Alan Young joined Mersive Technologies as Chief Product Officer and Chief Information Security Officer in early 2023, bringing a deep background and proven leadership in technology, business, and innovation with more than 20 years of experience in product management, strategy, M&A, and a patent portfolio. He has served in product and executive roles at both PE-owned and public corporations. Here, we chat with Alan to learn more about his background, influences, and outlook in this short interview.



Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Peru until I came to the US at 16 to go to college.

What do you like to do when you are not working? What are your hobbies? Family life?
I enjoy reading about true crime, traveling, and learning about wildlife, in particular large cats. I have had the opportunity to interact with these magnificent creatures, and I’m absolutely fascinated by them.

What early influences shaped your life and led you to a career in technology?
I was always interested in science and math, so these areas were obvious choices for college. The most significant influence driving towards technology, however, was the faculty I had the fortune to study under. They were all mathematicians exploring the connection to what would be formal languages, compilers, and computer science.

Tell us about your educational background in more detail.
I studied Computer Science at University of Texas El Paso and San Diego State University and earned an MBA from Boston University. For me, the orientation towards a business degree after training and working in technology was a natural extension of my career path. I had worked in roles including sysadmin, development, technology integration, technical marketing, strategic planning, and executive management.

Did anything significant in your education shape your career after graduation?
I had the opportunity to be a tutor and teaching associate during my undergraduate and graduate programs. This experience helped me discover how much I enjoy finding ways to communicate, connect, and collaborate with others to convey ideas, information, or knowledge in the most effective way.

Why did you get into Products specifically?
What drives people’s emotions, likes, and dislikes based on what they experience has always interested me. In technology, the most natural way to expose people to technology is through products they enjoy and feel successful using. This is what drives me.

How do you approach your role as CPO from a philosophical standpoint?
I try to create environments where all teams in a product’s lifecycle enjoy collaborating with each other. I also want to bring products to market that customers welcome and appreciate. This represents an orchestration of experiences, personalities, opinions, emotions, and skills.

The concept of digital transformation is important to you. What does this mean and how do you propel it forward in your work?
As a technologist, I have always been fascinated by the challenges of bringing complex technology to nontechnical users and of enabling positive outcomes with the technology I’ve helped develop.

Digital transformation and innovation in the workplace is simply the successful inception and adoption of software tools and functionality by nontechnical users to help them become more productive, effective and, hopefully, happy.

Are there varying degrees of success with digital transformation?
Any company that creates or uses technology must continually find ways to become and stay competitive. This doesn’t happen without human interaction at the core and should take into account factors like culture, personalities, strategic goals, and skills.

Every company has a degree of tolerance for transformation defined by these factors. Yet not every combination is optimal for the company’s goals. Driving the desired magnitude of change must take into account the degree of change tolerance the company has.

What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
I’m very proud of successfully introducing and executing SaaS/Cloud journeys in various software companies, as well as defining technology strategies that have helped meet business goals and timelines for public and PE-backed companies. Ultimately, though, it’s the people: I’ve developed lifelong friendships along the way, some of which started as mentoring relationships.

What are the challenges that Mersive faces?
Like other companies in its space, Mersive is facing a permanent inflection point in end-user habits and associated productivity after the global pandemic forced a hybrid working model. This model has to be even more effective than any previous combination of the other collaboration models (remote and in-person).

How do you plan to overcome these obstacles from a product perspective?
By giving the organization and end-user more choices of what a collaborative environment and collaborative moment in time can be. The flexibility of our software to serve any use case and any spontaneous collaboration requirement are at the core of Mersive’s offering. Our goal is to continue to set the industry benchmark for employee collaboration technology and introduce new value propositions for the hybrid collaboration era.

Is Mersive’s portfolio, posture, and approach in alignment with market and software best practices?
Mersive has a strong foundation of processes and best practices for how we create software and manage operations. As we continue to evolve, we will add further policies and controls to embrace the hybrid model where on-premises and cloud-based collaborative models are both at play.

What are Mersive’s strengths?
Mersive has a strong history and culture of innovation and end-user focus that other companies have tried to emulate. These are the foundation for new hybrid collaboration technologies Mersive is delivering today. The market at large is experiencing a greater, and sometimes confusing, range of offerings. Mersive is regarded as a premier vendor of immersive collaboration technologies with an expansive portfolio of capabilities and innovations that result in a consistently great end-user experience and optimum productivity. This is a well-earned brand reputation, and we plan to nurture it.

As Chief Information Security Officer, how do you plan to make Mersive products secure and compliant?
As we continue to balance hardware and software, Cloud and On-Prem, the topic of information security is growing, becoming more critical for partners and customers in a similar way that enterprise security is. Mersive has just started its journey to SOC2 and ISO 27001 certification, which also address specific GDPR requirements. We are on the path to full compliance, hopefully early to mid 2024 as the process takes time.


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