Sramana Mitra: Where do you see white spaces?
Mike Burkland: If you look at the history of software and the evolution of all these cloud technologies, for the most part, most of us who have been successful in the cloud have done so by taking something that was done by legacy on-premise solutions and providing a better solution in the cloud. It’s not just replicating what those legacy solutions did on-premise and delivering it on the cloud, but being able to do that in a differentiated way to provide our customers with a better solution. The cloud does provide this low upfront pay-as-you-go model. But we not just provide a better delivery and economic model but also very innovative technology and solutions to our customers on a regular basis.
I would also say that entrepreneurs ought to look for those opportunities not just to replace the base functionality of a legacy solution because most of those opportunities are being done but to look at how to provide that incremental value-add and innovation on top of the base solutions.
We acquired a company last year called SoCoCare. It was a 13-person company. They were pioneers in the social and mobile solutions for customer care in the cloud. They did a very effective job of identifying a white space within the contact center market that had not been really solved yet in a big way. Looking into the future, mobile and social and other multi-channel solutions are going to become a larger part of the contact center traffic even though they’re not nearly as popular today as phone calls. We believe voice will always dominate contact center but being on the cutting-edge, we anticipate some of these future trends like social as the type of opportunity that I would encourage entrepreneurs to look for.
Sramana Mitra: Our observation on this is that mobile and social are not new trends as far as contact centers are concerned. They are actually trends that are well on their way and companies are working on harnessing that and how to handle that from a multi-channel contact center point of view. It’s just an observation.
Mike Burkland: I just didn’t want to overstate that. Obviously, we wouldn’t have acquired the company if we didn’t see this as a great opportunity.
Sramana Mitra: We’re completely on the same page on that. It’s a dominant trend of the industry. It was nice talking to you and good luck with everything.