Yves Bougardier – ybam (Observer)
Recently, the AFP Consortium Q&A series has re-interviewed familiar faces and talked with the Consortium’s first Observer-level member. In our latest entry, we combine the two, interviewing Yves Bougardier, previously of Xerox, now striking out on his own with ybam and re-engaging with the Consortium as its second Observer member. Read on to see what he has to say about how AFP is changing, the role of the Consortium, and what it’s like to now be on the Observer side of the aisle.
Q: What made you want to become an Observer member of the AFP Consortium?
Yves: When I was on the Consortium’s Board of Directors as a representative from Xerox, I was a strong advocate for the creation of an Observer membership level. The benefits are as clear to me now as they were then. This kind of membership level advances one of the AFP Consortium’s founding goals: to bring in more perspectives and create a more open dialogue about the future of AFP.
Q: What has your experience as an Observer been like so far? How does it differ from participating as a Core member, as you did previously? How have you participated?
Yves: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my first meeting as an Observer took place remotely, so it was different in multiple ways. As an Observer, you don’t want to talk too much – you are there to observe, after all. But in my current role, I have the opportunity to speak quite a bit with everyday users, so I can share their perspectives if and when that’s needed. Also, this view into the technical discussions that decide the ways AFP will continue to play a vital role in communication as user needs evolve is both exciting.
Q: What have been 2-3 of your key takeaways from participating as an Observer so far?
Yves: Beyond being exciting, this view into how AFP is evolving can be helpful when I am assisting clients to plan for the future. Being an Observer member helps me know not only where AFP itself is going, but what some of the brightest minds in this space are thinking about what users will want and need.
Q: How would you say your participation as an Observer benefits you? How does it benefit the Consortium?
Yves: The AFP Consortium is a respected organization. I’m proud to be a member. Explaining that I am in the Consortium lends me credibility with my customers. Meanwhile, my day-to-day conversations with customers gives me “on-the-ground” insights that can help the Consortium see emerging needs as they develop.
Q: What advice would you give to those considering pursuing an Observer membership?
Yves: I would say: do it! Go to the AFP Consortium website and use the “Contact Us” page to ask about applying to become an Observer and attending our next meeting as a guest. [Editor’s Note: Observer membership is for companies that provide consulting or education about AFP]. You can learn a lot, and it’s a good group. The discussion can be quite technical – it’s not a marketing meeting; it’s very practically about updating the architecture – but if that is your speed, you may very well be in the right place. Come on in, and bring your sense of curiosity.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yves: I am excited to be a part of the AFP Consortium again. I think this is an important organization, and I want more people to understand the vital role AFP and the Consortium play in so many areas of communication. I want people to see that AFP is not only still around, but it has been evolving and will continue to do so.