The world of software sales can sometimes be very impersonal. But at AIMMS, we like to break the mold. In this interview, we hear from Sergi Asensi (
Tell us about yourself and how you came to work for AIMMS
I grew up in Barcelona, received a Master's degree in Law and moved to the Netherlands when I was 25. I started my career at Baan Company, a fast growing entrepreneurial software firm in the ERP space. In my transactional experience I realized it was more exciting for me to create relationships and together look at the promise of potential than to haggle over risks and document understandings. So, I transitioned from law to business development. I did an MBA at the Rotterdam School of Management, moved to Tridion, gained field experience and lead a number of business initiatives. I founded my own company in 2006 to help technology companies grow.
Over the years, I noticed my disenchantment with work cultures that are only driven by financial performance and short-term gain. These places can be dominated by a culture of fear, where leaders are often desensitized in order to cope. I told myself, “There must be a better way.” I wanted to join an organization that took the whole human being as the departure point, with trust and respect at its basis. I had a longing to work for an inspiring and innovative software company that is in itself inspired. I started asking around in my network and someone recommended me to check out AIMMS.
Tell us about your current roles. What motivates you most in your work?
I am responsible for AIMMS’ commercial strategy and sales execution. What motivates me most, and what I see as my mission, is to unleash AIMMS’ potential, which is very big.
To meet and realize our growth potential, it is important to communicate our value propositions in a way that is clear, truthful, compelling and differentiated. This attracts the right type of customers and partners. This clarity creates alignment. The alignment creates “flow.” Flow generates growth with ease.
I am attracted to the idea of empowering more and more professionals so that they can explore very complex issues and take insightful decisions based on a deliberate choice. Optimal choices take all the goals and potentially conflicting interests into account, like reducing cost, providing better service, assuring the resilience of an operation as well as contributing to sustainability goals. In that sense, AIMMS is a technology that facilitates optimal decision making. That is meaningful to me.
In my day-to-day work, I like to be a helpful resource for clients on a journey to make choices. I like to connect with them, understand their needs and show them how we will contribute to the achievement of their aspirations. I like to operate in a way that is authentic, truthful, win-win and long-term minded. I welcome vulnerability, mine and others’. I get involved, personally.
Where do you see AIMMS in the next 5-10 years from a commercial perspective?
I see AIMMS being 10 times bigger than it is now in terms of revenue. That will happen because we are finding ways to position the value of our technology in a way that is more relevant to more people, and because the markets in which we operate are also growing.
We also have an “unfair” competitive advantage: our product’s architecture. AIMMS is a fantastic technology. We create and enable others to create decision support applications that are cool, easy to use and very empowering. We fill the gaps of many large systems and, due to the digitization of businesses and increasing complexity, the number of gaps is growing every day. People have to explore options and make difficult decisions. Our software is ideal for that job.
As a species, collectively, we are becoming increasingly aware that our world is a fragile, complex dynamic system. Our choices, as individuals and as professionals, matter. Sourcing stuff, making stuff, distributing stuff, allocating resources, disposing of stuff.... All these steps imply decisions—sometimes very difficult decisions. We help explore all the options and possibilities, so that the most intelligent choice can be made. The opportunities for our clients, for our partners and for ourselves are enormous.
Any interesting projects you'd like to share?
Two projects come to mind. One is about augmenting our visibility, and we are doing it in three different ways.
One is expanding our partner network. We want our technology to reach more super users. We are partnering with a growing number of network design consulting companies in the USA, Europe and Asia. For example, recently we signed a new partnership with SCALA, a leading consulting firm in that field. At the same time, we are recruiting implementation partners that develop optimization apps. We are also expanding our presence in companies that have centers of excellence and understand the power of mathematical optimization to radically and positively impact their business.
I am also recruiting new commercial talent that knows about “dancing.” Let me explain the metaphor: in order to dance well, you need to have a good awareness about yourself and about the other, and tune into the vibe and rhythm that makes both move in alignment through space and time. Sometimes you’ll lead, sometimes you’ll follow, sometimes you’ll improvise...but in the end, it’s about enjoying being yourself together with the other. It is about creating a connection that moves things forward, with ease.
Tell us something we may not know about you
I have a keen interest in “transformation” and self-development. In my free time, I support trainings and courses for communities that foster self-development. I like to support people that seek to unleash their own authenticity. For people who are interested in the subject, one resource I recommend is Authentic Relating Training: ART (https://authenticrelating.co/).