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Q&A with Soren Riisgaard, VP of Strategic Operations at FinancialForce

Last year, Soren Riisgaard moved from Denmark to Marin and joined Certinia. We are very lucky he did! As our Vice President of Strategic Operations, he has been instrumental to helping us optimize for hyper growth. In this new Q&A I sit down with Soren to discuss his experience at Certinia, his goals, his wardrobe and what he likes to do outside the office.

1. Hi Soren! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. For those who don’t know, can you first tell us a little more about your role at Certinia?

My role can be a mystery to some. The official title is Vice President of Strategic Operations at Certinia. I am responsible for developing and implementing programs across departments to help scale the business. I work with different team leads and departments, depending on where the immediate needs are for action and change, to maximize efficiency as the company continues to grow. You can call me the guy making sure we are optimized for hyper growth!

2. You joined the company right before Dreamforce last year. What a time to start! What has your experience been so far?

Certinia is truly a great, high-energy company. The culture is very unique and it comes from the top down. As a Dane working in the US, I had some pre-conceptions about what it’s like working in Silicon Valley, and I was very pleasantly surprised. People at Certinia are very open and welcoming. We are competitive externally here but not internally with each other. We are very collaborative and we learn from one another. We celebrate successes while also adapting quickly to mistakes.

3. I completely agree! 2015 was a big year for Certinia. What are some of your priorities in 2016 as ‘the guy making sure we are optimized for growth’?

We grew tremendously in 2015, and we’re continuing that rapid momentum. Last year we spent a lot of time ramping up Sales, Dev and Customers For Life, and this year, we should see even more results stemming from the strong talent and teams we’ve put in place. Not only should we have higher bookings, we will improve our customer experience even more! We want to further internal transparency to make everything even easier for our customers, from a product to service perspective.

As we keep growing, we need to make sure everyone at Certinia is working towards the same goals and teams are optimized to do so. We’ve put in a lot of time updating our strategy, getting everyone in the same and right direction — I look forward to seeing the results this year!

4. I’d have to say that aside from Jeremy and a couple sales AEs, you are possibly one of the best dressed SF-based employees. Most of us come in jeans unless we have a special event or meeting to attend.

Well, let me share something interesting with you. You see this white dress shirt? I have 20 shirts in my closet exactly like this one. It makes mornings easier. I already know what I’m going to wear. It is the engineer in me trying to optimize my mornings. Simplify.

5. Just like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, huh? That is very interesting!! Now, before we wrap up this Q&A, can you share what are a couple things on the personal front you’ve set out to do this year?

My family and I moved to Marin in 2015 for this job. We are now finally fully settled and want to start exploring the beautiful landmarks and state parks in California! Also, I enjoy biking. I bike to work every morning and evening across the Golden Gate Bridge. The views are inspiring and breathtaking. I hope to explore more scenic bike routes this year!

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