Alexander Schwertner

Alexander Schwertner

Mississauga, ON, Canada
Member since June 4, 2019
Alex has been successfully managing companies and products in leading roles for the past 15 years. He builds on broad product management and leadership experience in a wide range of settings, ranging from startup-scale bootstrap product teams to large, multi-tiered B2B platforms with Agile teams of 50. Alex combines strong business acumen with a deep technical understanding and excellent mentoring and motivation skills.
Alexander is now available for hire
Project Highlights
Expertise
  • Agile Product Management
  • B2B2C
  • Digital Brand Identity
  • Domain Name Registration
  • GDPR
  • People Management
  • Product Planning
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
Education
Employment
  • Consultant
    2019 - PRESENT
    Cloud Services Provider
    • Performed a domain vendor cost analysis, identifying potential cost savings and price negotiation strategies.
    • Developed a concept for a centralized, microservices-based internal infrastructure to manage domain names, allowing for vendor consolidation and significant long-term cost reductions.
  • VP Products
    2016 - 2018
    Tucows, Inc.
    • Drove the profit margin per transaction by 15%, across 30,000 wholesale channel partners, by creating an analytical pricing map to develop and deliver pricing tiers.
    • Eliminated technical debt by engineering a platform established on a microservice architecture, resulting in an improved product strategy, cost structure, and profitability—conjecturing a margin increase of USD 5M by 2019.
    • Catapulted new top-level domains added to the platform from 5 to 200 in one year by developing a product roadmap, solving complex integration obstacles, delivering a 10% increase in overall profitability.
    • Increased the net promoter score (NPS) by 20% through product alignment using state-of-the-art UX design.
    • Solved industry regulation requirements across 190 countries and enhanced the customer experience by leading developers of a new end-user interface with B2C transaction provisions, allowing B2B branding and customizations.
    • Established a strong cadence of Agile product management process across multi-location product engineering and operations, providing measurable story points.
    • Earned industry-wide recognition for developing a model general data protection regulation (GDPR) approach, through collaboration with internal and external stakeholders and analytical thinking, contributing to an industry playbook which was largely adopted as the new industry regulation.
    • Conceptualized and executed a new messaging service, implemented by more than 75% of partners, allowing localized and highly customizable content.
    • Propelled additional margin by several million dollars by leading integration efforts after multiple mergers and acquisitions, yielding the addition of 17 million domain names and 30,000 resellers.
  • Vice Chair of Supervisory Board
    2007 - 2018
    DENIC eG
    • Worked for DENIC, the registry operator of .DE, one of the largest ccTLDs with more than 16 million domains.
    • Contributed to setting and continuously adapting the board's goal of pursuing growth of the .DE zone, operational excellence, and cost-effectiveness.
    • Cultivated a new strategy to build products resulting in the development of three new products and new opportunities.
  • General Manager
    2004 - 2018
    EPAG Domainservices GmbH
    • Oversaw the ccTLD competence center housed within Tucows, operating as a separate wholesale domain business with customers primarily in Germany and Austria; managed a 15-member business unit that generated €5 million in revenue.
    • Rescued the company from near bankruptcy by consolidating operations, identifying niche market opportunities, and repositioning the company—growing the number of wholesale partnerships by 150%, boosting revenue from €250,000 to €5 million.
    • Reignited company by shifting to a ccTLD niche market and developing a new website which increased revenue by 15%.
    • Stimulated revenue growth to more than 30% per annum by investing in new features such as repositioning to a ccTLD niche market, dramatically expanding the platform feature set, thereby gaining trust of customers.
    • Initiated the sale of the company with EPAG’s shareholder and facilitated the acquisition by Tucows in 2011.
  • Director of Products
    2014 - 2016
    Tucows Inc.
    • Skyrocketed incremental domain registrations to 900,000 in 2015, through product management strategies such as establishing vendor relationships, streamlining the product onboarding process and adding 450+ top-level domains.
  • Team Lead of Marketing & Billing
    2000 - 2006
    Celox GmbH
    • Acted as a key member on an eight-member startup team, growing the company to an €8.5-million business within five years.
Project History
  • Launch of a Digital Identity Product
    Took an early-stage consumer product prototype to a successful market launch within 3 months.

    My client's engineers developed a prototype for an open, federated digital identity product, without any prior involvement of a product manager.

    I was brought in by the executives to finalize the product and launch at a predetermined date. I caught up on the previously omitted product development work, including the user-flow and process analysis, essential UX design, drafting contract and governance policy documents, generated website copy, product pricing, and a go-to-market plan.

    As part of the actual product launch, I gave product presentations and held implementation workshops at two tradeshows.

  • Introducing an Agile Product Management Practice
    Presented the CEO with a comprehensive transformation plan to transform a company into an Agile product organization.

    Changing market dynamics required the client company to pivot from a technical infrastructure operator to an innovative, market- and customer-driven organization. Executives realized that despite the best efforts in the past, they were not able to make progress towards meeting their strategic objective. I was brought in to come up with a proposal on how to introduce product management to the organization.

    An analysis uncovered that current processes were largely Waterfall, without any representation of customers and only limited consideration of business objectives. I developed a comprehensive proposal analyzing the status quo, educating about Agile organizations, product management, continuous product discovery and delivery processes, and suggesting a path on how to introduce a product management practice to the organization (including job profiles, team structures, recruiting plan, and a strategy on how to approach and communicate the change process to the organization).

  • Vendor Consolidation Through a Centralized, Microservices-based Architecture
    Developed a target architecture and proof-of-concept strategy for a consolidated cloud-services provisioning platform.

    My client—a cloud and hosting service provider—had completed dozens of acquisitions and was faced with a highly fragmented domain name provisioning structure, with duplicated vendor relationships and back-end APIs over several brands and a resulting unfavorable purchase and operating cost structure. I was asked to provide a plan to save costs and consolidate vendor relationships.

    An analysis showed that the client's current infrastructure was highly siloed between brands and in part plagued with technical debt with little opportunity to share back-end provisioning between brands.

    I came up with a concept for a target architecture to consolidate domain management in a shared, microservices-based infrastructure accessible to all brands, allowing to consolidate vendor relationships and improve purchase costs. To outline a transition, I suggested approaching the implementation with a staged proof-of-concept plan that would deliver target elements with increasing complexity and allow to iterate and adjust along the way.

  • Product Concept and Business Plan for a New Web Hosting Brand
    Delivered a comprehensive business plan and pitch document to present to the client board for approval and execution.

    I created a concept and business plan for a new consumer-facing hosting brand. This work included a market analysis, product development, a user experience approach, a detailed business plan and P&L, and a go-to-market strategy.

Education
  • Diplom (bachelor's equivalent) degree in Geography
    1996 - 2000
    University of Cologne - Cologne, Germany
  • Academic exchange scholarship in Geography
    1996 - 1997
    Simon Fraser University - Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Vordiplom degree in Geography
    1993 - 1995
    University Eichstätt - Eichstätt, Germany

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