Eric Hoftiezer is a CPQ Consultant working out of
Gurnee, IL. Since joining Canidium in early 2018, he has been instrumental in expanding Canidium’s CPQ practice through his coding repository efforts, project management, and lead development.
How did you come to work for Canidium?
After attending the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Eric joined a small software company where he was first exposed to CPQ. He had several former colleagues who worked at Canidium, and he was so impressed by their positive experiences that he decided to apply himself.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities and activities in your position as a consultant?
“The first thing I do each day is check emails to see if any critical system issues came in overnight that need immediate attention.” Eric spends a lot of time problem-solving for any issues that arise and adapting implementations to meet any new requirements. Along those same lines, he works hard to stay organized and to prioritize requests efficiently. Staying on top of all his projects and their occasionally competing deadlines is crucial. Finally, Eric does quite a bit of coding to adapt CPQ to each client’s unique needs. He uses a separate programming environment called PyCharm that helps with programming in Python, which can then be imported into CPQ.
What kinds of skills do you use in your job?
For Eric, the main skill is clear: “Definitely creative thinking.” Because CPQ is such a large and complex system, and each customer can customize it in so many different ways, there will never be a standard playbook of implementation approaches. Therefore, Eric has to look at complex systems and figure out how to adjust the moving pieces to make them function according to the client’s requirements. This also means Eric must be patient and tenacious, willing to try anything to problem-solve.
Another crucial aspect of his job is critical thinking and communication skills. In all his client interactions, Eric keeps in mind the concept of the rhetorical triangle. This means considering who he is, who he is writing to, and the medium in which the message is being communicated. Each variable comes with its own considerations in terms of how his communication style should be adapted to fit individual situations.
What has been your experience interacting with and managing clients?
Eric has worked with two clients so far and had a positive experience. He believes it’s important to remember that “people are human, they get frustrated, but they also understand that we’re doing our best.” Above all, Eric appreciates that his clients are eager to work with him. They want to learn new things and help out where they can. This makes it
easy to have a friendly and effective working relationship with clients, which leads to higher satisfaction and productivity for all parties involved.
Do you have any advice for people new to the industry?
“Keep notes on everything that you do—even minor things—and keep those notes organized.” When you’re just starting out in the tech industry, you will be learning an insane amount very quickly, so it’s helpful to take notes in order to keep track of everything. Eric also notes that this habit definitely helps with memory and retaining the new information, as well as providing an easy reference if you ever need a refresher.
What do you like about working for Canidium?
Eric greatly appreciates his co-workers and the fact that he “can talk to anyone” because they are friendly and understanding. At his previous job, he dealt with
a lot of intercompany politics, including not being able to talk to certain departments for arbitrary reasons. However, at Canidium, Eric can send a message to every single person in the company and get a friendly response. Additionally, he appreciates the fluid and adaptable nature of Canidium. “If we want to do something here, we can do it.” At big corporations, changing a process can take months of reviews and approvals, as well as involve a sea of red tape. At Canidium, however, we constantly have the chance to innovate and directly impact the company’s culture.
At Canidium, we value each other’s diverse interests and experiences. We asked Eric some fun questions to learn more about him outside of work.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?
Dark purple with silver sparkles; “I’m a big guy, so people are usually intimidated at first, but I’m actually a teddy bear who is happy to talk to people.” Thus, Eric would be dark purple, which is mysterious at first, but with the sparkles to represent his fun side.
Where would you most like to visit that you haven’t yet been to?
“South Korea, assuming I could communicate effectively.” Eric thinks the culture would be different enough that he could experience a whole new world, and it seems like “a weird and interesting place to visit.”
If you want to learn more about a career with Canidium, click here to see our open positions or to apply.