Steve Dubner, OSG’s Senior Director of Product Management, has been a key figure in our pivot to a digital-first communications company. In this interview, Steve discusses OSG’s latest and greatest products, the influence of customer experience on innovation and the evolution of OSG. And, at long last, he weighs in on the great question of our time: Mayo or no mayo on a sandwich?
In your opinion, which OSG product was most pivotal in pushing us forward as a true technology company?
I believe there are two solutions that allow us to stand out as modern technologists—our Payments 2.0 solution and mobile apps. Payments 2.0 is a true SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) based solution, in the cloud. It is nimble, scalable and highly configurable. The design is meant not only for laptop and desktop use, but also provides mobile-friendly access for any device.
The mobile apps provide billing, payments and real-time usage data on mobile phones and tablets, and are true apps. Many people just want everything as an app.
The key is to stay relevant.
How do you see us moving to meet the growing client expectations now and in the future?
Our goal, as digital product specialists, is to meet and even exceed technology demands. As evident by their popularity, not only mobile devices but also smart assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homepod and Microsoft Cortana, should allow payers to use these devices to access balances owed and make payments, hands-free. OSG will be adding these as new channels for payments.
We are or will be expanding to all the new and emerging payment method, beyond credit/debit card and ACH. PayPal, Venmo, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc., will offer customers of our clients ways to pay anywhere and any way they prefer.
What project of yours is most exciting to you these days?
All our projects are exciting to me, because they all encompass new avenues and directions of technological advances. Our newest product, Payments 2.0, affords us opportunities to build new product functionality for so many industries, due to the open API (application programming interface) architecture.
I really do enjoy taking a first-generation solution and building out new and exciting features. That is why Payments 2.0 is so cool for me as a product person. I can come up with additional roadmap items that make me feel like when I was a kid building a sandcastle at the beach. Start off with the basic structure, but keep digging and building until your masterpiece is complete. Then you may step on it a bit, because you have newer and better ideas derived from that first one.
How do you judge the success of a project?
I can easily say happy clients! Which is true. But the reality is, a project is successful when users use the solutions. No need for extensive user guides, because it is so intuitive, it’s quick to get to and it makes their lives easier. The entire Digital Solutions team’s goal is to allow our clients to focus on their core business and leave the communications, billing and payments to us.
As someone who has been here for a while, give us a short boilerplate of OSG ten years ago v. OSG now. What was one of the first projects you worked on with OSG?
To put it into perspective, I started in 2000, so 10 years ago is actually kind of new isn’t it? Seriously, when I first started, I created OSG’s first strategic partnership program. This program also brought me into the throws of online billing, which became one of my areas of expertise.
Ten years ago, OSG was an amazing print and mail statement company. Today, OSG still consistently produces excellent, full-color communications documents, but add to that a full suite of cloud-based and electronic solutions. We can manage everything from customer acquisition to outbound and inbound communications. We have online and mobile touch points, all to support our clients and partners with today’s technology and beyond.
How has the hyper focus on customer experience impacted your role and the new products and solutions you bring to the market? Do you see this as a differentiator for OSG?
It is always people who pay and support their businesses; therefore, it must be all about those people’s experiences. That is why I previously spoke to the many ways we do, or intend to, deliver communications and accept payments. It is actually quite simple: People and businesses want to view and pay the way they want, so we will support that.
OSG is both a technology and a communications company. What brings these two ingredients together and how do you utilize both in the development of projects and initiatives?
It is a simple relationship in my mind: Today, communications are so powerful due to technology. Everything we do must lead to communicating, in a powerful way, from client to customer, back to client. We are providing the conduits of communication via the technology we develop.
You’re usually in the office early. Do you think mornings are more productive?
Yes, I usually turn the lights on on my floor! Not sure that mornings are more productive as they are quieter. This gives me time to get ahead of my day. Always thinking of things on the drive in, so when I get here, I have the time to get those thoughts documented.
Mayo or no mayo on sandwiches?
A very tricky question! Yes and no. Certain sandwiches require mayo, such as turkey and Swiss, but never on a good old-fashioned, Brooklyn-style Italian hero (not a hoagie, or sub, by the way)! That takes just olive oil and vinegar, maybe a shake of oregano.
If you could be a dessert, what would you be?
Easy—key lime pie. Sweet and tart, just like me!