We sat down with our newest PaperCutter, Ad van Amrooij, to get to know our new
Head of Global Sales a little better.
PC: So…tell us about yourself! AVA: I grew up in the Netherlands but I had always had a desire to live in Australia or New Zealand. It wasn’t until 1996 when I was at a certain age (!) that I decided to pack up my life and make the move to live in Melbourne, Australia. It was a choice between moving to Sydney or in Melbourne and I had the help from my two friends from Australia who lived in Amsterdam, one friend was from Sydney and the other friend was from Melbourne who both convinced me that Melbourne was the most European city. They weren’t wrong!
PC: OK… we’ve tried a number of ways on our own… how DO you pronounce your surname? AVA: Ha! Yes.. the combination of ‘ij’ is pronounced as a letter ‘Y’. For example, in the alphabet where you have ‘x-y-z’, in dutch, it is “x-ij-z’. So Amrooij comes out as “Am-Ro-ee“. For my three girls, their surname is spelled with a ‘y’ on their birth certificate to make it easier for them – and for their teachers!
PC: What did you do prior to joining PaperCut? AVA: I was very fortunate to have held positions across different countries and different industries; The Netherlands where I graduated as an accountant and started as a junior administrator for the National Gas Distribution Company and where I ended up co-owning and building a SAP consulting company whilst working as a programmer, to Australia where I worked for KPMG and IBM running their businesses, back to the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia working for BHP Billiton, managing their enterprise systems globally. Finally ending back in Australia, Melbourne of course, to work for Infosys and Fujitsu in various senior roles.
PC: What attracted you to PaperCut and the role? AVA: To be honest I was attracted to PaperCut the company! I was lucky to be given a glimpse into the culture of PaperCut where you are given a barista course (just in case) and where there is a “Lego” meeting room in the head office! The other aspect is PaperCut’s agility and nimbleness, which is different to the big corporate world I was used to. A company where the CEO can send you messages with emojis just shows you the kind of CEO he is. The company’s sincere interest in sustainability and its staff care were also very important in my decision making.
PC: What are you looking forward to most here at PaperCut? AVA: As a print software solution company, I am looking forward to helping PaperCut grow their business by maximizing sales and leveraging of what they have been creating so far, in turn, it can be reinvested back into the business. It’s the underpinning of sustainability and cutting waste which appeals to me.
PC: What’s your vision for the channel? AVA: Although a bit early, my vision is to bring the whole PaperCut ecosystem closer to the customer in conjunction with our channel partners which will bring longevity of the customer base through ongoing renewals and upgrades.
PC: How do you like your coffee? AVA: I like a good cappuccino which I have now mastered at home, but am yet to get right in our coffee area!
PC: What are you passionate about? AVA: My family’s well-being and sustainability.
PC: What do you like to do in your spare time? AVA: I like to spend my extra time with my girls which includes attending their Friday night basketball games. I also coach one of the teams of teenage girls (yikes!). I also like to work with wood and build things. As soon as something needs fixing or replacing at home, my first “go-to” is to figure out an excuse to bring out the tools and solve it through woodworking. This passion may have stemmed from my childhood where I loved playing with wooden blocks. Plus, it ties in with my passion for sustainability – a win win!
Since the beginning of time (1998), the entire team here at PaperCut has worked hard to continually improve the software with every release. Version 17.0, our first major release of 2017, brings in a fresh, new look for the PaperCut NG and MF admin interface by our UI design team, comprising of Senior UI Designer Mat Wiseman, Visual Product Designer Tom Beresford and Design Lead Jeremy Smith. We’re all very proud of the new design, and I would like to take you behind the scenes and explain the journey of how this all came about. First let’s check out the changes…
Fun Fact: The first release of the year always takes its name from the year it is released in!
It all started just over 12 months ago, with the birth of our first cloud-based product, PaperCut Views. When developing PaperCut Views, the goal was to ensure the solution was easy to use and modern, but also something that reflected PaperCut’s quirky nature. What the UI design team produced was an application with a look and feel that was different to anything that had been done before at PaperCut. The challenge was set for anyone to find a better looking software application…….
PaperCut Views provides printing insights for small businesses and home offices.
As CEO Chris Dance points out, “the reliance on mobile devices in everyday life has changed the way people view content and interact with software. People expect software applications to be intuitive, visually appealing and consistent with the way they use mobile technology. So at the top of our minds whenever we develop software, we naturally have our users, the SysAdmins, their users and the overall print experience. We are always trying to up the ante and deliver the latest in technology and push the boundaries of best practices in the industry. And importantly, we always try to be different. We are never satisfied doing what everyone else is doing, we want to do things the PaperCut way.”
After completing work on PaperCut Views, the attention moved to our core products PaperCut NG and MF, and working to apply those same design goals to them.
As Design Lead, Jeremy Smith explains, the team wanted to ensure the branding and illustration felt like part of the new software, rather than a separate afterthought. “It was a great collaborative process. We were really keen to inject some of our personality into the new design. So we used the illustration as a way to do that and we had a bit of fun with it too, hiding a number of PaperCut “stories” throughout. There is a big storytelling culture at PaperCut and I hope you’ll discover some of those hidden stories for yourself as you become more familiar with it. I think my favourite detail is the happy camper on the phone. He represents our brilliant support team who are second to none in our industry. They always have your back even when they are away camping for the weekend!”
Maybe taking our PaperCut name to the extreme, the approach in the conceptualization of the new look and feel is simply paper, cut into something that truly represents our direction and ambitions for 2017 and the future. Jeremy continues, “Our challenge was to capture our great stories in a way that complemented a beautiful user interface and the leading technology behind it. These colors, textures and concepts are set to bring a fresh experience that we are confident you will love. We’ll keep sharing more of the stories with you along the way. If you have a PaperCut story which you believe is a worthy inclusion, let us know and we’ll see if we can work it in.”
I hope this gives you an insight into how we’ve approached the change to the new design. The new user interface presents a more intuitive, streamlined and efficient user-experience and I think this is definitely THE best looking software application around. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.
PaperCutters are always about pushing the envelope and are never interested in business as usual. We therefore don’t want to spit out some lame new years resolution as we statistically know that resolution fulfilment steadily drops down through the months of the year.
Life (and software) do not reset every new years (except back in Y2K), so we shouldn’t just start setting goals for goals sake, just because the calendar has changed over. We believe that chance favours the prepared mind and improving further on what we are already doing is critical. We aim for perfection in everything that we do regardless of the timelines, so instead of making a long list of resolutions, we’ve decided to start the year by investing in the future and inviting selected students from John Monash Science School over for a week to learn what we do, and how we do things here at PaperCut, ask questions and provide a fresh perspective to our mindshare.
We’ve had the privilege of hosting Angi, Josh, Reena, and Will to spend time with us and get exposed to PaperCut’s work and culture. These bright young minds aren’t just your regular students who were randomly picked. They are awardees, rigorously selected, and sponsored by PaperCut to join the 2016 SuperComputing Conference in Salt Lake City UT.
The John Monash Science school have carefully screened students through an essay submission asking about concrete action plans on what they will do in case they win. The selection is then followed by interviews to help decide who shall be awarded a trip to the conference.
SuperComputing experience was nonetheless a great experience for the students as they were glad to report that they were absolutely jumping out of their skins while they were in the helm of super servers and cutting edge VR gadgets. And to quote Reena: “I would stay there 24/7 if I could! It’s awesome!”
While their week at PaperCut HQ as a follow up activity cannot match that level of excitement, we certainly hope the activities we arranged for them compensated in their further discovery and learning.
From creating marketing videos, to tinkering with front end website animation code, to analysing customer engagement rates and sales funnel analytics, their curious minds questioned every detail of what they have seen. Their questions have inspired us to revisit our processes and procedures and go back to basics. PaperCut has definitely benefited from having them around, and we sincerely hope that their experience with us has been worthwhile for them.
Beyond showing them agile software development processes and clean code, we hope that they were able to see our constant commitment to building closer relationships with our customers and resellers, as well as our obsession to constantly push the ante of innovation.
We also hope that they’ve thoroughly experienced our “coffee culture”, that our (good) coffee builds constructive conversations around products and services, which in turn produce better software and solutions that help customers.
So here’s to 2017, stronger relationships, awesome software, and fantastic coffee. We love that you are reading this and please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way. You’ll be surprised at how we are eager to connect.