1. Can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Axèle Mahalin, I have been a Delivery Manager at Toucan Toco for more than a year now. To tell you a little about my background, I am originally from Vietnam, and I was adopted by a family from Nancy where I pursued my studies in this peaceful city and graduated from high school. The urge to discover other cultures pushed me to do an exchange in Scotland. Some wonderful experiences later, I learned English in Edinburgh and for those who wonder “yes I wore the uniform”. Then I came back to France to finally graduate from high school and keep up to a year of prep school.
Then the hunger to travel came back, so I applied in Montreal, – in a bit of a rush, I admit-, hence my joy when I learned that I was accepted. Luckily, so did a friend of mine, and we took courses in HEC Montreal (with two specialties: Marketing and IT for me) at this really cool business school. I was able to meet people from all over the world: from South America, Europe, Asia… In short, an explosion of wealth, where I realized how different countries had different daily lives. Some people who have lived through wars, corruption, or many other hardships.
In the city of Montreal, what particularly struck me was the benevolence of the people, nature as well, and obviously the size of the country, where everything is disproportionately big.
After certain homesickness and the willingness to find me professionally, I went back to Paris and I had the chance to follow internships in luxury and technology sectors. At first with Dior, which is a world of passionate people, then at Ubisoft and Capgemini where I stayed for more than two years. During these experiences, I explored a lot of domains and I realized that what I liked the most was data. So Toucan Toco became obvious by itself and I’ve been here ever since.
2. What is your job position at Toucan and what are your missions?
`First, the essence of Toucan Toco is to make projects happen because it’s through projects that we deploy the solution to our clients. Then, in my opinion, the position of Delivery Manager is the client’s privileged contact during the project period. It’s the conductor who gives the “A” and who will guide the entire process until delivery, hence the term “Delivery”. In fact, we position ourselves as the client’s ally to take them from point A to B and help them achieve their professional goals.
For example, we worked with Coty, which is an American cosmetics company. The idea was to create an app for marketing people whose mission is data consolidation in order to better manage the performance of cosmetics & fragrances sales. Once the project was delivered, everyone could go to the Management Committee with the latest figures on their mobile phone and, thus have the same level of information just before the meeting. This alignment now allows a proactive exchange and informed decision-making for the company. And since the solution has also been deployed on mobile phones, access to information is easier to use and everyone saves a lot of time.
Here’s a cool example of one of our applications
3. In your opinion, what are the essential qualities to do this job?
First, I’m naturally friendly and I make a point of not making other people suffer my mood if I’ve had a bad day because, by all means, you don’t suspect what’s going on in other people’s lives that you’re interacting with.
Concretely, the most important qualities of a Delivery Manager, in my opinion, are :
- Organization in your work and knowing how to anticipate. I know this because in my personal life I am very disorganized and I had to learn. 😁
- Know how to collaborate and have empathy with your customer, because, like all of us, he can have a bad day, and that’s why the Delivery Manager is there to support him.
- Guiding the client by showing him the direction to take and the goal to achieve
- Have a strong sense of responsibility because you are responsible for both the quality of the deliverables and the respect of deadlines.
In fact, with the client, we co-carry out the project to bring it to realization. Therefore, for his part, he comes with his needs, the vision of his business, and the Delivery Manager brings him his dataviz expertise. The two of us make sure that everything coincides until the project is completed.
4. Have you always worked for a tech company or in the tech sector?
More or less, at Ubisoft, I was a Product Owner in a Knowledge Management* department that worked on the transmission and sharing of knowledge. So I was more on the product side than on the project side, but like in project management, there is a lot of coordination to be done between the different teams (UX Design, development, communication, etc.)
At Capgemini it was more generalist, I was a consultant in digital transformation, and I carried out IT missions for key accounts. My objective was to have several experiences in companies of different sizes and various missions. I had the opportunity to work on various Data, IT (Wifi, Mobile Applications), IT Communication, IS architecture, Big Data, etc… And I even organized a plenary session at the Palais Brongniard where I brought together all the employees, a fantastic experience.
Knowledge management*: Knowledge management is a multidisciplinary managerial approach that brings together all the initiatives, methods, and techniques for perceiving, identifying, analyzing, organizing, storing, and sharing the knowledge of the members of an organization.
What I love at Toucan Toco, is the culture of:
5. What motivated you the most to work at Toucan? The job in itself, its missions, its career perspectives, the values?
First, the data sector in which I wanted to specialize, the missions in themselves, and what I will most retain are the values. At Toucan Toco, we meet all types of personalities, as in any company you might say, but here and each one of them places a lot of importance on who you are, how you feel, and pushes you to cultivate your uniqueness. This is not the case everywhere and resonates greatly with my desire for empathy, tolerance, and diversity. Every day my colleagues teach me new things, and it’s great to work alongside such bright and interesting people.
6. According to you, what’s the biggest value the customer got out of this analytics offer?
I would say it’s the time savings, ease of use, and unbeatable time to market because you can build the entire design of an application in just two days.
But since our customers are always in the best position to talk about our solution, I would echo the words of Laurence Lienhard, Vice President, Consumer & Markets Insights, Luxury Division, Coty, for whom opting for a data visualization solution also guarantees reliable and fast information for companies.
According to her: “The problem today is that an individual who has no data searches on the Internet to find something randomly. Eventually, the result can be a myriad of data that doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing.”
She adds: “During an important meeting, we noticed a connection peak (on the application) just before. This shows that the meeting was prepared on the same platform by all the employees”.
Personally, I would then add transparency, that everything has been thought out so that the client doesn’t have to leave the ecosystem to chat with his collaborators, annotate, or send by email. In short, the added value of this technology is that our applications are a real data communication tool.
The bonus is that it’s aimed at all generations since for people who want to send their reports by pdf and email without leaving Toucan Toco’s solution, it is also possible.
7. How does the analytics feature impact customer business growth?
As each of these decisions will be data-driven, they will take actions that are more relevant to their needs. For example, for a display agency, if an advertisement doesn’t perform well. By consulting the application at a glance, we can explain the reasons why and what marketing actions must be taken.
All in all, Toucan Toco provides context and it really makes a difference.
8. Can you tell your best project story/memory? And why did this project make a particular impression on you?
It is a pro bono project led with the Co-data collective which proposes operational and voluntary support to develop concrete solutions using data and AI to help the actors who fight every day against the Covid-19 epidemic and its impacts.
Several applications were developed, including one with the start-up nam.R to pilot the recovery of the cultural sector in France, and the sponsor of this project was P. Lescure. This great collaboration provided us with data at the national, regional, departmental, and even municipal levels to feed our dashboards. As a result, it was super fast and the application was created in only 2-3 days!
Once the design was finished, we presented the P. Lescure application to him through a video conference, and he was not only super happy, but he also saw exactly what actions it would allow him to take.
It must be said that at that time, the media were talking about de-confining the cultural sector from a global/national point of view, and our application offered to do it from a local point of view. Everybody was delighted, and the objective was to relaunch the activity of this sector faster and better, allowing theaters, museums, cinemas to reopen in case their regions were less at risk.
That will stay in my mind for the rest of my life, I think.
9. What are you gonna do after this interview?
I’m going to have another tea 🍵 and another meeting with Margot SYLVAIN, who is the Product Owner, to talk about the Business in the Box offer.
ABOUT TOUCAN TOCO
Our mission: tell Business Performance Stories through interactive Data and Data Storytelling.
Our users: Marketing, Production, Finance, Human Resources, SalesForces, and Top management of Big Companies.
From 4 partners to 100 employees in 5 years, we were self-financed until 2019, thanks to the support of more than 100 clients, for more than 300 projects, including Renault, Crédit Agricole, Elior, Icade, Nexity, EDF, GRDF, BNP Paribas, Heineken, Marques Avenue, Euler Hermes, BIC, SNCF… We have completed our first funding from Balderton Capital and the former founder of Business Object to accelerate our development in the United States.
Small apps are mobile, easy to use, made for action, and easy to set up in any information system.