The Silicon Review
We have built a strong reputation because of our commitment to our clients. Our goal is, and always has been, to provide our users worldwide with the most innovative interactive technologies available: Michel Guay.
After building its reputation in the HR industry with its scientifically validated personality and psychometric tests, ATW Tech underwent a transformative acquisition with Voxtel Telecommunications and now operates a portfolio of companies in mobile payments, marketing, and interactive solutions. Following this transformative acquisition, ATW Tech continues to work on important acquisitions that are driving the business’s next level of growth, while simultaneously moving into additional revenue streams that complement existing legacy programs.
ATW Tech has been trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ATW since December 2012. Formerly known as AtmanCo, ATW Tech has adopted its new name to better represent the company’s strategic vision and direction.
The firm was established in 2004 and is headquartered in Québec, Canada.
Interview Excerpt: Michel Guay, Founder/Chairman/CEO
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
I was completing my studies in psychology back in 1984when I developed a personality assessment tool that would allow companies to recognize natural talents and strengths of individuals without the need for a psychologist –that’s where it all started.
I realized I had the opportunity to access valuable data, so the test underwent scientific validation and I continued to grow and develop the business. Today, we have built a strong reputation in the industry with the accuracy of our test and results, our all-inclusive advanced platform, and with our team of consulting and evaluation experts.
2015 was an important year for us and AtmanCo’s evolution. We developed an API to expand the utility of our solution, and created integrations with major platforms in the HR industry, including Salesforce and Smart Recruiters. We also developed a spin-off product for consumers based on our scientifically validated Atman Classic test. The new spin-off product and API allowed us to enter into a strategic partnership with Quebec’s first and largest dating website, which was a subsidiary of the telecommunications company VoxTel.
In 2016, we were offered to acquire VoxTel in whole or in part. After digging deeper into the business, we found that there’s a huge opportunity right in front of us, so we decided to go through a complete and transformative acquisition by acquiring the entirety of VoxTel.
In 2017, after having fully completed the acquisition and integration of VoxTel, AtmanCo continued to grow in the telecommunications industry and we acquired VuduMobile, a communication company specializing in text messaging services for user engagement and customer service.
By late 2017, we decided to adopt the name ATW Tech (instead of AtmanCo, which already had its own brand) for the parent company to better represent our strategic vision and direction as a builder and provider of technological solution to businesses and consumers.
How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.
Since our story is quite extensive, I will talk about the first project we rolled out with VoxTel right after the acquisition.
VoxTel’s main business is payment solutions, particularly Direct Carrier Billing (DCB). In short, DCB is a payment method where charges are made to a person’s phone account for a purchase they make – not on credit cards or other banking systems.
We were contacted by a producer who was looking to combine voting with DCB for a live TV show called La Voix. La Voix is the Quebec-version of the popular TV show ‘The Voice’, where the audience is asked to engage via their phones by texting or calling to vote for their favorite contestant. At that point in time, we were facing two main challenges: managing a large amount of traffic in a short time frame, and ensuring that the system was 100 percent reliable.
The team got together and integrated our voting system (which we were already using for provincial political parties, professional associations, and unions), with our DCB system to allow users to vote and get billed directly onto their phone bills via SMS and voice.
With the added pressure of it being a live vote on live television, we had recognized that it would be a challenging integration, but we thrive in such circumstances and the team pulled together to complete this project flawlessly. We successfully managed a record-breaking number of transactions for a live TV show in Canada.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
We are nothing without our consumers – after all, everything that we do, we do for them – the happier our consumers are the more successful our business is. We recognize that. Our first priority is always to earn the trust and respect of clients by communicating excellence not with our words, but with our actions. By delivering exceptional customer care, listening to their needs, and ensuring we provide them with top-of-line, secure, and compliant technology to help them succeed.
If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
The team and our employees – Absolutely and without a doubt, our teams are the heart of the organization and our most important asset. After all, they are the ones who build, maintain, and grow our technologies and relationships.
Our database – All of our companies generate data, a lot of it. Whether it’s through AtmanCo where we gather data on user personalities and other psychometric measures, through VuduMobile where we can learn more about users’ preferred communication and engagement methods, or through VoxTel where we learn more about their demographics, their interests, and habits. Our data is extremely valuable to us; it’s what drives our vision and what allows us to better serve all customers around the world. Add the ability to use artificial intelligence with all of this data and the potential is incredible.
Our integrated network of operators – Our partnerships and relationships with operators is what allows us to expand our reach and to offer our services around the world. Together, we have built strong partnerships based on trust and mutual benefit that extends throughout Canada. We are also in the process of acquiring companies that will further expand our reach in the US, Latin America, and Europe.
Our technology – We live in a tech-driven world. You can’t compete without having top-of-the-line, proprietary technology to back you up.
Our entrepreneurial spirit – I am an entrepreneur, through and through, and that’s the general attitude adopted throughout the organization and within our culture. We always want to push harder and go further to expand both our offerings and our geographical reach.
How does your company contribute to the global IT platform?
Our mission at ATW Tech is to become the world leader in interactive communications and monetization solutions across the globe. But our ultimate vision is to provide businesses and consumers with an enriched, interactive communication experience based on data-crossing via artificial intelligence algorithms.
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be launched?
We certainly do – and for each of our business units.
For VoxTel, we are building a Unified Payment Solution that includes DCB, credit cards, PayPal, and digital wallets. We are actually currently in the process of implementing payments via cryptocurrency.
For VuduMobile, we are building a Complete Messaging Platform with omnichannel communication that includes text messaging, email, web chat, and voice.
As for AtmanCo, a new test called AtmanPro was recently launched with a new scientific validation to remain ahead of the market in terms of product and service offerings, as well as to further accumulate valuable data.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We are dedicated to the growth and prosperity of every one of our business units, which is evident by our hiring trends of industry experts and sales professionals whenever we acquire a new company. We ensure all of our businesses have the synergy and support they need to thrive, and that we continue to develop technologies that allow us to stay ahead of the game.
We are also looking to grow with additional acquisitions which will allow us to further scale our operations through product and service cross-selling, diversification of operators, increasing market reach, and facilitating market penetration in other geographical locations.
CEO – The Brain Behind The Operation: A Brief Background
Michel Guay:Michel Guay is the founder, chairman, and CEO of ATW Tech, the parent company of AtmanCo, VoxTel, and VuduMobile. His entrepreneurial journey started in 1993, when he founded AtmanCo (a subsidiary of ATW Tech), which has become a leader in the HR and assessments industry. With over 25 years of experience leading an innovative and creative company, Michel also established his experience in strategic development and alliances on national and international scales with the acquisition of VoxTel Telecommunication in 2016 and VuduMobile in 2017. With this significant growth with ATW Tech, Michel’s mission is to provide the most innovative and interactive communication experiences for ATW Tech’s users worldwide.