Charles Kline, Product Manager, Nuix

Charles, you’ve been with Nuix for 8+ years, but you haven’t always worked in digital forensics software. What drew you to it? 

That’s true. Prior to working at Nuix I helped build a self-service platform that enabled independent musicians to produce their own CDs, but I’ve always had a fascination with the investigative process and detective stories. I’m an insatiably curious person by nature. 

You started out in engineering and development at Nuix — what was it like to transition into product management and how does that experience benefit you in your role today? 

Starting my career at Nuix in engineering really helped me understand the technology that makes this company so special.

My transition to product from engineering happened very organically. We were a small group, and everyone was basically doing whatever needed to be done, regardless of their job title.

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I was managing the engineering team at the time and kind of fell into product managing as a side effect of keeping the teams busy on features. It happened that I like developing requirements more than writing software and here I am. 

I think the fact that I’ve sat in the developer seat helps me better communicate requirements — getting out of the way so our engineers can develop the best solution and achieve the business goals. 

As a product manager, you represent the voice of the customer within Nuix. How do you best capture that voice and use it to shape the product strategy? 

That is a great way to describe my role. I see product management as enablement in a sort of hub-and-spoke way, where we’re all working together to make the wheel go around, and I’m in the middle doing my best to act as the balance that enables everyone to do their jobs.

On a less philosophical note, I talk to our customers as much as possible and work very closely with the teams at Nuix supporting their journey. I listen more than I talk and then I try to use my empathy to put myself in the place of each of the people I am trying to serve in that role.

Using the insights I’ve gained from doing that over the years in my various roles, I try my best to make decisions based on who I am trying to enable to succeed at their task. Then I work with the various stakeholders to come up with a working solution. 

What’s a standout moment, project, or accomplishment for you during your time Nuix so far? 

I’m most proud that the product I manage, Nuix Investigate® — the one I’ve worked on for most of my time at Nuix — is also one of our most successful and it continues to offer me new challenges and opportunities every day. 

Tell us a little bit about the product you oversee and who its ideal user is. 

Nuix Investigate is web-based search, analysis, and review for Nuix cases. It has an intuitive interface that we’ve worked diligently and thoughtfully to make accessible for all users — so at any technical skill level, a user can find the most valuable data in their evidence.

It uses any Nuix case without any additional processing, so it’s a fantastic way to quickly present evidence to anyone involved in the investigation or review. 

I understand that Nuix Investigate will release version 9.0 at the end of this year. Can you give our subscribers an idea of what they can look forward to if they use Nuix? 

Nuix Investigate 9.0 marks a pretty significant evolution for the product. With this release customers will be able to take advantage of our new high availability and scalability features to ensure Nuix Investigate is always available and performant regardless of the caseload.

Chat messaging continues to be a focus — after all, we’ve found that about 80% of investigations include mobile chat data — and we’ve got some very nice improvements in Bubble View with colors, icons, and more options for coding messages. We’ve also put in a number of smaller improvements focused on usability and making searching easier.

COVID-19 has challenged workers the world over, forcing work-from-home policies and other changes to workflow. How did that impact Nuix, and how did you respond to ensure you could still serve customers and their needs? 

From my perspective, Nuix pivoted very easily to a full-time work-from-home company. While I don’t get to do the travel and face-to-face meetings I once did, I still maintain an active schedule of virtual calls with these same people. I think in some ways it has given us more time to connect in meaningful ways and in turn that drives a better product. 

What does a typical day look like for you, and what do you like to do in your spare time? 

I usually start my days early and try to respond to as much of my email as I can before my meetings start. I spend a lot of time in planning meetings, on calls with customers, doing design review, working with the team on requirements, and prioritizing stories. I wear many hats at Nuix. 

In my spare time I play drums in a band called Voltheque, I’m an avid cyclist, practise yoga, and love to cook while enjoying good local beer. 

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