The word of the CTO of LTU – Morgan Pèpe

Company Technology

Interview with Morgan Pèpe (CTO at LTU)

Morgan Pèpe CTO

Questions: When and why did you join LTU?

Morgan Pèpe: “I was contacted by Benjamin Brousse, LTU’s COO, with whom I had worked previously. He asked me to join the team to bring my experience as CTO of a SaaS solution with a strong product-oriented strategy.

Historically, LTU has relied on an approach based on technological building bricks. The trouble with this kind of approach is that there are as many added values as there are use cases and needs, which makes it difficult to bring out a multitude of benefits. However, by defining a product/solution approach that is more business oriented, the added value of visual recognition technology becomes much more obvious for the market we address. Then the challenge obviously is to make the right choice of product(s) and solution(s).

I also came at LTU to strengthen the link between R&D work and client delivery issues.

Overall, I joined the company for the challenge, and because of my interest in LTU’s technology.”

Questions: What is your background?

Morgan Pèpe: “I studied at a faculty of applied sciences with a specialisation in computer science. After that, I entered a school of computer science in Paris specialising in web technology, where I trained to become a developer while studying team and technical project management.

When I graduated, I got into freelancing right away because I didn’t want to join a large group or a small company, not even an innovative digital services company. My experience as a self-employed helped me acquire various skills and experiences in the fields of team management and pure development.

After several years as a freelancer, I had my first experience as an employee within a tech company, working in a Parisian startup where I acquired valuable skills in terms of programming, project management, and teamwork.”

Questions: Is working at LTU a benefit for your career?

Morgan Pèpe: “Let’s say that, if I succeed in what I’m trying to achieve, then yes, it will be very positive for my career! But it’s still too early to say. Whatever happens, I’m delighted to contribute to LTU’s development, and to be facing very formative challenges.

All in all, my work at LTU is definitely helping me develop my career, and that’s why I joined the team. My role here is complementary to my previous experience, where there were numerous business products and only a little R&D. Here it’s the opposite, with a lot of R&D alongside a very narrow and specialised product portfolio.”

Questions: Did the company’s target sectors play any role in your desire to become LTU’s CTO, or not particularly?

Morgan Pèpe: “Not really. The business issues addressed were not necessarily a differentiating factor for me. Above all, I wanted to work on promising technology with an attractive development curve.

Of course it’s easier to rely on concrete use cases, and it’s even better when they’re relevant and interesting, but when I joined LTU, one of my goal was to develop new uses and expand on existing ones.”

Questions: Where does LTU stand today in its product approach?

Morgan Pèpe: “Oh, there’s been a massive evolution! The last few months have been very interesting because we’ve had two different approaches. On the one hand, we had to keep developing the existing strategy based on our know-how in visual search. We already have two products available: LinkMe, which meets a mobile need, and the integration solution with the Visual Search API. But we need to develop them further to address a wider range of needs, and innovate with features that leverage the full scope of our R&D research.

We’ve gone through ideation workshops, we’ve collected feedback from clients and prospects on our new concepts, and we are now ready to launch a new generation of solutions to appeal to new targets.

On the other hand, we adopted a completely opposite approach for our product Ekselio (coming soon). We started from a technological answer based on our other expertise – change detection – to design a product for technical maintenance teams. With the Product and Sales team, we designed a product that would make the most of our ability to compare and identify sensitive differences between two incoming data points, allowing for the control and monitoring of parts and components integrity in mobile situations. And that’s a solution we are currently launching!

Questions: Can you describe your typical day as LTU CTO?

Morgan Pèpe: “It’s impossible to describe a typical day because I’m always working on multiple fronts. Basically I deal with product strategy, technical development, human resources (yes, we are hiring!), pre-sales and various company-related issues. But of course, I also have recurring tasks in my schedule.

In terms of managing the technical team, I must ensure that every project team is aligned with our objectives, that they stay on course and overcome obstacles efficiently, and, where necessary, I need to redefine priorities or adjust the focus.

In terms of technical strategy, we often have to make key decisions, and choose whether to develop something internally or outsource it (in which case, there is also the choice of service providers), bearing in mind that if we opt for internal development, we need to plan ahead in terms of bandwidth, whilst if we decide to develop externally, we may lose some know-how, so it is absolutely key to define the scope of our project.

And obviously, I need to collaborate closely with the business team. Firstly in terms of product strategy: for the product Ekselio, I’m involved in outlining functional specifications and defining the MVP. I also take part in pre-sales because we market a rather technical product, so it takes a technical profile to convince a client. Finally, I make sure that the launch of new projects does not conflict with our technical strategy and delivery capacity in the medium/long run.

At the moment I’m also involved in the HR strategy to optimise the sourcing of talents, meet with candidates and hopefully find the profiles we need.

So I would say I spend 50% of my time on team management, 50% on product development, 50% on business management, and 50% on HR. So yes, that’s a bit more than 100% 😉

Questions: What is the working atmosphere like?

Morgan Pèpe: “The atmosphere at LTU is very friendly, warm and dynamic. The company culture is based on strong values such as respect, sharing, and we have some nice rituals within the team (group lunches, afterworks, internal events to promote team cohesion, etc.). I felt welcomed and trusted very quickly.”

Questions: What developments (business, HR or strategy) are in the pipeline at LTU within the next months?

Morgan Pèpe: “We raised funds in 2020 and since then, our business has grown significantly. Many projects are underway and we plan to expand in various areas, on an organisational, geographical and human level. As I mentioned earlier, we are actively hiring. If you want to join us, you can apply via our WTJ page.”

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