Eric Bratt

Occupation: Professional Services Director, Xactly Corporation

First Car: My first car was a 1982 Mazda 626. It was notorious for sporadically dying on my way to early morning soccer practice. Tardiness was always worth at least a lap or two.

Favorite Restaurant: Café Iberico in Chicago. They have the best patatas bravas known to man.

1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

a.) I placed third in my division in an Olympic distance triathlon two years ago and actually got to take home some hardware
b.) I have played music on-stage and in-public on more than one occasion
c.) I hitch-hiked and camped solo on Hawai’i for a week.

2. What’s been your greatest adventure in life?

My greatest adventure in life is yet to come. I have two little boys and a great fondness for outdoor life. Someday I hope to be able to take them on a cross-country trip complete with canoeing, camping, and fishing, somewhat akin to following in the footsteps of Louis and Clark. Hopefully we can leave out the dysentery and armed skirmishes with natives.

3. What’s your best childhood memory?

My best childhood memory is of lazying around the family room on a quiet Sunday after church with my family. The snow is falling outside and there is nothing but football on the television all day.

4. If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

I never really thought about the “future” option presented in this question before. I suppose I would like to see the look on Galileo’s face when he sees what we have done with the technology of flight in about a thousand years. I am curious myself but I would imagine he would probably lose his mind.

5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

The hardest physical thing I’ve ever done is run a marathon on about four hours of sleep.

6. Tell us about your favorite hobby.

My favorite hobby is rough-housing with my boys.

7. What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

I am currently reading Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and Jack Welch’s Winning. I like to keep a balance between the extremes in fiction and non-fiction.

8. Do you have a favorite app(s) you can’t live without?

My favorite app is Pandora for the iPhone. I take it with me running every morning and would be miserable without it.

9. Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

My father has traced our family genealogy back to the 1600’s in central England. I would love to be able to walk the same paths, see the same sunsets, and smell the same flowers as my forebears.

10. If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

If I could give any amount of money to a charity, it would be Misericordia in Chicago They are amazing people who do amazing things for people with profound developmental disabilities. I was fortunate enough to have volunteered with them while in college.

11. If you weren’t on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I would complete my masters degree in computer science and be a code-junkie.

12. What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

My first job out of college was as a business analyst at Hewitt Associates in the northern suburbs of Chicago. It came with 15 hours of travel to/from work per week. When I realized I could spend those 15 hours traveling to new and exciting places versus battling Chicago gridlock to get 25 miles away, meet new and exciting people, and make more money, I decided to join the ranks of the traveling consultant. For five solid years, my life was a mirror-image of the character George Clooney played in the 2009 movie, Up in the Air. Over the past twelve years, I have worked for three different vendors in the sales performance management software space. Thank goodness for the birth of the remote/home office - I still travel, but each trip is much less frequent and often for a shorter duration.

13. What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Always do what is right for your customer(s) and don’t be afraid to be extraordinary.