As part of our Q&A series, we get to know our Director of Sales, Chris Wilson, a little better. We spoke to Chris about what drives her, the impact she believes machine learning and artificial intelligence will have on data, and her passion for helping clients reach their goals.
What’s your job role at InterSystems and what does it involve?
I’m the Director of Sales Data Platforms at InterSystems, which involves working with key partners in the UK as well as extending the reach of our core database platform, IRIS, to new application partners and end users.
It’s a challenging but rewarding role; InterSystems has been operating with some of its partners for over 40 years and is a trusted and reliable brand name in the business world. My job is to ensure that we maintain that reputation at every touch point.
How long have you worked for the company?
I’ve been with InterSystems for two years
Can you give a brief background of your career prior to InterSystems?
I have worked with large corporate companies for many years and have a huge amount of experience managing big account teams. This experience has given me lots of exposure to the latest technologies that drive our businesses forward, which has been extremely beneficial to my role at InterSystems.
I started my corporate career at IBM where I worked for over 14 years and held a number of positions in sales management and client management, working across the entire IBM portfolio to help clients find appropriate solutions to achieve their vision. I then moved into IBM’s Central Government team where I helped clients to leverage technologies such as cloud, digital strategy and big data, enabling them to deliver on their strategy. I started working at Microsoft in 2017, where I continued selling solutions designed for Government organisations to complement and enhance their capabilities.
What attracted you to the role/business?
I’ve worked in enterprise and government accounts for several years across all levels, including C-suite. I enjoy helping clients to resolve their issues and increase productivity, so InterSystems’ brand proposition felt like a natural fit for me. I have a genuine interest and passion in helping clients reach their goals through effective data management and utilisation of the right technology and that’s something I’m able to deliver in my role.
What do you like most about your job?
Seeing customers achieve success. If they are able to deliver on their vision and achieve their goals through InterSystems, then I know I have done my job properly.
Partners look to InterSystems as a solid and trusted advisor. It’s my job to understand our clients’ pain points and provide them with a solution that eliminates them. The fact that the company is so invested in the success of partners makes my job much easier.
What is your main motivation in your work life?
Reaching goals with my clients. As a sales person, I am target driven and thrive under pressure. But it’s not just about hitting targets; it’s about helping partners achieve their vision: that’s what gives me the biggest buzz.
Why does data matter?
Data is essential in everything we do, both in the business world and in our day-to-day lives. Many of the things we enjoy rely on data. Social media platforms, music sharing sites, online shopping… all of them require data to function and operate. Without having the ability to access, share and assess data these things wouldn’t exist.
Furthermore, data sits at the heart of our technical advances to date and is fundamental to future capabilities. As the capabilities of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) progress, data will be essential to realising their potential.
What’s your view on utilising data for business benefits?
When it comes to business success, data is critical. In the same way that a car needs fuel to operate, businesses need data. However, it’s not simply a case of holding data; it’s about accessing data quickly and utilising it in a way that makes a difference to future outcomes. The practice of data differs across sectors, but the key demand that remains constant is the need for speed and agility. Accessing and analysing data in real time is a necessity for a huge number of partners.
When used in the right way, data can provide a platform for total transformation. So many of our partners find that they utilise InterSystems to fix a certain pain point but end up discovering capabilities that transform their entire business. As well as having the ability to transform data, businesses need to orchestrate and interact with it. Taking this approach delivers excellence and that’s what our partners expect.
What’s your biggest frustration in the world of data?
When it’s not being utilised. It holds the key so many successes and it’s a shame when it’s not used to its full potential.
It’s ok for businesses not to understand what steps to take because that’s what we’re here for. We have the skills, experience and the technology to ensure our partners are utilising their data in the very best possible way. We understand the pain points because we go on the journey together; by working in this way, we can ensure our partners reach their goals… and use their data effectively.
How do you see data and its uses evolving in the future?
Machine learning and artificial intelligence will have a huge role to play in how we utilise and interact with data in the future. Businesses are looking to close the loop between the world of data science and transactions; transactions need to be more intelligent and provide the ability of real-time analytics. By achieving this, businesses can predict and prevent rather than simply react.
To enable this level of development, future applications will be built with embedded ML and AI functionality; those that don’t will miss the boat.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve seen in the utilisation of AI whilst working at InterSystems?
The progression in how we operationalise data to make faster decisions. The combination of advanced functionality and increased speed is driving this and enabling our partners to improve the everyday lives of their end customers.
However, we’re only just scratching the surface in what AI can achieve. It’s not just about faster results, it’s about faster impact. Fraud within the finance sector is a great example; until now the focus has been on finding patterns in terms of fraud detection, but AI provides the ability to prevent it from happening in the first place.
If you could choose any job in the world, what would you choose?
The one I have I really love it and can see how we can make a difference.
Tell us something about yourself that your work colleagues wouldn’t know.
I met Princess Diana after giving birth to my daughter whilst on my own standing on the landing. (Obviously not planned but only four contractions not much time to do anything). She touched my daughter’s hand as she loved babies. She was beautiful inside and out it will always be a special moment.