After stepping into the CEO position at Liquid Voice in the middle of last year Chris Berry has been on a mission to provide value to partners in new and innovative ways. Editor David Dungay spoke to Chris recently about his progress.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): You have been in the chair a little over six months now, how has it gone? Can you share your strategy with us?
Chris Berry (CB): We have some fairly aggressive growth plans which will see us grow about 80% in the current financial year. Part of that is about developing our product sets, bringing on new Channel development people, and making sure the infrastructure and support we have in the business will enable us to develop at scale. At the halfway point in this financial year we had already achieved what we did at the end of the last financial year.
CBM: So it’s going well! Tell us a bit more about the product development?
CB: Our products have been augmented more in the last 18 months than ever before. We have launched speech transcription, content analytics, and a voice biometrics platform. All of those technologies can be used in conjunction with GDPR too. We have also developed some clever tools in-house which can be used in conjunction with other people’s legacy systems too.
We took a decision 6 months ago to not be so pre-occupied with selling our own call recording. We aren’t trying to sell anyone else’s either! We have a strong value-add proposition and when it comes to voice recording many people aren’t paying huge amounts for it which mean demonstrating value there is difficult. Rather than creating a barrier for sale at the beginning, which is insisting customers have to buy the call recording from us, we can pull data in from other vendor’s solutions. We can do that for one or multiple systems.
With one client of ours who has about 13 million calls we are currently pulling data in from three different systems, only one of which is ours. Then we are using the value add applications that go over the top of that, that’s the quality management, speech analytics and everything else.
Some customers have a piece of legacy vendor technology which they aren’t happy with but they can’t afford to upgrade in the way the want to. We have just been able to put an overlay on top of it and that has really opened up some huge opportunities for partners.
That combined with our SaaS model means we can walk into customers premises where they have thousands of seats where we would normally not be at the table and let them keep what they have got, we can then rent the solution to customers and deploy it very quickly.
CBM: You mentioned GDPR, what’s your view on that at a partner level?
CB: Ultimately I think partners want to be guided on GDPR but they don’t just want something which is saleable, they also want a USP. We use a consultant who is able to offer us very niche expertise and we are reselling that service to our partners as part of the presales component.
I think we have something unique, we have the capability to scrub data in real time. When it comes to the right to be forgotten we have a solution that works in conjunction with transcription which allows you to scrub data from within the system.
We have also created a solution which prevents people misusing data which you are holding on a client. For those clients that need to keep certain data on a customer we want to preclude users of the system from being able to mine data.
CBM: How are you going to stay ahead of your competition over the next year?
CB: A few of our competitors in the market are having a tough time so we are picking up a few partners because of that. There is quite a bit of displacement going on right now. We have had people knocking on the door asking us to fix problems and because we don’t have to rip anything out and just overlay our stuff on top it has gone down really well.
We are changing our approach to dealing with partners. Recently we introduced an e-learning capability which is fuelling our accreditations. Partners can enrol and distance learn so they don’t have to go into classrooms at awkward times. Ultimately though, we are here to do a good job and find the right partners to do a good job with us.
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