Meet the Speaker: Pete Persson, Director of Utility Process Automation at Entergy

Meet Pete Persson from Entergy. Learn how this Ironman competitor, Alcatraz “escapee,” and future author touts, “…robots are coming and they are here to help!”

Meet Pete in person at the 5th Process Excellence for Utilities Conference, March 4th and 5th in St. Pete Beach, FL, where he’ll talk about the exciting work of Robotic Process Automation; how it has emerged over the years into a way to increase your company’s productivity with a digital assistant, or cost removal.

Q: Name, title, Company 

A: Pete Persson;  Director, Utility Process Automation, Entergy

Q: Family, hometown, where you live

A: Born in Miami, FL, raised in St. Pete, FL, and now live just outside of New Orleans, LA, with my wife Shelly.  A close distance from my two grown children, Dylan and Kailey.

Q: Utility/Process Excellence experience

A: I came to Entergy from the Home Shopping Network to manage Entergy’s Call Center.  Entergy moved me through a series of experiences of deregulation in Texas: customer relations, enhancements to SAP deployment, reorganizing HR, creating a Shared Services organization, building a Employee Service Center, kicking off a new Customer Digital Strategy, and now Automating Utility processes; all of which have developed and honed my project and process skills over 21 years.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hobbies? 

A: I spend time with family, my children and two grandchildren.  I also swim, bike and run, and participate in organized running events and triathlons.

Q: Notable achievements

A: My wife and I, of 31 years, have built a great family that have all graduated with great careers in nursing and engineering.  I received my MBA from Tulane, completed many Half Ironmans, a Full Ironman, and I even “escaped” from Alcatraz!

Q: Where do you see Process Excellence in utilities in two years? 

A: The development of AI and the volume of utility data for many processes will require a level of agility that has not yet been seen.  We are moving from a world of a static process map to a dynamic collection of integrated processes and variables. The processes are also getting broadened from only focusing on internal processes; to the engagement models with customers as we evolve the utility model with new sources of energy, and ways for the customer to engage with us.

Q: What is your biggest challenge? 

A: Biggest challenge is assuring we all find the time to spend mentoring each other.  Continuing to make each other better and lifting each other up.

Q: What did you do prior to working in your current role? 

A: Led a very large deployment of Salesforce within Entergy to improve the customer experience.

Q: Who are a couple of your role models, and why? 

A: Tony Dungy – he is an amazing leader with a focus on making an impact on this world.  My mother and her perseverance in life. William Edwards Deming and his pioneering and ability to break down the process world into a digestible approach.

Q: What is one of your biggest goals? 

A: Write a book!  It is my goal for 2020, and I am hoping I don’t stop at just one!

Q: What’s the biggest misconception you run into in your role, or what people seem to think about Process Excellence? 

A: The biggest misconception in automation is that my customer gets a physical robot! In process, it is the level of detail and effort that people believe their process takes. We collect process information in an Agile manner, and many times we do not realize the small nuances or information that is maintained within “tribal knowledge” that needs to be captured. Many times the individual is impressed with all that they know, and didn’t know they actually knew.

Find out more about our Process Excellence for Utilities conference in St. Pete Beach, FL here!