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Oak Targets the Verticals

Phil Reynolds, Joint CEO of Oak, says that the company is building upon the success of Patient Connect with other applications that target specific vertical markets to enable their resellers to maximise their customer base.

“Patient Connect was the litmus test. It enabled us to see just how much potential there might be for bespoke call recording and integrated CRM products in vertical markets,” says Reynolds.

“It was a relatively low risk venture for Oak, which has supplied doctors’ surgeries for years. We had a good idea of customer needs and how we could use CTI and call recording technology, incorporating Wallboards and Screen Popping, in such a way as to meet them head on and add value to our solutions.

“We also had the ideal partner in EMIS, who supply the most widely used Medical Information System software in England. We’d been providing CTI solutions to them for a number of years, and saw the potential in developing a more bespoke, fully integrated solution for EMIS users. When we created Patient Connect, we instantly created a unique and exclusive product with market potential in the tens of thousands of customers.

“Our resellers felt the benefit almost immediately. Here was a product which was – and is – so innovative and unrivalled that the closing rate for both current and new customers has been extremely high. Patient Connect has been widely marketed by both Oak and EMIS, and quite exceptionally, EMIS have permitted our resellers direct access to their end users. The uptake has been such that, after 12 months, we’re now also starting to work with other software partners and new resellers to cast the net even wider.”

Reynolds believes that, in partnership with key software providers, Oak is well positioned to make inroads into other markets where good communication, customer service, automation and improved performance are equally paramount. Top of the list are schools and recruitment.

“Parent Connect is a collaborative venture with Metier, which was selling Oak’s CTI technology to power CRM solutions. Academic establishments were one of their major customer groups, so together we created a formal solution that would meet the specific needs of schools, colleges, and so on. For maximum exposure, we again focused on initial integration with one of the most commonly used software systems, the School Information System (SIMS), which is used by over 11,000 schools in the UK. As with Patient Connect, there is nothing similar out there, and our resellers are benefitting from widespread interest and hard sales.

“Recruitment is a smaller, but growing market for integrated CRM. We offer a tailored solution using our generic CTI engine, ConnectX, in partnership with two leading software providers. As yet we haven’t invested in the same sort of product development and marketing as Patient and Parent Connect – mostly because we haven’t seen the need to do so. ConnectX is a popular solution in itself and integrates with a number of software solutions on the market; we do what we can to help any customers that resellers approach us with, and we’re always watching for new markets.

“Amidst all the excitement, though, is the importance of the age-old balancing act of maintaining progress in the market place and high quality performance on the home front: improving functionality and ensuring the best service levels in everything that we offer. That’s the way to long-term success.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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