I AM CEO PODCASTInnovationManagementOperationsSystems

IAM2078 – CEO Helps Companies Manage and Optimize their Business-Critical Processes

Podcast Interview with Alexandre Wentzo

In this episode, we have Alexandre Wentzo, the CEO of iGrafx, to discuss his journey in the competitive process marketplace and his extensive experience in leading Software-as-a-Service companies.

Alexandre details how iGrafx assists large organizations in identifying process inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement, likening their service to turning business operations bionic.

He shares his belief in the power of relationships and authentic interactions in business success, alongside the importance of embracing failure as a learning opportunity.

Alexandre emphasizes continuous personal and professional learning and maintaining physical and mental well-being for sustainable success in the ever-evolving business landscape.

He also highlights the unique blend of being both an architect and an alchemist in the role of a CEO.

Website: www.igrafx.com

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Transcription:

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Alexandre Wentzo Teaser 00:00

We have been the sort of ER, so you come to us, you have something not working, we do an x-ray, we can show you what the issue is, but when you come out of our ER, you become bionic now. So we have solved your issue, but then suddenly your arm is not working anymore, but even stronger, you become bionic.

So that's a bit the picture to say. We come in your organization with x-ray your processes. We make them bionic.

Intro 00:25

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:54

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Alex Wentzo. Alex, excited to have you on the show.

Alexandre Wentzo 01:03

Thank you for inviting me, Gresh. I'm very excited also to, join your show.

Gresham Harkless 01:07

Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited as well, too, to hear about all the awesome things that you're doing.

But of course, before we do that, I want to read a little bit more about Alex so you hear about some of those awesome things. And Alexandre Wentzo is the CEO of iGrafx, he brings nearly 20 years of experience to the highly competitive process marketplace.

With experience as an industry leader in various Software-as-a-Service companies, he has held key positions as CEO of Casewise and Senior Vice President roles at Celonis including Senior Vice President of ISV, Asia Pacific, Japan and private equity and his former role as CEO of Casewise.

He successfully led the company's sale to Erwin and during his tenure at Signavio, Alexandre has played a pivotal role in building Signavio North America into a process modeling and mining space leader, ultimately resulting in a successful acquisition by S.A.P.

And I'm always a fan where I say the processes and the systems will set you free. And it's not the number of hours that you use, but how you leverage them. And I'm sure Alex would definitely say something along the same lines as that, but some pretty cool fun facts I found out Alex the most time to volunteer work.

He's a member of hope and a direct providing food, clothing, medical supplies, and hope to families in need. And he also is a real epicurean with a strong passion for hospitality. And we were just talking about all the awesome things that he likes to do. of making any cook and do phenomenal things. So Alex, excited to have you on the show.

Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Alexandre Wentzo 02:38

Yes, I am.

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Gresham Harkless 02:39

Awesome. Let's get it started then. So to kick everything off, let's rewind the clock a little bit here. A little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

Alexandre Wentzo 02:47

Yeah. The story started maybe like anyone else, after education, I had my first job around.

Process, software companies specialize on helping organization to run that business more efficiently. At the time, it was a bit gray box. And what does it mean? And that was a bit of the beginning of AI, providing, data analytics, to help and set an organization to run more efficiently and joined the sales guy and very quickly I became the CEO of this business.

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And as you, you said earlier, I sold to American company and the market got very hot, so I worker not 10 years, but a few years view the same thing. Successful exit then Celonis, again, a different, still the same space, different player. And maybe a couple of years ago, just above two years ago, I joined iGrafx.

A bit to replicate everything I've learned to take this organization to the next level.

Gresham Harkless 03:42

Nice. I absolutely love that. They said, success leaves clues. So it sounds like by, Bringing you on and you having that experience, you've been able to take this experience, all the things that you learned and things that you want through to be able to bring this to this organization now and be able to continue to replicate that and probably building the further.

Gresham Harkless 03:55 I imagine the coolest.

Alexandre Wentzo 03:57

That's the plan.

Gresham Harkless 04:00

Yes, absolutely. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. Can you tell me a little bit more about what you're doing that I graphics how you're making that impact and serving the clients that you work with?

Yeah, I said, our customer normally large organizations.

Alexandre Wentzo 04:12

So which is full of complexity. So we have, our client to Identify any inefficiencies, bottlenecks in the processes, and indirectly uncover a new opportunity for improvement. I like to say we are the growth accelerator, by providing the sort of unparalleled, visibility into the processes through process mining and AI.

If you want a sort of metaphor, something quite easy to understand what we do, We have been the sort of ER, so you come to us, you have something not working, we do an x-ray, we can show you what the issue is, but when you come out of our ER, you become bionic now. So we have solved your issue, but then suddenly your arm is not working anymore, but even stronger, you become bionic.

So that's a bit the picture to say. We come in your organization with x-ray your processes. We make thembionic.

Gresham Harkless 05:06

Nice. I love that analogy and who wouldn't want to be bionic in their business. And then even in their life, I have to be able to make sure those things happen. But I imagine, like, when you're having those conversations, so many people probably don't realize, like, How, what those things are, what's causing them pain.

So you probably do need to have that x-ray on the entire business to start to identify that. And of course, be able to solve that.

Alexandre Wentzo 05:28

Yeah, you are right. A lot of organization I've got KPI, business intelligence, a Dutch boarding, but they don't understand why, it's not working as planned.

So thanks to our technology, we can really identify the root cause. With the AI algorithm, we can make some prescriptive, analysis to help them to solve the issue. And as I said, and then, move on and improve it depending on your business, your maturity you have to pick your battle.

As you said, you would like to x-ray the full organization, but you have to start with where you feel there is something painful. It can be around cash. It can be your own supply chain. It really depends on your organization.

Gresham Harkless 06:07

Yeah, that makes so much sense. So I guess, could you take me through what that process looks like for you working with clients? Do they reach out and say, Hey, I have this pain or this thing isn't working efficiently. And then you just go through the steps with, the AI and the software to be able to evaluate that.

Alexandre Wentzo 06:22

Yeah. So depending on the maturity of our client some I've got, low maturity, I'm not very familiar with. Process improvement or AI as we call it. So we normally start around processes around cash. Because everyone, want to improve cash flow. Can't receive it, but I can pay in order to cash.

Anything around cash. Which right understand their environment, what's their current pain. Normally we say, okay, you know what, let's move to a proven value. Let's demonstrate the value, how we can really, because they need to figure out they need to understand how much we can help them.

So sometimes by taking a small, scope, showing them the value, it's gonna be much easier for them to understand it and say, okay, you Let's, design a project together and let's, start to the next level. On the opposite way, you have got very large organization with high maturity.

They come to us to say, Hey, we have got a very complex supply chain. Can you help us to improve, or reduce the production, days by 10%, by 20 percent or reduce, or increase the production rate. Anyway, so we have them with technology to achieve that.

Gresham Harkless 07:34

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Yeah, I appreciate you breaking that down.

Do you feel like that's part of what I would like to call your secret sauce? This could be for yourself individually, the business or a combination of both, but is it your ability to be able to, of course, marry the technology with the ability to understand like business as a whole and where there might be opportunities and be able to leverage that technology to do that?

Do you think that's part of what sets you apart?

Alexandre Wentzo 07:55

I think it is one of the ingredients, I think the real secret sauce Because technology like that can be very complex, AI, so if you think about 10, 20 years ago, it was designed for subject matter expert, you need a specific degree to be an engineer to try to fix anything.

We. We have always been, customer focus on customer-driven on. We really have a, this is outside, in approach or a platform has been designed to be used by everyone in the organization. So globally, the, to give the ability for any role, from the HR manager to the, of course, the CFO, the financial guy, but anyone can really leverage and use easy, easy technology because we understand.

As you said, everyone wants to x-ray or scan the organization, but you need to involve all these different stakeholders to an initiative. As you said earlier, your picture was very great about your elbow. It's all connected with the rest of the body. You can't just work with one team that understand how to leverage that technology.

You need, this sort of, Google Sheet, really easy. You get the intelligence provided to inform it by the technology, and you can make very easy action, because the technology provides you this sort of actionable insight. And that's brilliant, that's where I think we have got our Sort of secret sauce.

Gresham Harkless 09:21

Yeah, and I think that's so powerful to have that understanding. I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack.

So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Alexandre Wentzo 09:35

The most platform, really are impactful resource for me. I know you're about to smile. I think for me, the wisdom of my wife.

Lemme explain why it makes me smile, I think she, close partner, I say my wife, you can be your close partner. She has been able to provide some insight on perspective, right? That had been often, instrumental in my decision-making process.

Because with a different background she's, she's different background, she's American, but from minorities who have a different culture, education, she's been able to offer me the sort of balance of empathy, logic and even foresight, which I think has been very rare.

To find the traditional business resources that I said books or, apps all of you see, she knows me too. So sometimes there's been a bit, this mental or safe environment where I can, really share that. So I will give an advice to many entrepreneur different depending on your maturity or your success.

For me, I think someone very close you can share on challenge some ideas. It's great to hear someone you trust, and value the inside because sometimes you may be wrong. Sometimes you may be a miss a dimension that books can tell you. If not, it'll be too easy.

We all read books from how our business will be. It's not just copy and paste after, if we want to be more down to earth, of course, I have different tools. So, one of mine that I use regularly, I think is probably is a mind mapping, visual tool that helps you to structure information to help you better analyze The complexity sometimes what you need for your new idea because I'm quite visual, so I quite like this visual part to, to see, ideas on what resources I need to assign is one, of, I would say it's a gadget or tool I use with, of course, a strong support of my wife.

Gresham Harkless 11:23

Yeah you definitely got great cool points for that, for being able to do that. So what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I call a CEO nugget? This could be a little bit more word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Alexandre Wentzo 11:41

So if I had to give Entrepreneurs or business owners, maybe a nugget is probably a couple of them would be a few of them would be embrace failure, right? Because it is a learning opportunity. So, a lot of people, when they fail, they see that, as I said, but don't, it's a vital part of learning, the learning process.

If you think about all of these. Very successful entrepreneur today. If we think about Moscow Steve Jobs at the time, all these people, they have failed many times. Obviously, they rarely write books about failure, which I think that's a pity, but it's part of the process. It's natural to get there.

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So embrace that feels a normal part of the journey. To go back a bit, as you said earlier on relationship, here, being able , to share things with someone group, but business is about building relationship. Of course, we have a technology with the AI that provide a lot of valuable data.

You know can make a small pretty by the end of the day. I still call me that people buy from people, they can make rational decision To be the search shop list But a lot of the time, the decision to go with one vendor versus another one is the relationship is the people behind. So really invest time and effort in building strong, authentic relationship.

I think, yeah, to be authentic, it's so important because we meet so many people very superficial. Today with social media, everything. So to really listen. To your client, to your partners, to your employees, right? To your people. I'm sure you care on business. Yes, in relationship, we will take you to the next level.

And I think it's important. Yeah, that would be probably the main one. And the last one is Once you're, this network and this relationship on, as I said, you're going through this journey of, drawings failing on, mounting market. It's a journey of learning, so make sure you invest.

On yourself invest to learn to always try to learn because the world today is changing even quicker than it's ever been So you have to make this effort to always continuously learn Self improve, we all can do that, right? We all need to do that But I want to say invest in yourself is also mentally and physically because it's high our job Demands so much resources You If you are not physically mentally capable of that, it's hard, right?

It's not a sprint. We are in the marathon. Sometimes it's a sprint period with this ecosystem and it's changing so quick. So think about, yourself. Also, I think it's very important.

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Yeah, I appreciate you so much and sharing that. So what would you consider to be your definition for my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Alex, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Alexandre Wentzo 14:33

I like to say, what you say for me is a double A, one A for architect because you try to do something right. You design an organization, with a vision, with a missions, but you put everything together.

To align, with your stakeholders, interest, the usual stuff, looking after your own, your staff, and also your, your client. But you are the architect of that. Where I like to think is that's not enough because it's very, I wouldn't say boring, but it is the next one, I think, to really overperform.

We need people then can be for the second, A sort of Alchemist, where you can transform something ordinary into something extraordinary, on a scene many times, organization not performing on your good the right CEO or leader coming. And it can work, motivate the people, give them a vision and a mission that they want to believe.

So suddenly blending all these diverse elements, can create something, I think, very powerful. From fostering, strong culture the collaboration aspect, all of that. It's why we say the structure of the architect on this magic, of the alchemy that can create generate something very powerful.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Yes, I absolutely love that definition perspective. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our leaders, our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can get a view, find about all the awesome things you are working on.

Alexandre Wentzo 16:01

So I would just say to the community let's continue to to provide this content on this amazing network on LinkedIn you have shared my name. So, I will be glad to connect or to exchange or answer any questions.

Gresham Harkless 16:14

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I truly appreciate that, Alex. And of course, to make that even easier, we're gonna have links and information to show notes. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community.

Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr.

Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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