An interview with our previous customer and now CTO Serhan Kıymaz

We know him from back when he was the CTO of our customer Elefant.ro. Now, fast forward to June, 2018 and he’s one of us now. So we decided to ask him how does Segmentify look like from the other side and from within:
Could you briefly talk about yourself and the career path that took you to Elefant.ro and then to Segmentify?
I studied Economics at Yıldız Technical University, and have worked in software development since 1997. I got into it as a result of a challenge from one of my college friends. I’ve worked in back-end development and systems management my entire career, and have managed those departments for the last six years.
Before working at Elefant.ro, I held various positions at highly-recognized companies, such as Sahibinden.com, Doğuş Media, Vodafone, Turkcell and Markafoni. During my time at Markafoni, I received a LinkedIn invitation which led to a three-month long interview period, which then resulted in the beginning of my two-year stint as CTO of Elefant.ro, the second largest e-commerce company in Romania. 
Upon my return to Turkey, I accepted the job offer from Segmentify, and here I am today!
How did you start using Segmentify’s personalization solutions at Elefant.ro? What were your decision points? Which problems were you trying to overcome, and how did Segmentify help?
Finding the right recommendation engine has always been one of our biggest challenges. That is, of course, until we met Segmentify!
We had been working with a local solutions provider from Romania, but we were facing serious issues in our campaigns, due to our growing number of viewers. On top of that, it took weeks (and sometimes months!) for new algorithms to be integrated to the site, and price was always an issue.
I also went through a similar situation during my time at Markafoni. The recommendation engine we chose had a two-month learning period, following an integration process that also took months.
Segmentify was suggested by our marketing director at Elefant.ro, and we decided to go for a POC run. To be honest, I immediately turned it down when I first heard about it, mainly because I was thinking of the development work we would have to go through with a new third-party tool. But when I saw the integration document, I realized all we had to do was add one line of JavaScript code to our webpage, and that was it! In just three days, the integration process was completed, and Segmentify went live on our website. We were even able to publish a couple of product listing pages for some of our special campaigns, which consisted of six or seven Segmentify widgets.
To sum it up, Segmentify contributed to our online sales much more than our previous solutions provider, and thoroughly met our expectations. We were able to make personalized recommendations, not just on our homepage and category pages, but also on our basket and checkout success pages, which we were unable to do before.

Serhan Kıymaz – CTO & Deniz Çokuğraş – Marketing Specialist

What was it like to work with Segmentify as a customer? From a CTO’s point of view, how would you rate Segmentify in terms of technical capabilities and user-friendliness? And how did this affect your decision to ultimately work at Segmentify?
As a customer, Segmentify really impressed me in two ways:
First, their product quality was outstanding! The smooth, no-fuss integration process in addition to the accuracy of their product recommendations really helped seal the deal. 
Second, the Segmentify team always welcomed our requests (even the silly ones!) with a positive attitude. It showed me that they were a team of friendly and warm-hearted people!
These two things meant the world to me. Because, above all, I needed to have faith in the team I was working with. Segmentify left no doubt in my mind with this, and I accepted the offer without hesitation.
How is work life at Segmentify going for you so far? How do the responsibilities of wearing the CTO hat in a growing firm differ from wearing it in an established firm?
Working at a company in its growth phase, of course, has its ups and downs. Fast-moving operations, fast-paced dynamics within the company, and not having to wait to make and implement decisions are among the better aspects.
On the other hand, we still have a lot of processes and procedures that are in need of refinement, compared to established firms. We need to continue working on this.
If you’re an executive in a company during its growth phase, naturally your responsibilities multiply. You’re not only responsible for your own department and for the well-being of the company, but you need to be involved in all areas. If any of the other departments need your help, you have to be ready to roll up your sleeves and help them as soon as possible. 
As CTO, you’re clearly in charge of a lot! Our solution partners come to our rescue in matters that are outside the scope of our main duties.
The positive attitude at Segmentify that I had observed from the outside can be felt throughout the entire office. In an office full of friendly and helpful people, issues can be resolved rather quickly.
Our success team, which I’m spending most of my time with these days, is made up of young employees with a great hunger for learning and self-improvement. This helps us avoid making a lot of mistakes, and even more importantly, making the same mistakes twice.
To put it simply, while I’m constantly learning and improving as a C-level executive at Segmentify, I’m also very pleased with the positive work environment it provides.

He was so deep into work, he didn’t even realize we were there!

What are your future plans for Segmentify? What’s in store for the success and development teams? What kind of improvements do you wish to see in the future?
Let’s not forget about R&D and product teams along with the success and development teams! ☺
As I’ve mentioned before, all of our employees are very well informed and engaged. They learn quickly, and are eager to grow from their experiences. In this way, a very productive workforce has already been established, and I’m extremely happy with it. However, it’s also my job to push for continuous improvement. To that end, we constantly get together with the teams – especially with the success team, which is our youngest and largest. We try to improve the quality of our work through regular workshops, meetings and training sessions.
The other three departments spend the majority of their time improving our offerings. We see consistent improvement in the quality of our software and products. We also really try to focus on filling in all the missing pieces, as well as on improving our operations. Having better, faster and more efficient products is our number one goal.
Because our firm is in the growth stage, our employees have to work harder and faster. But we also have a lot of fun!