Aleksander Szlam wakes up every morning with paranoid thoughts of not being on top of his game. He starts each day with the same two questions: "Can I help someone personally," and "Am I behind in technology?"
The game in question is, for Szlam, a fast-paced one. In addition to being the CEO of eshare communications, a leading provider of Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solutions, Szlam has co-authored a book titled Predictive Dialing, and currently holds 45 patents with an additional 150 pending worldwide.
Such creativity seems second nature for the man some credit with founding the automated call center industry. Szlam spoke no English when he arrived from his native Poland in 1970, but he still graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering. While working out of his garage as a one-employee company, he invented a dialing and call-receiving system that allowed one operator to juggle four times as many customers, thereby increasing productivity.
The realization that he could improve the quality of another person's life--while improving a company's productivity--helped Szlam establish goals that remain with him to this day: To bring people closer through communication and allow them to continue that communication with as little hassle as possible. His career path reflects these goals. Szlam worked as a design engineer and scientist at Lockheed, NCR and Solid state Systems before becoming founder, CEO and chairman of eshare, which provides communication tools for both traditional and Internet-based businesses across all media channels.
Szlam wants eshare to be synonymous with the word "help" and to eventually dominate the worldwide CIM space. In his efforts to accomplish these goals, he remains true to his self-professed passion for people and technology by putting the customer at the center of all company endeavors. As Szlam puts it, "Once you acquire customers, you need to understand their needs, offer the service and then find out if they are happy. The cycle is never ending."
For Szlam, the road to achieving market domination will be, if not "never ending," certainly long and challenging. "The communication world is always evolving," he says. "There is so much to learn and do, I haven't even begun."
As busy as he is, Szlam says he still finds time to relax occasionally--he travels with a pair of running shoes. But for a man whose waking thought is, "Am I behind in technology?" work is obviously the driving force in his life. Says Szlam, "I want to work forever, until the last second."