Team Spotlight: Fostering Certica’s Culture of Service Excellence

Meet Mike Agostino, Vice President of Services at Certica. Mike, who joined Certica in September of 2018, has more than 20 years’ experience in operations, services, and customer success. As head of Certica’s Services organization, Mike oversees a range of support, onboarding, implementation and integration services. Having served in leadership roles at Follett School Solutions and Intellify Learning, Mike’s extensive knowledge of the edtech market and services acumen help to manage the success of Certica’s education agency and edtech vendor clients. Read on to get his take on how services play a role in the success of AB Connect™ clients.

Can you describe the Certica services available to AB Connect clients?

Sure! We offer a range of services for clients of all Certica products, but for AB Connect in particular, there are many ways we engage with clients, including technical, consultative and solutioning services. Some of the more technical services are focused on the implementation of AB Connect and are designed to provide an expert roadmap to a successful implementation through regular interactions with Certica consultants from planning through execution. Other services showcase our deep subject matter expertise with learning standards and provide outsourcing options for our clients, including learning standards management, standards migration and content alignment. Many clients engage with us to enhance their products, augment their staff and meet critical timelines.

What is the key to a successful services engagement?

Setting expectations. If expectations are set in advance, potential issues may be surfaced and addressed early in the engagement. Also, frequent communication is critical. For this reason, all our Academic Benchmark service engagements are led by an experienced AB Project Manager to ensure expectations are discussed, and frequent and structured communications occur.

Since joining Certica last fall, is there a particular initiative you’ve led that has had a positive impact on AB clients?

One initiative was the creation and launch of a set of predefined services packages. We established start-up packages available to new clients or existing AB users transitioning from the AB Connect Classic Edition to the Standard or Professional Editions. While we’ve always endeavored to provide outstanding support and service, we recognized that we could do more to proactively guide our clients through a successful onboarding and implementation of AB Connect. This services package, in particular, has been well received by our clients, and we’ve seen an increasing number of clients elect this service when they upgrade their AB Connect Edition.

What are your goals in leading the Certica services organization?

Our goal as an organization is to ensure all our clients are successful and realize full value in their investment in Certica’s products. To achieve that goal, my personal focus is to ensure our services teams have the resources and tools to excel in delivering services to our clients.  At the same time, it is very important to me that our services organization provides a rewarding career path for our team members.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love working in education, and especially in K-12. As a parent of three K-12 students, it gives me a broader perspective about the education that is being delivered to them and the experiences that my kids are enjoying in the classroom. From a professional perspective, it’s extremely gratifying to know that the work I do impacts millions of students each year.

Thanks for sharing, Mike. Let’s finish up by getting to know you a little more:

What is your favorite non-work-related activity?

I enjoy playing golf. For me, it’s the perfect blend for an activity – you get to spend time enjoying the outdoors, there is the element of competition, and it’s excellent exercise.

Early bird or night owl?

Definite night owl. Which is the complete opposite of my wife, interestingly.  I frequently find myself hooked on an old movie or a sporting event into the early morning hours.

What are you currently reading?

I have about an hour commute to work each day, so I recently started to listen to audio books during my drive.  I’m currently listening to Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. It’s a great mix of two of my primary interests, sports and business, so I’m really enjoying it.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.