To kick off our MOMENTUM’16 blog series, we sat down with Marnie Merriam, DocuSign’s Senior Manager for the Executive Briefing Center (EBC). Merriam explains how the EBC helps clients accelerate their digital transformation by providing access to executives and product experts, and gives us a peek into how the EBC is gearing up for MOMENTUM’16.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Marnie. Could you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? We heard you used to sail growing up?
Hi there, thanks for having me! I’m originally from Massachusetts. I went to high school in Worcester, just outside of Boston. And yes, that’s correct — I grew up sailing. But I have to admit, I didn’t appreciate it as a kid. My parents put me and my brother in sailing classes for a week or so, and then I wound up doing it from ages seven to…about thirteen. Now I’m sailing on the Bay every weekend!
As an adult I moved to California in 2001. First I moved to Tahoe to do Americorps, and then I moved to the city.
So how did you become involved with the software and cloud world?
I got my degree in math and so I was always kind of technically-inclined. I was doing grant management and then just kind of fell into a technical role. Then I wound up transitioning to Symantec to do supportability work for them. I ultimately made my way to the briefing center–doing support work, and bringing in the voice of the customer to our products I got to know the customers pretty well, and so it was an easy transition to start doing customer-related work at the Executive Briefing Center.
Could you tell us a little more about the EBC?
So, a briefing center is a space that’s designed to showcase the best of a company. It provides access to executives, helps build customer relationships, and showcases our products, what we can do, and how we can help companies move business forward.
With DocuSign specifically, I think there’s really a love of helping people do well here. DocuSign has such a strong product. From a personal standpoint, it was a tool that helped me when I was buying my house. I was having to put in a lot of different offers on a very quick turnaround. There’s no way I could have done that without DocuSign–because it was literally a matter of showing up at an open house and then needing to put in an offer within a few hours. It moved very quickly and DocuSign helped. When this role came up it was a real win-win for me because it’s a great product, and the EBC is a program I love.
What’s the typical experience like for a customer who visits the EBC?
Every customer has a unique use case or a unique problem or solution they’re looking for. What they really want is someone who can partner with them to help move their business forward. In the case of a national nonprofit who came to an Executive Briefing recently, they had a use case where they were looking at membership forms. They wanted help figuring out how to make it easy for the clients to sign up and join their organization. So we showed them how we could help them with something as straightforward as that.
Some of our larger organizations are coming in with very complex transaction-related questions. For instance, how do they apply DocuSign across a large sales ecosystem? What about an international company that’s hiring around the globe?
The EBC also has a beautiful view of the bay. It’s incredible. It’s a gorgeous space. For me, when I walk in, I can really see the appeal. It’s really designed with customers in mind.
How many clients have used the EBC?
There’s been nearly 200 customers within the first three months. So it’s been a lot. It’s a really good problem to have.
What type of projects are you working on right now?
Some of the complex projects that we’re working on involve customers who want to integrate DocuSign with their current tools. At the EBC, it’s a collaborative experience and a collaborative environment. They’re bringing us something different every time they walk through that door.
The majority of the customers right now are enterprise-level. Typically, decision-makers or executives. That being said, we also have a lot of smaller groups like the nonprofits that come through. And there’ve been a fair amount of smaller commercial accounts like real estate companies who are interested in talking with us and figuring out how we can help.
How is the EBC preparing for MOMENTUM’16?
At the EBC we’re super excited about MOMENTUM because it’s happening in our backyard! We’re partnering with the MOMENTUM team to see how we can enhance the experience of attendees and help connect our customer with executives and product experts. We’re very excited about momentum activity and are working on some VIP engagements for our MOMENTUM attendees.
Can you describe the type of people/industries you meet and what their main concerns are?
Everyday at the EBC, we take a deep look at the problems our customers are trying to solve. And with that information we work internally to find the right person to help them achieve those goals. We can be be very flexible around different types of requests, because at the EBC we have access to every executive and every product expert, so we can pull from their strengths and bring them in to help.
For example, if you’re in the financial industry, or you’re the head of finance at your company, we want to make sure we’re having a collaborative peer discussion. We bring in somebody from DocuSign who is an expert in finance so we can share how we’ve been successful internally and how our product is designed to meet the needs of that specific industry.
Another example: The technology company that’s coming at the end of the week are a Silicon Valley startup. Their head of technology is coming, so we’re bring in our CIO because he has a lot of great insights to share around scalability, support, and integration. In turn, this will help illustrate how DocuSign can help them as a tech company, and how they can ultimately have a more successful implementation.
What has DocuSign’s reaction been towards the EBC?
I think, luckily, we’ve had great support executive-wise. People are excited about EBC because it’s new to DocuSign. Everyone wants to be involved. We have a lot of interest for demos of our technology. People want to see it in action. And that’s the beauty of the EBC is that we can demonstrate a customized demo based on what our customers are looking to achieve.
Quick — last question! Could you provide us with an analogy to describe DocuSign VS. traditional paper processes?
Ha. Well, circling back to sailing, I’d say DocuSign is kind of like either the autopilot or a windvane. Autopilot, because you basically give your boat a direction or heading and it will just continue seamlessly on. Or, actually, even more accurate — GPS to traditional paper maps. In that way, DocuSign is similar to sailing in that you scout out these end goals around you and are able to reach them efficiently.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Marnie!
Thank you for having me!