Oak Merges Bases to Empower Cloud Recording Partners
Oak CTO, David Reynolds, provides the lowdown on the OakSI and Oak Innovation merger
Oak Innovation has today completed the merger of Oak Systems International in Canada and Oak Innovation in the U.K. The merger has accelerated Oak’s move into cloud technology and strengthened support for channel partners and end users.
The combined company will be led by David Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer, and William Emm, Chief Growth Officer. James Emm and Phillip Reynolds will continue to play an active role on the Board of Directors. Adam Bardsley will continue in his role as Managing Director.
William Emm, Chief Growth Officer commented on the merger.
“This is a natural move that will enable us to grow by leveraging sales, marketing and support strengths across the combined business. I am especially excited about the opportunity ahead for us in North America.”
Merging North America and UK
As the news hit, I spoke to David Reynolds, CTO of Oak Innovation. David previously served as Technical Director at Oak Systems International.
“One of the two key reasons to merge the companies was to blend the resources, skills and market experience”
“Not only will this benefit the UK and North America markets but it will help us and our partners grow faster all over the world. We currently reach over 75 countries across US, Canada and Europe. So, it’s not just a blend of technologies when merging but a blend of expertise. We’re now perfectly placed to support all regions across our international base.”
Drivers to merge
David told me that one of the key drivers behind the merger was the success of cloud products in North America.
“ProphecyIQ is a pure cloud recording platform. Ultimately, a lot of businesses are running virtual machines in a hosted environment where there is CPE somewhere else. Our pure cloud offering is naturally autoscaling, so it grows as take on more staff. Also, it uses content delivery networks so when customers connect to our services, it finds the nearest node to access our front end technologies.
Cloud-first is something we needed in North America to demonstrate differentiation. If you’re a new vendor in the marketplace with a “me too” product, it’s extremely hard to grow. We tried something and it worked.”
Cloud, on-premises and hybrid recording
David said that the first platform Oak System International developed for was ShoreTel, now Mitel. “Inflow are the biggest ShoreTel/Mitel reseller over here. What we’ve done for Inflow is give them access to ProphecyIQ. Following a browser installation, the call recordings are collected locally then uploaded to our cloud.
This means that Inflow customers can service their on-premises customers or customers with a data centre or full cloud. We noticed on this journey that a ton of customers used hosted services like Asterix or BroadSoft. Native call recording capabilities can leave a lot to be desired. We’re there to augment the telephony offering. The fact that it’s pure cloud really simplifies everything.
“The best thing about SIPREC is that there is no software or hardware requirement”
“You can point to a ProphecyIQ IP address, and it will stream all audio directly there. We’ve really got a nice journey developing”
Bringing the UK up to speed
North America has been leading the transition of cloud deployment.
“The UK is still about face-to-face whereas the geography in North America poses challenges that work as a good thing and a bad thing.
Our history at Oak has been about building strong relationships which are built to face to face. In North America, you must start on a technological standing. What that means for this merger is that we become technologically focussed rather than relationship focused. At the same time, we need to blend the best stuff from the UK that we’ve learned”.
Call recording ROI
David said the second interesting component Oak has discovered is that the North America market really gets the ROI of this technology. Especially in the US, people seem to make purchasing decisions easily. They get the ROI story and you don’t need to drum it into people.
“You can have a conversation where you say let’s install this software which will cost £5k today but we can already see that it will save you three members of staff in the long run. In America, that’s an immediate yes – a no brainer. However, with UK and Canada in particular, there is an element of hesitancy. The aversion to change often leads to expense that doesn’t need to be there. These things do exist in the US but to much lesser extents”.
David concluded that in the US, there is still massive untapped potential to do so much more. For example, car sales teams.
“We typically go through an exercise where we find out where money is left on the table when staff aren’t providing a good enough service or aren’t booking appointments quickly enough. When you can educate businesses to the importance of call recording and the associated benefits, you can become an authority on the subject. Until the message is out there, many businesses don’t understand the potential and the ROI”.
Oak Innovation will continue to build on existing strengths in recording, analytics and integration. Organisations are looking to use both qualitative and qualitative metrics to understand customer experience and drive better leadership and decision making. During 2018, Oak Innovation introduced nLighten, a cloud recording platform designed to fully integrate with the cloud environment and PaymentAssist, a cloud-based service that helps organisations to securely manage card payments over the phone.
Since 1987, Oak Innovation have helped organisations across the globe to manage and learn from their communications. Our award-winning applications and cloud services are designed to increase the value of interaction by supporting a better customer experience, protecting reputation and improving workflow. To learn more about Oak Innovation, check out their new website.