On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Scott Epter, the Vice President of Technology at Exago came to talk to Union students in the Becker Career Center. Epter was joined by Nick Avossa, a sales engineer for Exago. Exago is a Hudson Valley software company that provides business intelligence analytics.
The company was founded in 2006 by Mike Brody and Stew Myers, both of whom had prior experience with start-ups. The company’s sales and marketing office is located in Connecticut, while the software and development office is located in Kingston, New York. Epter has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which he received in 2000.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in political science. In the past, Epter has worked with Global Fortune 500 companies in a range of areas. He also worked at IBM as well as a member of the Americas IT infrastructure COO team at a major bank. Epter discussed different opportunities, technical and otherwise, that are available throughout the software industry.
He was interested in discussing “life in the real world” with the students who attended the talk. The students in attendance were a mix of all years at Union. To start the talk, Epter asked questions and interacted with the students.
He encouraged students to “try a variety of things” so that students would know what they are interested in pursuing. He in particular heard from the seniors who attended the talk, who are interested is seeing what is out there as they determine where they would like to work next year. Exago works on business intelligence applications, which help people who want to understand their customers’ behavior.
According to Epter, “the software easily allows” companies to design reports on data that they receive. Exago’s software is integrated into software that the company has. A big part of Exago is the software testing division, “as someone has to vet the software” before it goes out to customers, as Epter noted. These testers use “code that breaks other code” to make sure that the software is ready to be used, according to Epter. These testers though, as Epter said, have clout associated with them since they “can hold things up” if they believe that the software is not ready to be sent to the customer. The software that Exago makes is not specific to one industry. T
he upside, according to Epter, is that the software can be used across industries, while the downside is that the customers want to make sure that Exago knows the customer’s specific industry well. Exago’s customers are usually other software companies though. Epter also noted that Exago “is a business too,” as they “need to make money.”
This means that they “also need to solve problems” that customers do not know they have yet in order to stay ahead of other companies in the industry as more and more new companies are cropping up. Exago is a smaller company. While Epter was the fourth employee there, there are over thirty employees there now and the company is continuing to grow as they are looking for more employees.
Matthew Dulchinos ’20 “thought it was really interesting to hear about a smaller company and have my questions answered by someone who works there.” Dulchinos also said it was great to get the perspective of a smaller company, as people usually think about bigger companies when they think about software companies.
The support team, according to Epter, is “composed of all majors.” Avossa, for example, has no technological background and “learned on the job.” Avossa, as an employee of Exago for about a year and a half, also noted that it was great that employees “can make contributions to the product” early on in their career with the company. Epter added that the company likes people who “think outside of the box” and “has an entrepreneurial mindset.” The company is able to “grow and thrive with people who are their own CEO,” according to Epter. Dulchinos said,“ it is great that employees are able to think of ideas and then accomplish whatever ideas you have.” Exago also attended the Career Fair later Tuesday afternoon in College Park Hall.