Meet Cory Vogel, SAP Consultant and the 37th Taulian. Cory joined Taulia in 2011 as a QA Engineer and unofficial office DJ spinning artists like Disclosure, M83, Washed Out and Flume on Taulia Thursdays. An environmentalist and avid cyclist (read: fixie), Cory was destined to be an advocate for AP automation and eInvoicing.
Cory bikes 6 miles/day to and from work. San Francisco is 7x7 miles wide, meaning he basically bikes the length of the whole city every day.
Where did you grow up? What brought you to San Francisco?
I grew up in The Big Easy, a.k.a. New Orleans, Louisiana. I studied Information Systems at Louisiana State University (Go Tigers!) and interned at ReadSoft for a year before landing a full-time job there as a Support Engineer. I’m not exactly sure why New Orleans is called The Big Easy, but I’m guessing it’s because the lifestyle is slower and more laid back than places like San Francisco. Life in NOLA was pretty awesome, but San Francisco is a more active city for young professionals and fun things are happening every day.
How did you find out about Taulia?
I had met Markus Ament a.k.a. Maex, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Taulia, a couple times and always admired his passion and work ethic. Maex used to work for ReadSoft US and was pretty much a legend there--everyone knew who he was and had great respect for him. ReadSoft bought his first company, Ebydos, and he moved to San Francisco in order to work for ReadSoft US after the acquisition. Maex noticed that even though invoices were being approved faster, they still weren't being paid until the due date. So that's when he left ReadSoft and founded Taulia.
I had been keeping an eye on Taulia's growth as I became a full-time employee at ReadSoft, and I worked with Taulia from time-to-time because they were growing partnerships. I specifically recall chatting with Maex at a ReadSoft conference when Taulia first started. He mentioned how rapidly the company was growing and encouraged me to apply for a QA position, and a year later, I finally did. The rest is history!
After I received an offer from Taulia, I hopped in my Hyundai Sonata and drove across the country. 2,300 miles and 32 hours later, I was in San Francisco and ready to start my career at Taulia.
So you joined as a QA Engineer and have since moved to an SAP Consultant. Can you tell me a little bit about both positions?
As a QA engineer, I very much enjoyed that we could rebuild our processes from the ground up. When I joined Taulia, the QA department was constantly in flux, and I remember that if someone had a great idea, it usually got implemented. Being an engineer opened my mind to the different aspects of these gigantic ERP systems that we work with and how you don't need to always write code or architect a monolith to contribute.
As an SAP Consultant, I am constantly challenged to be better. There isn't a day where I don't learn something new and apply it. It gives me the opportunity to see our company's solutions positively impact an entire payables department. Being involved with the customers on a day to day basis, and having the ability to openly communicate with them, has given me a whole new understanding of our solution. It’s always rewarding to hear from our customers firsthand how our solution is making a huge difference in their company. Coming from Engineering, I think our customers oftentimes appreciate that I have a deep, technical understanding and an open and transparent communication methodology.
Was it fairly easy to transition from a QA Engineer to an SAP Consultant?
Absolutely! I came to the quality position from a functional perspective and learned a lot about our solution along the way and the possibilities of SaaS and how the monolith is designed and our SAP integration. A lot of technicalities of what we do came along the way and I’ve always had a functional perspective on how the product works. I understood how things are working and why the business works the way it does and connecting the dots on how it does has always been fun.
What do you think would surprise most people about your role as an SAP Consultant?
It was surprisingly awesome to actually see how many people could be involved in a Taulia Project at any one time. It's really exciting to meet so many of our customers in person and to see the kind of talent that we get to work with. Our products can get pretty robust, so we end up getting a lot of feedback and input about how the product should work at one specific company. The nature of these systems is that they are not plug-and-play, and we always get it done, no matter what--no matter how many people it takes to get it right because we value customer satisfaction so highly!
What has been your most memorable moment at Taulia so far?
Truthfully, there have been a lot of good moments, but I remember my two year mark and realizing how much I've been able to grow at Taulia. I had some extensive experience with supporting similar solutions before I joined Taulia, but since then I've been able to expand my skillset in so many ways. From being directly involved in an implementation to being involved in an aggressive development cycle; looking back, it was really kind of awesome to know that I've learned a lot in the past 2 years.
What is your favorite thing about being here?
Without a doubt, the people at Taulia and the interactions we have at work or outside of work are my favorite parts about Taulia. I’m especially inspired by our architects’ and leadership team’s commitment and zest to making our product the best in the industry. I truly think my co-workers are some of the smartest people I've ever met, and their talent never ceases to amaze me.