UC Insights 2018: Oak Innovation on Preparing for Privacy in 2018
Oak Innovation share their insights for the year ahead
Oak Innovation is a company that began as a call management solutions provider, and now provide a portfolio of communication applications focused on customer experience (CX) extending across call recording, call analytics, CRM integration and more. With more than 30,000 systems installed throughout the UK alone, their customer base is constantly growing as privacy, security and brand reputation become more significant to organisations of all types and sizes.
I sat down with the Marketing Manager for Oak Innovation, Ian Bevington to find out how the company have responded to the changes that have taken place in 2017, and how they’re preparing for the years ahead.
How Have You been Serving Customers and Partners?
During 2017, Oak Innovation, like many other technology companies today, are experiencing significant change. According to Ian, those changes have had a measurable impact on their resellers and the way they do business.
“Towards the end of 2016, we introduced Salesforce. The Oak sales team are able to be more dynamic and proactive with resellers through better tracking of interactions and opportunities.”
Of course, the Salesforce integration is just one part of the journey, the company recently employed an experienced marketing manager to get serious about running campaigns, driving demand for resellers and repositioning Oak for the marketplace of the future.
Ian said: “We’re starting to uncover some interesting opportunities. If you look at the world outside of Oak, there’s been a lot of polarisation in channels. Right now, whether you are offering on premises or cloud, it’s important to take the time to understand your customers’ business and have the right services and products in in place to deliver true value.”
What Has Oak Innovations Learned from 2017?
With so much consolidation and disruption in the UC marketplace, I was interested to hear how Oak Innovation have responded to the changes. Ian noted:
“A year ago we introduced the Oak Communication Platform (OCP). The platform is more scalable and better suited for multi-site and multi-tenant environments’ As we move through 2018, we will be looking to address larger, more complex opportunities across a range of deployment options.”
In regard to what has been happening during 2017, Ian noted that
“If you look back over the last decade or so, the market has been driven by cost saving and simplification. As we moved through 2017, we’ve seen more focus on the role of technology in delivering a better customer experience, and as we move through 2018, I believe that will mature into digital transformation.”
The marketplace, for Oak Innovation and many other vendors, is now turning a corner where technology is less of an overhead and more of a strategic enabler for a business. People are really starting to wake up to the age of customer experience, and Oak are no exception.
What Opportunities and Challenges Do You Predict for 2018?
Ian went on to tell me that the focus for Oak Innovation as we move ahead into 2018, is figuring out how they can take their three focus areas of record, report and integrate, work together to support companies moving toward with digital transformation. They’ll also be extending their ability to integrate and enable existing cloud services as part of an ecosystem to develop the value they can offer partners and customers.
“As well as developing our own strategies, we’ll also be addressing the looming concerns around GDPR and privacy when it comes to ensuring security in the marketplace. We have a GDPR module that we’ll be launching very soon. Basically, it’s a bundle of features that will allow our customers to manage aspects of GDPR such as the right to be forgotten more effectively.”
According to Ian, part of the value that Oak Innovation can offer to their customers and partners comes from their ability to position themselves as an expert in the area of privacy, security andbrand reputation.
“Assisting companies in managing issues like GDPR, as we go through into digital transformation will be important to all organisations.
What’s your Advice for Partners in 2018?
When it comes to assisting and informing their partners, Oak Innovation believe that the key to great selling is understanding how to remain truly relevant to the needs of customers. Ian said that:
“In my mind, this means that resellers will need to start moving towards consultative selling where they learn more about the customer’s business and their technology ecosystem so that they can figure out how and where they can add value.”
Additionally, Ian believes that partners will need to start focusing on specific markets:
“It’s too difficult to do everything for everyone. I expect to see more resellers focusing on vertical markets, developing their skills and thinking about how they can position themselves to build credibility within their chosen space. This might mean reviewing the kind of vendor relationships they have in place to help them meet new demands.”