We caught up with Adam to find out a little bit more about his role as product manager a Technical Consultant at OpenAthens, what he gets up to in his spare time and what his thoughts on the future of the industry are.
Tell us a little about your role at OpenAthens
I started out as a service desk analyst back in May 2008 – November 2011. During that time I formed the then-named ‘presales’ team. It has since been renamed the technical solutions team and we largely focus on implementations. As well as onboarding new customers, I assist the sales process by starting conversations with IT and library teams, gathering requirements and later creating tailored solutions for them.
I have gathered a lot of knowledge and experience over the years and I enjoy supporting internal staff, customers and partners with their technical problems. This often includes helping IT and network teams configure their own third-party products e.g. Azure, G-Suite, Okta etc.
I actively participate in discussions with membership organizations, other federations and standard bodies to help form or amend existing best practice recommendations. This ultimately improves the all-round user experience.
I represent OpenAthens at both local and international events to promote of the benefits of federated access to the wider community. I also deliver comprehensive training to both customers and international partners.
What are your hobbies and interests?
For me, the lines between work and interests are blurred so I would definitely say work is an interest of mine! Outside of work, I enjoy cycling, hiking, and spend most of my free time either gaming (PC) or watching movies.
What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was a professional one. I managed the retirement of one of our products, helping to migrate hundreds of customers onto a more suitable product. The new product offered a user experience that is in line with a true single sign-on experience.
What’s the best piece advice you’ve been given or could give?
I don’t necessarily always practice what I preach but I do often get drawn to this: "Don't worry about the things you can't change, just concentrate on those you can."
Who inspires you?
People who serve in the military.
What do you think the future of the industry looks like?
I used to think that radical change was needed. Over the last few years however, I think the industry has come together to make significant progress, though there is still a lot more to be done. Everyone, not just a subset of the community needs to become much more user-centric and user-focused; it needs to be more flexible for both subscribing organizations and service providers.
OpenAthens has been providing remote access and authentication solutions for over 25 years. Used worldwide by over 2,600 academic, healthcare, corporate research libraries, publishers, and service providers to provide access to knowledge. We’re based in the UK and are a part of Jisc.