What was it like in the early days, bringing an American based company to Europe?
When technology is developed at Harvard university, you take notice. When I first went to Boston, saw the technology and met the team I remember thinking ‘Hold on, this is a complete game changer!” At that time I had been 5 years into Social Data analysis and this was unlike anything I’d seen or sold before.
Returning to the UK felt like I was carrying news! I could not wait to get the message out.
At the time we were a team of 2 so we had to cherry pick the early conversations but at every door we knocked we found we were very welcome. The advocacy for the platform was mutual and we bonded with our clients and remain close today.
I should say that the platform was born global in that it was developed to work immediately in any language. So the companies philosophy has always been global. That is a huge advantage over other US or UK companies who focus on English and English speaking countries first.
What are the things from the early days that you’d like to keep?
That spirit of adventure. Working with a team of product advocates inside Crimson Hexagon and including our clients to fathom out the direction we need to take together. Keeping our customers close in a partnership is our route to revenue with existing and new business and a win/win for us all.
What do you want to see the EMEA team doing better?
Seeing that we had the potential to disrupt this technology space the real barrier to achieving that was lack of scale. Working with our Global SVP, John Donnelly, we’ve been given the growth plan and hiring plan to make that happen! Im very excited about that!
Being away from HQ, how do you motivate your team here? Where do you get inspiration from?
My passion is building teams and going on a journey with them. I always look for people who will challenge everyone of us, whether that is through their drive, enthusiasm, skills, experience or intelligence. I look for one special ingredient and that is passion for the company, its product and future. When you have a diverse team with that one passion in common great things happen. I try to lead by example when it comes to passion and rely on our collective skills and smarts to get it done ;)
What are you most proud of?
Our customers and our team. I see them as an extension of each other.
Is EMEA ready for advanced social data analytics?
The maturity of the markets in EMEA are still on different tracks. However, one thing they all have in common is enough experience of platforms to have reached some inherent limitations which creates frustration. The EMEA markets outside the UK are woefully underserved for contextual analysis in local languages. Our language agnostic technology is a huge competitive advantage. The real change is the need for insight and asking better business questions of social media data. That requires unique abilities to contextually quantify, qualitative data (in other words know what people are saying and why in any language). In the more mature markets we’re seeing a demand for predictive analytics and this allows us to inform our product teams.
In a US-based company, how much does EMEA influence the roadmap?
Europe has some of the hottest startups, and even the larger more traditional organisations are looking for deep analytics to make business decisions. We are focusing our roadmap on the EMEA markets from content to product. We’re listening too!
What’s next for Crimson Hexagon EMEA?
If it’s not world domination then it’s to cement our position as a platform for business intelligence as well as social intelligence. Investment means scale and scale equals growth so we’re set for a larger slice of the market in 2015.