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iKala Young Talent

Cloud Customer Engineer: A Great Combination of Technology and Communication

Willie Chiu, Customer Engineer, iKala Cloud

I studied Computer Science back in university, but I realized very early that the work of general software engineers is not my favorite, so at that time, I thought that I should find a job that can make good use of what I have learned at school, fit my personality, and is not about coding all the time—that is why I started my career as a cloud customer engineer.

Cloud Customer Engineer as a "Bridge"

A general software engineer may be familiar with the part he is responsible for, such as the programming languages he wrote or the modules he developed, but he may not have a comprehensive understanding of how the system or architecture is designed. In contrast, cloud customer engineers can look at the customer's engineering structure more comprehensively. They really play the role of a bridge. As a customer engineer, you need to first understand your clients' engineering structure, figure out what their requirements are, transfer them into action items, and then connect them with our solutions.

Therefore, in this work, I think soft skills are very important. Take "communication" as an example, when pointing out the mistakes of others, some people may offend others, but some can use questions to let the counterpart aware of his problems. This skill must be accumulated in the process of both external and internal communication. I think this is why the cloud customer engineer role is very different from general software engineers.

A Work Beyond My Expectations

A cloud customer engineer's job covers pre-sales, architecture planning, system maintenance and technical support, and this is way beyond my expectations. The reason why I call it "beyond expectation" is also related to the atmosphere of the working environment, which I personally feel extremely lucky.

When I first joined the team, I didn't understand anything, but this is a very open environment where everyone can ask questions freely. I won't worry about being discriminated against by other senior colleagues for asking questions, or if my manager will doubt my ability. It can be noticed that people in the team express themselves in a very different way, compared to normal software engineers. They will pay more attention to your feelings and your emotions. You can clearly see from everyone the personalities that are suitable for the job, which might be the reason why we can form a strong team together.

Another thing I think is great is that everyone in our team keeps their innocence, and is very enthusiastic about learning and sharing. In terms of professional skills, we have formed a study group since last year to discuss the latest cloud technology or the frequently-asked product inquiries. In our daily work, we regularly share the problems encountered in work, and everyone will come together to brainstorm and discuss how to solve them better. In addition, we often share methods that can improve our quality and efficiency of work, such as Trello, Notion, or other productivity tools, so that the entire team can improve together.

Learning Ability Is My Greatest Strength

During the interview, I was asked what I think my strength is. I said it was "learning ability" because I had nothing at that time. I didn't have rich internship experience like others when I was a student. And the research field of my Bachelor's and Master's Degree has nothing to do with my current work, but I know very well that there is an inevitable gap between learning and using, and my advantage is that I am very willing to learn, and I can learn quickly.

In addition to cloud technologies, I think the so-called "learning" involves external and internal communications. For instance, I have the sensitivity to feel the effect of languages, so I will pay special attention to how everyone expresses when communicating with different people, and remind myself to have better communication with others. Another example is project management. I used to think that only one good plan was enough, but in the process of working with other members of the team, I realized that one should always have backup plans. I think this really relies on practical experiences—you have to accumulate different experiences to come up with a comprehensive solution.

Most importantly, I am very grateful to have such a great team and working environment, so that I can have so many opportunities to learn, and I will continue to grow on my way of pursuing a cloud customer engineer career.

We are hiring: https://ikala.tv/recruit/

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iKala Young Talent

Where Psychology Meets Human Resources, iKala is Just Like my Hogwarts

Mindy Lien, iKala Human Resources Intern

I am currently studying at the Department of Psychology at Fu Jen Catholic University. The atmosphere of the Department of Psychology is different from that of other departments. When a group of people get together and chat, it becomes like a group consultation. Everyone will ask each other "Why do you think you feel this way?" Therefore, I think In addition to the development of professional knowledge, what I have learned most school is soft skills, which allow us to think from different perspectives and have a clear logic to analyze the emotions of others and that of myself.

Applying Psychology in the Human Resources Field

There are two different discipline clusters in our department, one is Industrial and Commercial Psychology and the other is Counseling and Consulting Psychology, so that students can choose according to their own areas of interest. Industrial and Commercial Psychology, which I chose, includes marketing, user experience and human resources, so I get to lay a solid foundation for the development of my career.

I think the advantage of my psychology background in the human resources work lies in the "evaluation". We attach great importance to experimental design and statistics. Applying these skills to work, we can use statistical methods to evaluate whether the courses are helpful to employees and use data to convince others. The professional ability of needs assessment is also very useful for understanding target audiences, setting course goals, and finally leading to a comprehensive training plan that can really help colleagues.

Factors to Look for in My Ideal Job

When it comes to choosing jobs, what I care most is learning and growth: Does what I can learn in this position fit my personal career plan? Can I continue to grow here? Secondly relationship between colleagues. I really like the feeling that everyone works together for the same goal. Third, company culture. You can understand what the company expects of its employees and how it treats its employees. I also believe that it is necessary to truly agree with and conform to the company's culture to lead a happy and fulfilling career.

Compared to traditional companies with relatively rigid systems and organizations, I am more inclined to startups, with a lively atmosphere, close relationships with colleagues, and greater flexibility that allows employees to explore and grow.

My First Real Taste of Working in an Enterprise

Human Resources Intern at iKala is my first real taste of work. Before I came here, I didn't know much about iKala. I only remembered that it is a very lively company. The decisive factor for me to join iKala was that during the peer interview, I really felt that the atmosphere of the company is what I yearn for. In addition, since I was also interested in marketing, iKala's AI influencer marketing service KOL Radar soon piqued my interest. I was looking forward to working as a human resources intern, but at the same time taking a glimpse of what people in KOL Radar team do.

My work as a human resources intern includes interview invitation, recruit information updates, interview tests arrangement and assistance in the organization of internal training courses. After working in iKala for a few months, I deeply feel that this is a very dynamic company. Whenever I share my internship experience here with my classmates, everyone envy the unique company culture and the working atmosphere here.

Although I am not very good at expressing my inner thoughts to everyone, I really love the colleagues I met here and feel extremely thankful for their help and guidance. In the past, I always felt that I am like jack of all trades but master of none, but after coming to iKala, my mentors praised me a lot and let me know what I am good at it. Even if my mentors are very busy, they will always take time to discuss with me as long as I have questions.

I really like the quote from Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter: "Help shall always be given at Hogwarts, to those who ask for it." To me, iKala is like Hogwarts, as long as I call for it, someone will lend a helping hand. I am very happy that my first internship was at iKala, where I met versatile colleagues and broaden my horizons for the future.

We are hiring: https://ikala.tv/recruit/

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Culture

My Name is the Synonym for Solutions

Human-centered is not fulfilling the insatiable needs of an individual, but taking the company's overall interest as a priority.

Dictated by Momo Liang, Senior Adminstration Specialist, iKala
Written by Iris Hung

I joined iKala in 2018 as an Administration Specialist. My everyday work includes minding the receptionist's front desk and telephone. I also manage the meeting rooms, maintain the equipment inside, receive guests, and deliver or receive letters and packages. I'm also responsible for preparing office events, such as the year-end parties, company trips, other celebrations, office parties, etc.

I have what people call a "mother's personality". I like to watch out for everyone, make sure everybody is being cared for. I didn't know I had it in me until I came to this job. I found that my experience in life and familiarity with these mundane daily tasks could be of great assistance to everyone. I have plenty of confidence in my ability to do this.

The harder part of this job is that there are a million little different things to do. My time each day could be spent on a wide variety of tasks. To use the making of new business cards as an example, the whole process goes like this: the coworker who needs the cards must double-check and confirm their name and job title. Then, I need to update an online form. I need to communicate with the designer who makes the cards, review the draft, upload the file to the printing company, wait for their delivery, and then pick up the delivery. It's not that these things are hard—the combined time spent on these steps may be around thirty minutes only. But there are so many different procedures and people I need to talk to, and a lot of time is spent waiting for others to complete their part of the process. So, in the end, it may take a couple of weeks to get the business cards made.

A part of my time is also spent on helping colleagues solve problems they cannot solve for themselves. So, I've developed a habit of leaving a fixed amount of time every day to deal with miscellaneous issues. The job of a receptionist can be very dull or full of excitement. People are glad to talk to me, and I'm happy to share my thoughts. This helps me understand the personality of each colleague and how they do things. That way, I can work with different people or teams more efficiently. You can even say I am facilitating the exchange of our corporate culture. I keep telling myself, I am more than a machine that takes care of miscellaneous tasks. I want to become a relay station—picking up requests and opinions from all over the workplace, and then turning these inputs into something that helps the entire company.

I am very happy working in this company. People see me as more than the "receptionist" they go to when they need help. They call me "Momo", and I can just about fix any problem they might have. In a way, the name "Momo" has become the synonym for "solutions" in the company. I am not joking when I say people really can find valuable advice and suggestions when they talk to me. This is a positive influence in the company, and I feel a sense of achievement in what I do. 

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Culture

A Strong Finance Team Helps iKala Gain Footholds in Foreign Markets

Human-centered is not taking the company as a family, but a team on the court that everyone can reach their potential to win the game.

By Sara Huang, Finance & Accounting Deputy Manager, iKala

I joined iKala in 2016. As the company grew, dialogues and interactions with investors became more and more frequent. More than two years ago, CFO Candy asked if I was interested in work that was related to stock affairs. I did not put too much thought into it at the time; I told her yes, even though I was unfamiliar with the task. This opened a new world for me that was different from finance. From preparing for board meetings and shareholder meetings, to participating in the due diligence (DD) process of Series B funding, as well as the closing phase—I was in the thick of it all. This job afforded me the chance to sit in on board meetings and to be in the same room as iKala's various board members. I heard firsthand the valuable advice they offered iKala to help it grow.

The precious lessons I learned as I watched iKala grow in the capital market were very helpful. Later, when there were questions about how iKala was going to invest in other companies, or how other startups were going to find funding, or when iKala encountered any stock-related issues overseas—I found that my experience provided valuable insight. 

Here's something else that left a deep impression on me. About a month before the Lunar New Year holiday in 2020, I learned that the company had received an urgent request from a client that may require us to set up a branch in Hong Kong. I thought of nothing besides helping my company achieve its goal. I spent a week doing research. I learned about the rules and tax regulations that were related to setting up a branch in Hong Kong. Once I felt I had a grasp on the situation, I initiated the process of opening our Hong Kong branch. Time was of the essence; so, when I noticed that Hong Kong returned to work a day before Taiwan, I made it my mission to make sure the paperwork related to iKala's Hong Kong branch would be ready for review on Hong Kong's first workday. A day before the holidays wrapped up in Taiwan, I arranged for the accountants and our CEO Sega to sign all the documents in front of a notary. Then, I scanned and sent the documents to the agency in Hong Kong. I made sure the entire process could be completed as soon as possible.

Establishing a company is a long and arduous process. In the past three years, I've helped iKala open branches and accounts in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam. As a member of the finance team, even I find our progress to be impressive. Thankfully, iKala has a resourceful finance team that always makes sure everything runs smoothly, so iKala could explore more and more international markets.


[Note]

Stock affairs: Work involving shareholders, equities, and stocks, including the opening of accounts for shareholders, updating shareholder information, transfer of stocks, creation or annulment of pledges, the arrangement of shareholder and board meetings, payment of dividends, outsourcing the printing of stocks, fielding shareholder queries, stock-related government rules and regulations, etc.

Due diligence: Before signing a contract or business deal, a due diligence survey of the business deal and the parties or companies involved in the deal is conducted according to the Standard of Care.

Categories
Culture

I Wish to Develop More Products that Customers Want with iKala's Technology

Human-centered is considering AI technology as a complement to human-beings instead of a substitute.

Dictated by Finn Yeh, Senior Product Manager, KOL Radar
Written by Iris Hung

The customer journey in influencer marketing includes developing the strategy, setting the goals, choosing the key opinion leader (KOL), signing the contract with the KOL, outlining the scope of our cooperation and content of our ads, and then finally evaluating the results. KOL Radar started by helping customers to "search" for KOLs. After a period of development and exploration, I began to think further ahead: how can we provide a more valuable service to our users? This led my train of thought back to the beginning. What are the goals and vision of our products? Who are we supposed to serve? By analyzing the user flow, we found that besides the search function, the customer's biggest pain point was evaluating the results of their campaigns. We needed a way to make the final report more visualized, more comprehensible. So, we decided to develop the "Deep Report".

In the past, customers used Excel spreadsheets to calculate the results. However, when you are working with many KOLs, you waste a lot of manpower updating the spreadsheets manually, and you cannot see the results in real-time. This limited any attempts at analytics to a very surface level. With Deep Report, the customer can accurately track the result of each influencer marketing campaign. By analyzing multidimensional data, we are able to solve the real problems encountered by our end customers. Not only are we able to free up manpower with the power of technology, we are also able to expand the scope of our customer's imagination. For instance, a word cloud can be used to dissect user-generated content (UGC), so we can understand what the audience cares about, what their thoughts are about our sponsored content, whether their reaction is positive or negative. Our customers can use these insights to further adjust and improve their marketing strategy.

After a round of user interviews and tests, we found that "activation" was the most difficult part. What could we do to convince our customers to change their current routine and try out Deep Report? It turns out everyone was afraid they would need to put more effort into compiling data, without even knowing what the end results would be. Therefore, we added an "import data" function to help customers import their existing spreadsheets directly into Deep Report. So long as the categories in the spreadsheet were not too different from Deep Report's template, the system was able to automatically match the corresponding data. The customer could quickly pour their data into the system and just sit back as the system automatically generated a new report.

Compared with my experience as a product manager (PM) in other companies, iKala has a much clearer division of responsibilities, allowing me to focus more of my attention on the product. Also, whether it's between departments or within the KOL Radar team, the resources and support systems are much better. When we are faced with a new problem, members of the team are eager to share their counsel, and there are many colleagues with different specialties to turn to for advice. I hope we can continue to explore the market in the future, so we can collect more useful feedback from our customers, which will help us develop more products that users want. That is my vision as a product manager.

 

Note: Deep Report uses technologies such as web crawling, text segmentation module, and sentiment analysis module. A web crawler is a highly efficient automated system that uses Proxy Server to analyze the API of different social media platforms and regularly capture the latest numbers from a sponsored post. The text segmentation module and the sentiment analysis module both rely on NLP technology. The text segmentation module is an improved Jieba system that converts text into meaningful phrases. The sentiment analysis module uses ML technology to study a lot of text messages and learn how to differentiate between positive, negative, and neutral tones.