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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2016

Content Guru: The Communications Integration Provider

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“Communication is the key to bridging the gap between business and IT.” – Dr. George Westerman

Content Guru was founded in December 2005 by brothers Sean and Martin Taylor. The goal was to harness the nascent cloud service model in order to deliver powerful communications solutions on a mass-scale.

The brothers had previously co-founded communications hardware and software manufacturer Redwood Technologies in 1993 and used their 12 years of experience in the sector to develop storm®, a cloud communications technology platform that represented a complete departure from the traditional communications vendor model. storm was completely constructed by the Content Guru team using proprietary hardware and software, and was architecturally designed not only to scale on-demand but also to integrate and interoperate with virtually any other system.

The company achieved great success in the UK and soon expanded internationally with storm operations starting in Ireland in 2011, the Netherlands in 2012, Germany in 2014, and the USA in 2015 – with further expansion into the Asia-Pacific region on the horizon. Structurally, Content Guru and its sister companies Redwood Technologies and Radius Communications have come together to form a new Redwood Technologies Group, uniting its cloud, on-premise, and consultancy businesses under one group name.

“We position ourselves as early innovators in the cloud, having used our own technology to build the storm platform over ten years ago. With more than a decade of experience we work closely with our clients to help them to make the most of our cloud services. This is particularly true of our sister company Radius Communications which specializes in consulting,” said Sean Taylor,
Co-Founder & CEO.

Key Differentiators
Content Guru is differentiated from others in the domain thanks to the storm platform’s:
• Technology
• Network model
• Scalability
• Deployment model
• Customer empowerment
• Integration

The storm Platform
storm is the world’s largest Communications Integration™ platform. No other communications platform in the world provides email, voice, SMS, web chat, web forms and social media in a single location, or delivers connections to hundreds of third-party IT systems like storm.

storm revolutionizes how organizations communicate, delivering mission-critical, cloud-based communication services including multi-channel contact centre, unified communications, machine-to-machine (M2M)/Internet of Things (IoT) and secure over-the-phone payments.

By delivering seamlessly integrated, multi-channel capabilities on a 24/7 basis through a cloud delivery model, storm instantly connects consumers, colleagues and even proprietary databases and systems to the best available information or person, at any time and from any place, in a way that has never before been possible. The flexible cloud model allows clients to scale-up their services and add new features as and when they need them. storm also provides economic benefits, integrating with businesses’ legacy systems to ensure that customers get the most out of their existing investments, and charging on an
Op-Ex basis, avoiding the need for large upfront expenditure.

Accolades
The company’s achievements have received widespread recognition this past year, with Content Guru named UK IT Industry Awards’ Cloud Provider of the Year 2015 and, most recently, awarded a 2016 Queen’s Award for Innovation, the highest business accolade available for outstanding achievement in UK enterprise.

Covering Every Client Vertical
Content Guru’s technology applies across every vertical market and business of all sizes, and it has great clients in every sector. In the UK, the company has become the dominant player in the utilities marketplace, providing services to two thirds of the electricity distribution market. It has hundreds of large enterprise clients across sectors such as financial services, healthcare, online, retail, telecoms, travel and leisure and utilities. Clients include Chubb, EDF Energy and Vodafone.

Some of Content Guru’s Happy Clients
“The flexibility of storm enabled us to create new self-service user interfaces rapidly and intuitively, saving us a vast amount of development time and cost. The ability of storm to deliver Rightmove information means we can be more responsive to changing contact patterns, helping to refine and adapt our TrainTracker service to current demand. We anticipate additional benefits going forward as we migrate more of our estate onto storm.”
– Alastair Page, Operations Manager, National Rail Enquiries (NRE)

storm optimizes our own internal management with its real-time analytics, which helps us massively reduce response times. And because we can introduce new features as and when needed, we’re able to continually optimize every aspect of how we communicate; there’s already a roadmap for further improvements!”
– Romolo Falcucci, Technical Architect, UK Power Networks

Geographies
The company’s headquarters are based in Bracknell in the UK, which sits in the heart of Europe’s
‘Tech Valley’. It’s the dominant player in Europe, with infrastructure in the UK and Ireland and the Netherlands servicing mainland Europe. Content Guru also has an office and platforms in the US and is currently building out infrastructure in Asia-Pacific, with its new regional HQ in Singapore.

Future Focus Area
Content Guru’s main focus area is the cloud contact centre market which has been its specialism throughout its European operations. The US has the largest contact centre market in the world and penetrating this market is now a top priority as the company establishes its US office.

“Our storm platform has an open architecture which allows us to integrate with any system and makes it easy for us to build new features to align with business objectives.”

Knowing the Key Executive

Sean Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO – In 1993, Sean co-founded sister company Redwood Technologies, a cutting-edge provider of multi-channel communications servers which has supplied technology to large enterprises, government bodies and CSPs (Communication Services Providers) in over 50 countries. At the end of 2005, predicting the emergence of what are today called ‘cloud services’, Sean and his brother Martin set up Content Guru. As with Redwood, Sean is heavily involved with the strategic direction of Content Guru, working at a technical level with the core teams that define high-level product design, and commercially on the company’s go-to-market strategy, including the establishment of key partnerships.

Before co-founding Redwood and Content Guru, Sean worked both in the UK and in California as part of the engineering team of Rhetorex Inc. (acquired by Lucent), a pioneer in the field of Computer Telephony. Sean is a Trustee of Berkshire Community Foundation, a charity specializing in the care of vulnerable adults and children. For his work in helping set up its Business Philanthropy Club he was selected as a finalist at the Charity Staff & Volunteers Awards in 2014.

Sean holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Electronics and Computer Science from King’s College, University of London, and maintains links with the university through the annually awarded Redwood Technologies Prize for Best Performance in the MSc Telecommunications and Internet Technology program

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