Meet the Aries Team: Eric Graham, Technical Product Manager
Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?
I started at Aries in January of 2022 as a Technical Product Manager. Although my experience in the publishing industry is limited, I have held similar roles during my 30-year career in the library technology industry.
Describe your role at Aries.
My focus as a product manager at Aries is to manage our Application Programming Interface (API) infrastructure code base, support innovation, and integrate partner functionality available in Aries’ ecosystem of tools and services into the EM/PM technology suite.
My team has led many projects in the past year to support our clients and subsequent users. We released code to allow EM customers to take advantage of advanced new duplication detection features with our partner Crossref for their Similarity Check solution (powered by iThenticate). We have also integrated OpenID Connect identity management features into EM. The team has extended EM’s fee processing and Web APIs to serialize additional metadata to support additional ‘find reviewer’ and Open Access (OA) Article Processing Charge (APC) options. Early this year, the team worked to provide greater visibility of Conflict of Interest (COI) information to Authors.
How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?
My past experience helped me to leverage the value of APIs for our product. Integrating and extending functionality in an application as comprehensive as Editorial Manager and ProduXion Manager takes a team willing to iterate from ‘minimum viable product’ to ‘valued new feature’ in a compressed timeframe. I am lucky to work with such a team! My background in library technology helps me relate, although at a distance, to delivering innovative solutions to those in pursuit of knowledge.
How do you stay up-to-date with customer needs and industry trends?
I meet with customers, talk to my colleagues, attend conferences, user group meetings, and read industry news and literature (like The Scholarly Kitchen). In my role, it is also valuable to watch press releases from our partners and our customers to keep an eye on the innovation happening all around us in this industry.
Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.
I work with the Aries Product Management team and a development squad. My development team has seven people on it: A development lead, myself (as product owner), three developers, and two quality engineers. At Aries, we engage in an agile development process, so my development squad is one of many that meet daily to discuss the work at hand and to coordinate our efforts.
How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?
Working on the Aries Product Management team, on a cross-functional development squad, and a member of the Aries Partner team has given me a chance to collaborate with every other department in Aries.
Describe your typical workday.
Every morning I meet as a member of my Agile development team where we discuss the work that is underway. Outside of that meeting, I spend my days planning the work ahead for the team and doing my part to remove impediments encountered by team members. I work with my colleagues and our customers to ensure the product we are creating is useful and relevant and collaborate with the Aries Client Services team to ensure enhancements are rolling out smoothly and that the team is on top of any bugs or other user experience issues that affect the team’s area of responsibility.
What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?
The people and the culture at Aries, and by extension our parent company Elsevier, are ‘Top Notch’. On a personal level, as a librarian, getting a job within the Elsevier family was a real thrill! Our customers are smart and fun to talk to, and my colleagues have deep industry experience which I can (and do) tap into daily. What is not to love?
What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?
I am an avid reader of both fiction and not fiction. I enjoy print journals and subscribe to more than a few. When I am not reading, I draw, paint, play guitar, and binge Science Fiction and Fantasy on various media apps.
Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.
My family keeps me busy! I have three college-age sons, who are scholars at universities in NY and New England. My wife is a mathematics teacher in the Lawrence Public Schools. Our respective extended families are situated here in New England. We don’t stop running!