ideas come to life. I have participated in various roles – marketing, project management and operations. Sometimes, I’ve even been challenged to improve my technical knowledge and skills. I have learnt a lot and I’m grateful to have the best teachers!

The team at Aceik is always keen to jump in and help. No job is too small or too big. Each team member is unique and has their own style of working – but one thing everyone has in common is their passion for what they do.

Working in a culture where each opinion matters is how we do it at Aceik!  

Is there a project, a customer campaign, something that stands out in your mind that you were really excited that you got to tick that box and go, “This is done”.

Jen: One of our clients reached out to us, as they had a tight deadline to meet. The previous vendor had left the platform in non-working state. We were able to quickly to jump onboard and identify their issues and put the best plan forward on rescuing the project.

It was amazing to see two teams collaborating and brainstorming ideas. It was a great representation of a truly agile project! Where we had the scope right from the start but also the opportunity to add and change features along the way.

The client was pleased about the open communication via Slack and seeing tickets moving through the board on JIRA – where they could easily comment as we go. One of their favourite parts was the showcase at the end of each sprint, where we all celebrated success!

When the customer went live – their site speed was drastically enhanced, user experience improved and they won new clients! Here at Aceik we see our clients’ success is our success!

While we’re in the middle of coronavirus pandemic and Aceik is now working from home. How do you make it work for you?

Jen: As a company, we ensured everyone is comfortable and have all they need to work from home. My working station is well set up with an ergonomic chair and a big screen. We also introduced regular online catch-ups and quick quizzes/games to keep the team connected.

I do miss meeting up with the team in person, but thanks to technologies such as Slack and Zoom, we’re still able to communicate well and ensure our projects are delivered on time.

There a few tricks I have learned about working from home:

  1. Prioritise your tasks in the morning and ensure to timebox them.
  2. I also found it important to disengage and go for walks around lunchtime. It meant I was refreshed and energised for the afternoon.

Let’s talk about life outside of Aceik. Who is Jen outside of work?

Jen: I’ve moved countries a few times now. I was born and raised in a place called Kyrgyzstan, which is a beautiful country in the middle east. When I was younger, I moved to New Zealand, but always wanted to live in a big city and eventually relocated to Melbourne, one of the most liveable places in the world.

Being active is a big part of my life. I enjoy running, yoga, hikes and healthy eating. I believe that staying healthy helps with being productive at work. I also believe in continued learning. Since joining Aceik, I’ve become certificated in a number of Sitecore courses. And my current goal is to gain new project management skills and some of the courses I would like to do:

  1. Prince2
  2. PMBok

Aceik hires Brad Paton as Account Director

Exceeding our clients’ expectations has always been and continues to be Aceik’s #1 priority. With the current difficult climate, we are doubling our efforts to look after our clients. To this end, we’re excited to announce that our team has grown again with the addition of Account Director, Brad Paton. Welcome Brad!

Brad’s expertise in digital strategy development and execution as well as his understanding of the Sitecore platform will go a long way to helping our clients to achieve their business goals. We’re also thrilled to share that with Brad now on-board, we’ll be offering Aceik’s Sitecore Business Optimisation Services (Aceik SBOS) to our marketing clients.

We sat down with Brad to get to know him a little better. Here’s what he revealed about himself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brad: My career has been an interesting one when it comes to digital software development in that I actually studied law many, many years ago. It was the late 90’s, the internet was taking off and I found myself interested in computers and technology. I taught myself to code– first Microsoft BASIC, then Visual Basic, and when the internet gained traction learned HTML, and eventually JavaScript.

I was a big Essendon Bombers Football fan. I actually sent them a letter and said, “I think this internet thing is going to be pretty big do you want to get involved?” and I helped them create the first official Essendon website.

But then I finished my Arts/Law degree and worked as a lawyer for a few years before deciding that law wasn’t for me. I really liked building websites. So, I returned to the Essendon guys and kept working with them, and then also after that build up my own small web design business in the 2000s.

Following the sale of my business to IMG, I landed at Reactive, a digital agency with a Sitecore arm that was eventually sold to Accenture. I spent 4 years working for Reactive and another 2 years at Accenture.

It happened that Richmond Football Club was looking for a Head of Digital so I made the leap from one football team to another. I didn’t think I could change teams from Essendon to Richmond but turns out you can. And so, I’ve spent the last four years as Head of Digital at Richmond, in which time the digital part of the business has grown enormously. We doubled headcount from six to 12 in those four years and won two premierships.

I was introduced to Jason Horne, our Managing Director, by Reactive’s former co-founder. Jason was looking for someone to manage digital strategy, business development and client relationship management. That ticked all of the boxes of what I was looking for in my next role. I started last Friday, met Jason at the office, had a client meeting, collected my computer and have been working remotely ever since.

You’ve been working in digital for about 20 years now. What do you love about digital?

Brad: The thing that kept me in it for so long is that it just changes all the time. So, in my time with Essendon FC back in the 2000s, it went from being a static website to a content managed website. Then we added video and we were the first AFL club to do that. Then social media came along, and then the iPhone was released in 2007. With mobile being important, we built an app.

Digital is just constantly evolving, and you never know what’s going to pop up on the horizon that needs to be addressed. I like the changing nature of the industry.

Any predictions on what’s coming in the next 12 months or so?

Brad: I’m huge on voice. I’ve got a three-year-old daughter and if she ever uses a keyboard, I’ll be surprised. We’ve got a Google Home at home and she can control that already. But voice taking over inputs from keyboards, visual pointing and interactions so whether that’s just by hand gestures or mouse or whatever.

But then of course, the next big leap is going to be augmented reality and virtual reality and how that impacts life. It has promised a lot for a long time and it hasn’t delivered, but the technology now is a lot better and cheaper. They’re starting to scale and I think for the next five to 10 years VR is going to really start to take off and who knows what that means for society.

We’re pretty much in lockdown for the coronavirus at the moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s virtual or physical anymore. If you’re in the same room physically together, you can be there virtually just as easily, and people are doing that at the moment. They’re having a Google Hangout or Skype, if they’re in self-isolation to try and maintain that human contact. And as the technology progresses, then virtual reality is that next logical step.

Why did you choose to join Aceik then?

Brad: Just from the position description I was interested, but when I met Jason, I got a really good sense of his vision and purpose for Aceik. He wants to grow the business in a sustainable way to retain quality. And that’s pretty rare in a lot of businesses because they just want to scale quickly. And what happens then is you might do some good work early, you get a lot more business, you hire a lot of people, not necessarily the most qualified people, and then you turn out work that’s not as good and your reputation goes down. So, I like Jason’s philosophy.

And I guess the other thing is that I like the idea of getting involved in a business that is more technically focused and keeping up to date with the latest trends in that area.

And funnily enough, I learned only after I’d met with Jason that Lila Tournier, who I worked well with at Reactive for about three or four years is currently at Aceik. So, once I knew she was there that was kind of like almost the last check in the box to say, “Yes, obviously this is an organisation worth working for.”

What are your goals over the next couple of months?

Brad: The first thing is really to identify the opportunities, especially in this climate that we want to prioritise. I want to help in terms of growing those relationships with existing clients to ensure that when new opportunities come up we’re first on the list to be looked at. And then second to that is looking at what new opportunities exist with potential organisations that haven’t been clients.

Another the big opportunity is around digital strategy. So, rather than just delivering excellent  technical work, which Aceik has an amazing reputation for, we can actually go in before that technical phase, and do a digital strategy piece of work with the client. This would involve workshops, customer journey mapping and coming up with recommendations on how to use the Sitecore platform to the best of its ability. We all know Sitecore, at its core can just be a content management system for a website, but if you want to get to the top you need to use the marketing features and the marketing features are where the ROI is.

We’re already looking at how we put together multiple options for clients to engage us in a digital strategy piece of work, with the outcome being a roadmap the best way to implement Sitecore.

Was there anything else you wanted to add?

I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry over the last two decades. I remember having my first modem and I had to tell my parents they couldn’t use the phone for two hours because I needed to get onto the internet and learn how to code. Whereas now, I look at my Apple watch on my wrist and it can tell me almost anything that I need to know.

And with that experience, I’ve learnt that times change very quickly. Don’t plan on putting something together today for an activity in 12 months because it’s unlikely to be the same then. It’s crucial to be adaptable.

COVID-19 update: It’s all business as usual at Aceik

Aceik’s approach to the COVID-19 outbreak and how we will continue to support our clients, team, families and community throughout this difficult period.

Remote working is our norm

For many companies, remote working isn’t part of their normal practice. In the last few days, employers and HR departments are frantically exploring and launching flexible work options which have a level of complexity for traditional workplaces. It has provided a new level of chaos and complexity to their work processes and relationships.

Not for the Aceik team.

We have always offered our employees the option of flexible working. In fact, what many of our clients and community may not realise is that 95% of our work has traditionally been remote. Yes! Our engagements with RAA, Fitness Lifestyle Group, Fitness First, Goodlife Health Clubs, Village Theme Parks and Chisholm Institute (to name a few) have all been undertaken offsite.

What has changed for Aceik

The health and safety of the team is paramount and so to complement our flexible working culture, we’ve implemented a policy specifically addressing the changing COVID 19 situation. As of Friday 13 March 2020, all team members are working remotely. There is no international travel and domestic travel is only if completely unavoidable. In-person meetings and events are limited. Our phone system has been diverted and will continue to be answered.

Aceik has always offered online training for developers, marketers and clients. We have moved all of our in-person Sitecore public classes to online training for the foreseeable future. Aceik’s Virtual Classroom will be delivered via Google Hangouts and will feature the same live instructor interaction, the same materials and remote machine lab exercises as you would have in our face-to-face courses.

As always, Aceik documents as we work, and this process is unchanged. This means that if a member of our team becomes unwell, that another colleague can easily step in. It is vital to us that there is no interruption to our clients’ businesses and projects.

Tips for anyone new to remote working

We asked the team to share their top tip for remote working:

1. Continue with your regular morning routine just as if you had to commute to work and play music in the background (recommendation: Bossa Nova does the trick).

2. If you can have a separate space that is only used for work (for example, a study, spare bedroom etc) to commute to work, then it will help family to understand that you are at work and not home.

3. Make a checklist in the morning and use the Pomodoro Technique to execute. There are plenty of phone apps available to manage the technique, and act as a timer.

4. The number one rule for client work is keeping the progress updates going on whatever communication platform is used. So, if its Slack keep the updates streaming in because this builds and maintains trust between all parties.

  • Check in at the start of the day with your team and client.
  • Update them when you complete a task.
  • Update them when you’re blocked on a task.

5. Your new colleagues might now have fur and four legs. It is awesome working alongside the furbabies but when you have a call scheduled, ensure you’re in a quiet space. Not everyone understands how offensive the dogs find it that the pesky postman keeps coming back day after day (that guy just hasn’t learned!)

6. Get outdoors for a walk around lunch time.

7. Take short breaks like you would in an office. It’s just that this break might look like putting on a load of washing, hanging clothes, emptying the dishwasher or weeding. But always return to your laptop (and not the TV) once you’re done.

8. Set an alarm to get up, move around and take a few steps. It’s important to stretch and keep moving every hour. Getting the heart rate up every now and again keeps you alert, and some stretching will help prevent long term injury. You could even do a minute or two of core work like planks or push ups.

9. Staying connected as a team is super important. Start a Slack channel like we have called #coffee_buddies channel for random virtual coffee catch ups. And encourage staff to share ideas to help work and socialise like a dream! 

10. Prepare some witty one liners for when your kids add their own commentary or make an appearance during your video meetings. 

We’re committed to…

Nothing has changed for Aceik in terms of our commitment to our clients, team, suppliers or community. We continue to be committed to:

  • Respecting our client relationships and always exceeding expectations.
  • Paying our suppliers on time or ahead of time so there is no disruption to their business activities.
  • Remunerating our team members on time and recognising their continued outstanding work.
  • Doing our utmost for our community during this difficult time
  • Slowing the spread of COVID 19

Aceik’s Jason Horne and Thomas Tyack Win Sitecore Most Valuable Professional Technology Award

Aceik is thrilled to share that our very own, CEO & Founder, Jason Horne and Solutions Architect, Thomas Tyack have again been named a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Technology category by Sitecore®, the global leader in digital experience management software.

Jason and Thomas are two of only seven named Technology MVPs in Australia. This is the fifth consecutive year that Sitecore has honoured Jason with the Technology MVP award, and the second year for Thomas.

Recognising professionals within the Sitecore community who actively apply their talent and expertise to help others best utilise Sitecore products to deliver premier customer experiences, the MVP program is now in its 14th year. Of more than 13,000 certified developers and over 24,000 active community participants, the 316 MVPs around the world are truly an elite group. This year’s MVPs were selected for the quality, quantity and impact of the contributions they made in 2019, including the sharing of product expertise and mastery of the Sitecore platform to support both partners and customers.

And we are absolutely stoked to have two globally-recognised Sitecore MVPs as part of our team, a true accolade to their commitment to our customers. A huge congratulations to the other 2020 MVPs around the world!

A little about Jason Horne

Jason founded Aceik, a digital consultancy that specializes in the implementation, training and support of Sitecore solutions in 2014. Jason’s vision back then, to place customer satisfaction at the core of all Sitecore projects, still guides the team’s direction today.

Jason has delivered numerous large Sitecore projects, including RAA, Village Roadshow and UniSuper (to name just a few) whilst always holding his team to the highest levels of transparency, communication and technical standards.

Learn more about Thomas Tyack

Thomas is a Technical Lead / Architect that has built a career in content management with over 14 years’ experience across 5 different content management systems. Working for high profile agencies in Australia and the UK he has experience directing web teams across a broad cross section of clients in both the enterprise and start-up sectors.

As a Technical Lead, Thomas’ main toolset strengths are around object orientated programming, .NET, web service API’s and modern java script frameworks like React. His ability to help clients deliver a program of work by bringing teams and projects into line with best practice tools, processes and documentation should be well noted.

Sitecore MVP Program

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site:http://mvp.sitecore.com.

Aceik – Two MVPs in 2019

This year team Aceik have set ourselves new goals, new challenges and new benchmarks in the Sitecore space. Just one month into 2019 and we’re absolutely thrilled to find these goals already being achieved.

Our New Year’s resolutions are off to a great start with our team already setting the benchmark in global Sitecore excellence. Two of our incredible staff members – Jason Horne and Thomas Tyack, have been awarded with the prestigious Sitecore Most Valuable Professional (MVP) awards for 2019.

MVPs are recognized by Sitecore as being global leaders in Sitecore implementation and for proactively utilising their knowledge within the wider community. Both Jason Horne and Thomas Tyack go above and beyond in their spare time to share their knowledge with their wider networks and to strengthen their own expertise.

So, what makes Thomas and Jason among the global best? Jason Horne is a fantastic leader, 4 times MVP, founder and CEO of Aceik. He also gives back to the Sitecore community by running the only Sitecore meet up group in Melbourne. Thomas Tyack also wears many hats at Aceik. He is the Queensland Technical Lead, Architect and Senior Developer for our team and carries this workload with expert professionalism and advanced skill.

Our passion as a team is reflected in the work we do and we ensure every client is fully across every project, start to finish. Transparency is key in our business and we work with our clients to ensure every project goes above and beyond the benchmark. Over the past five years, we’ve ensured a 100% success rate in project delivery to the highest standard. Our efficient yet diligent work is what makes us stand out from the rest.

We are absolutely thrilled to have two globally-recognised Sitecore MVPs as part of our team, a true accolade to the work that goes on behind the scenes. A huge congratulations to other 2019 MVPs around the world, we can’t wait to see what this year brings!

MVP    jaaaaaaason    Thomas

Congratulations! You’re Sitecore Certified

Our developers are Sitecore 9 certified

We’d like to congratulate all our developers who’ve achieved Sitecore® 9.0 Certified Platform Associate Developer certification so far.

Sitecore’s certification exams validate the skills and knowledge of developers, marketers and business users. Test takers who pass the certification exams earn the distinction of being Sitecore Certified Professionals.

At Aceik we work exclusively in Sitecore and have formed a strategic relationship with Sitecore. All our developers are Sitecore certified and work towards certification in the latest Sitecore, are highly qualified and totally dedicated to their projects.

Please contact us for more details or if you want to discuss a project.  All enquiries should be made to info@aceik.com.au or +61 (0)4 2697 1867

 

 

Aceik announces FuseIT (S4S) partnership

Aceik works directly with FuseIT, principally by aiding customers in making the link between their Sitecore visits and their Salesforce contacts through FuseIT’s industry standard S4S (Sitecore – Salesforce) connector. We handle the implementation so that the clients’ Sitecore analytics are surfaced in Salesforce, allowing the sales team to track the behavior of individual website visitors then personalize their experience.

 

About FuseIT

FuseIT is a private company founded in New Zealand in 1992. FuseIT has a history of building enterprise content management systems but our real forte is complex systems integration. Our qualified and highly capable team of professionals have proven experience in consulting, business analysis, solution architecture, software development, integration and innovation.

 

About Aceik

We’re a tight-knit team of Melbourne developers who are true craftspeople, creating cutting-edge solutions with the latest Sitecore technology, solving business problems while forging long-term client connections.

Aceik announces Stackla partnership

Aceik enjoys a partnership with Stackla, the leading user-generated content (UGC) platform for enterprise brands. We facilite Australian integrations of Stackla into the Sitecore Experience platform so that our customers can deliver highly personalized brand experiences with fresh, real-time content.

 

About Stackla

Stackla is the world’s smartest visual content engine, helping modern marketers discover, manage and display the best content across all their marketing touchpoints.

With our AI-powered user-generated content (UGC) platform and asset manager, Stackla sits at the core of the marketing stack, actively discovering and recommending the best visual content from across the social web, as well as internal and external resources, to fuel personalized content experiences at scale.

Using Stackla, marketers can spend less time creating expensive creative assets and more time delivering relatable and influential visual customer experiences.

 

About Aceik

We’re a tight-knit team of Melbourne developers who are true craftspeople, creating cutting-edge solutions with the latest Sitecore technology, solving business problems while forging long-term client connections.

Aceik’s Jason Horne Wins Sitecore “Most Valuable Professional” Award 2018

Sitecore_MVP_logo_Technology_2018.jpgElite distinction awarded for exceptional contributions to the Sitecore ecosystem

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia — January 31, 2018 — Aceik – Sitecore Specialists, today announced that Jason Horne, Director and Chief Architect has been named a “Most Valuable Professional (MVP)” in Technology by Sitecore®, the global leader in experience management software. Jason Horne was one of only 208 Technology MVPs worldwide to be named a Sitecore MVP this year.

Now in its 12th year, Sitecore’s MVP program recognizes individual technology, strategy, and commerce advocates who share their Sitecore passion and expertise to offer positive customer experiences that drive business results. The Sitecore MVP Award recognizes the most active Sitecore experts from around the world who participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge with other Sitecore partners and customers.

Aceik has a very close and strong relationship with Sitecore. We are very honored to be given this award in recognition of our expertise and contributions to Sitecore. Aceik is highly active in the Sitecore community providing thought leadership, presentations, workshops, open source modules, blog posts, co-founding and managing the Sitecore Melbourne user group and more. Through our deep engagement in the Sitecore community, Aceik stays on the cutting edge allowing us to provide the best advice and outcomes for our clients.

Aceik was founded in 2013 by Jason Horne as a Sitecore specialist consultancy (About Us, Services). Aceik is a one of a kind Australian Sitecore partner. We focus on Sitecore, .Net, Azure, and Agile, keeping this dedicated and deliberate focus allows us to stay on top of a very fast-paced industry. We strive to provide excellence in every Sitecore project we undertake.

Some things that make us unique Include:

  • 100% of our work is Sitecore related.
  • We guarantee Sitecore experts on every project.
  • Speak directly with our technical team.
  • We care about all our clients, they are our biggest advocates
  • We are responsive and enthusiastic about all projects big or small
  • We deliver quality solutions at the highest level, honestly and transparently

“The Sitecore MVP awards recognize and honor those individuals who make substantial contributions to our loyal community of partners and customers,” said Pieter Brinkman, Sitecore Senior Director of Technical Marketing. “MVPs consistently set a standard of excellence by delivering technical chops, enthusiasm, and a commitment to giving back to the Sitecore community. They truly understand and deliver on the power of the Sitecore Experience Platform to create personalized brand experiences for their consumers, driving revenue and customer loyalty.”

The Sitecore Experience Platform™ combines web content management, omnichannel digital delivery, insights into customer activity and engagement, and strategic digital marketing tools into a single, unified platform. Sitecore Experience Commerce™ 9, released in January 2018, is the only cloud-enabled platform that natively integrates content and commerce so brands can fully personalize and individualize the end-to-end shopping experience before, during, and after the transaction. Both platforms capture in real time every minute interaction—and intention—that customers and prospects have with a brand across digital and offline channels. The result is that Sitecore customers are able to use the platform to engage with prospects and customers in a highly personalized manner, earning long-term customer loyalty.

 Aceiks mission is to deliver quality solutions honestly and transparently. Through our deep engagement in the Sitecore community and singular focus we provide a substantial return on investment to our clients with every engagement. We believe that clients and vendors can work together as a single team to deliver outstanding results as true partners in a common goal.

Please feel free to get in touch:
Jason Horne, Founder, and Sitecore specialist
Aceik
jasonhorne@aceik.com.au
0426971867

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site: http://www.sitecore.com/mvp