Acumatica’s VP of Global Support, Aliya Rakimgulova, discusses how to provide outstanding customer and partner support, why diversity is important, how to create a strong team, and what it means to lead a majority female team in the tech industry.
Q. Tell us about your career journey and what led you to Acumatica.
A. Technical support was a logical choice for me. I’m a social person who likes to solve puzzles, and I’m passionate about working in technology, resolving customer problems, helping teams grow, and improving products and processes. I’ve been in the technology industry for 18 years and have worked in different tech support management roles for 16 years. I joined Acumatica eight years ago, when Acumatica was growing very rapidly and needed someone to scale up their technical support department.
Q. How does your Product Support team serve Acumatica’s customers?
A. My team is responsible for four important areas. First, we provide technical support for Acumatica customers and partners—resolving customers’ issues on time and to their satisfaction.
Second, we take proactive steps to prevent issues. We install and use the beta version of each Acumatica release, so we can give the development team feedback on the new features and possible problems. When a customer brings a problem to us, we treat it analytically to see if others may face the same issue. We work behind the scenes to make sure problems are resolved quickly or solved before the customer even experiences them.
Third, we empower our partner network to provide authentic support to our mutual customers. Since Acumatica is a channel-driven company, both we and our partners provide technical support to Acumatica users. We equip partners with the latest training, self-service resources, Knowledge Base articles, and other educational materials, so they can provide the industry-leading support Acumatica promises every customer.
And last, we listen to customer feedback about Acumatica. We collect the information, aggregate it, support it with data, and route these insights to the appropriate departments and teams.
Q. As a female executive, what does leading a majority female team in the tech industry mean to you?
A. I firmly believe that the more diverse a team is, the stronger it is. Of the eight tech support engineers who were working at Acumatica when I joined, only one was female. At the time, hiring practices did not focus much on diversity. So, we changed the hiring process, altered the job requirements to widen the candidate funnel, and built a richer team that now balances seniority with diversity and potential. Our current team of 60 engineers is just over 50 percent female.
This level of diversity is very important for me because, when I was a young professional, I was always looking up and asking myself: “What’s there for me?” I want to inspire and be a role model. Young female professionals need to see that everything is possible. When they look at Acumatica, I want them to see our female leaders, our support for diversity, and know that everything is possible at Acumatica, too. For me, it’s important to set this example and show these young female professionals and young female leaders that they can grow in tech. And, if they join Acumatica, there is a career path for them here.
Q. As you lead your team, how do you make everyone feel included, welcomed, and valued?
A. Our team is both big and culturally diverse, and we have four main support regions: Serbia, the US, Canada, and Sri Lanka. Acumatica support team members are available at all hours to provide immediate help. We use our own product (Acumatica Cloud ERP) every day, but, during the pandemic, when we suddenly became a remote workforce, we really put the system to work—fortifying our training programs and strengthening our global collaboration. It went so well that most of our team still works remotely, and we’ve developed a culture of open, positive communication. I connect regularly with the team, and that level of communication is essential. The Acumatica culture also makes employees feel included. Everyone contributes to the company’s overall success.
This inclusion involves actively supporting women on the team who may face additional pressures. Statistics show that women feel less confident at work, especially young professionals. So, it is very important for them to join a company with the right culture, the right management, and the right mentors who can support them, train them, and help them reach their full potential in their positions.
Q. What would you say to inspire other women in tech who might feel discouraged about gender disparity in their careers?
A. When you are interviewing for a role, remember it’s not just the company interviewing you. You are interviewing the company. Do you know and agree with the company’s values? Interview your potential manager, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. What is the potential for career development? How many female leaders does your company have? What is your management style? How do you resolve conflicts? A good manager in a company with a good culture will appreciate these questions because they mean you’re seriously looking for a long-term role in the right place. Gender disparity is a problem in the technology sector, and it has been for many years. Interview your possible employers and make sure they’re taking steps to address this gap.
Q. How is your team using the latest technology to help Acumatica’s customers, partners, and ecosystem?
A. We are a proactive team that analyzes a lot of data to prevent problems and resolve customer issues quickly. Telemetry shows us which features Acumatica customers use. We know who may be affected by an issue, and we can solve the problem before it happens. Acumatica Cloud ERP, paired with telemetry, is critical. We use Acumatica to store all customer data, and, alongside telemetry, this helps us prioritize bug and code fixes. We also create aggregated reports to make data-driven decisions about product management, budgets, team member assignments, and more. This year, we’re exploring AI/ML technologies. But Acumatica itself is the most powerful technology at our disposal. We put it to the test hundreds of times a day, and it is key to our accomplishments.
Read more Acumatica executive profiles here.