Wheelings & Dealings: ThinkingPhones Picks Up on Contactive Buy
A recent development in the field suggests that ThinkingPhones is about to have some new tools coming its way soon, and tools that should dovetail nicely into current offerings. The reports, direct from ThinkingPhones itself, say that the company acquired Contactive, an Android-based call management app which helps speed up the process of using Google to search for people's names and phone numbers. While the exact amount ThinkingPhones spent wasn't made clear, what's a bit clearer is just what ThinkingPhones could do with this new capability.
Contactive isn't just an Android-based system; it also offers an enterprise-grade version called Klink, which is itself a multi-platform system that puts big data systems to work to offer up profiles of customers, in real time, before and during a call itself. The algorithm driving Klink, meanwhile, takes a host of data points—measured in the billions, according to reports—and consolidates all these points down into a usable profile. Klink turns to all the various data sources; it runs names and phone numbers through Google, it checks public directories and social media systems, and attempts to compile a basic profile of things like current city of location, job, photos, email addresses and so on from publicly-available information.
That's pretty impressive in its own right, but it goes on from there; Klink also works with various in-house systems like customer relationship management (CRM) tools as well as company databases and the like to help keep the results of these searches together, helping to step up the pace of overall workflow and data usability, which in turn work to offer a chance at better profitability. Right now, Contactive—and by extension Klink—counts better than 1.5 million users to its collective credit.
Steve Kokinos, who serves as president and CEO for ThinkingPhones, offered up some comment around the deal, saying “The Contactive and Klink team has worked diligently for the past two years to build a strong big data platform and a solid product used by more than a million and a half people. Klink represents the next step in the natural evolution of enterprise communications. Since most employees already Google people or businesses to read more about them on Linkedin, Twitter, or Yelp, it only makes sense that smartphones should do that work in real time for every incoming call in the enterprise setting.”
It's that usability of data that's the best part of this particular arrangement. It's one thing to have a large amount of customer data, but it's another thing entirely to be able to put said data to work. What good does it do to have a huge silo of data when none of it is providing insight on what the customer may want, or what the customer has already demonstrated that he or she doesn't want? Knowing these things before going into a sales call can change the tempo—and quite possibly the ultimate outcome—of any sales call, so it's commonly better to have and use that information than not. But it needs to be available and useful, otherwise it's just data clogging up a hard drive somewhere.
While Contactive and ThinkingPhones may not represent the greatest new tool a sales rep can have, it's clear that putting these two together is a smart idea that's likely to represent great value. Only time will tell just how great a value, but value should be found nonetheless.
Edited by Maurice Nagle