Yags Savania Celebrates 15 Years At Aspect Enterprise Solutions

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Written by Yags Savania – Senior Vice President of CTRM Sales, EMEA

Today, I celebrate my 15-Year Anniversary at Aspect Enterprise Solutions, formerly known as OILspace. As a young, eager lad, I joined the exciting start-up software company during IP Week 2003 where we flaunted our new XDA mobile solution, the only mobile solution available in the market at that time. Reuters still had its pager with real time scrolling futures on a ticker for oil traders.

Our sales team was selling enterprise software using PowerPoint, due to our software being limited, and because we feared that our demos wouldn’t hold up with spotty wireless access on expensive, 3G dongles.

While sifting through our early OILspace marketing collateral – I can see that while a lot has changed over the past 15 years, much of our message still holds true today. We were the first Web-based trade and risk management platform with market data in real time.

Our solutions were pretty remarkable and visionary for the time. We were selling an online trade management platform when most of us didn’t even have online banking yet.

I was working at the Thomson Financial (before it purchased Reuters in 2008) back in 2003 when I first interviewed for OILspace. I didn’t get past the first interview. So I followed up with two strongly worded emails stating why I was the best candidate for the role and then pushed my recruiter to get me another chance. I had my heart set on joining this start-up where the people were cool, the culture was right, the technology was superb, and there wasn’t a right or wrong way of doing things. 

It worked, and I was thrown into it.

My training for the market data portion of the business (OILwatch) lasted all of about 10 minutes and was conducted by Aspect’s founder, Steve Hellman. I was given access to Salesforce.com and told to manage my clients using this tool, and off I went! Two weeks later I found myself in Moscow trying to grasp oil trading 101, by Aspect’s co-founder – Lawrence Austen, who had setup our development centre there. Believe it or not, I still refer to those notes today! My early mentors were people like Chris Sternberg, who taught me that selling and supporting is all about positivity and making people believe in your product; and Alex Cheung, who showed me the importance of building the right rolodex. Since Aspect’s solutions were built from the ground up, we needed early adopters and most of all good references within the oil and petroleum products trading community. 

A couple of years later I was given the opportunity to move in to a junior sales role by Steve Hughes, our current CEO. He told me that anyone who was grounded in application knowledge, combined with the right personality traits and work ethic would find a rewarding career in our sales department.

I love what I do and I can honestly say that I still enjoy every day at work (apart from the stand-up commute on the ever unreliable Metline). Every day is different, every personality is different, and every sales situation is different. Manoeuvring around roadblocks keeps me engaged. Providing a solution that I have seen mature over the years and seeing AspectCTRM being deployed time after time is something to be proud of.  Having colleagues who are forward thinking, motivated and fun to be around has kept me at Aspect for 15 years. This is probably as remarkable as our technology/vision — most people don’t stay at jobs for more than just a few years.

I’d like to say thank you to my OILspace era mentors and my current Aspect customers and co-workers for keeping it rewarding.  It’s been a pleasure!