Aportio accelerates appetite for action

International expansion plans in the works

Far from contracting its focus to just the core business essentials as it looks beyond COVID-19, as many businesses are doing to stay afloat, Aportio Technologies is planning to expand its market presence internationally in the coming months.

Indeed, the company’s key priority over the next six to nine months is to work with its partners and service management and contact centre solution vendors to take its offering to service providers and large corporate IT teams in Australia, the United States and the UK.

Founded in 2017 by CEO and chairman Scott Green, along with director and COO/CFO Susan Nemeth, former chief digital officer Chong Looi and principal architect Craig Porter, Aportio specialises in email processing solutions for contact centres and IT service desks.

The company’s InboxAgent is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that reads incoming emails and automatically assigns it to the right team, classifying it correctly and initiating automated actions with no human intervention.

As a start-up, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the company is also eyeing expansions on the technology side of its business, with priorities including the enhancement of its architecture for scale, customer self-service, and the provision of the same automation benefits across other channels such as chat and digital assistants.

In fact, the disruptions caused by the pandemic and the changes in the market they have prompted have seen Aportio choose to accelerate its timeline for such developments.

“While our strategy has not changed, the opportunities arising from the pandemic mean that we need to bring forward our product and market growth,” Green told Reseller News. “This has meant that we are partnering more to achieve that faster, including working with a consortium of NZ technology firms to provide a multi-channel, seamless customer experience.”

Tapping into a new way to work

Aportio, as with many other tech players, is moving fast to meet the surging, shifting demands of the market as many workers and organisations settle into the new distributed, remote working model that has quickly taken precedence in the wake of COVID-19.

This clearly works in Aportio’s favour.

From Green’s perspective, the pandemic has changed the way people work and the need for contact centres and service desk teams to think differently about automation in order to deal with increased demand, but without losing the personal touch.

And while Green concedes that global IT spending overall is expected to fall in the remainder of this year at least, there may actually be some sectors that could present pockets of opportunity with spending increases.

“Over the next six to nine months we expect that IT spending globally will decrease overall,” he said. “However our research indicates this will be mainly in industries such as travel and transportation that are or have been significantly impacted; along with larger and longer projects which require significant commitment.

“Spend in other sectors may in fact increase, as will smaller projects with more immediate ROI [return on investment],” he added.

With this in mind, Aportio’s team anticipates that it will see increased investment in automation tools that enable companies to become more resilient, particularly where projects are relatively small or have immediate ROI.

There is also increased investment expected in technologies that better enable companies to connect with their customers — an incredibly important factor when, in many industries, the traditional way of doing business has shifted.

“Customer challenges will be widely varied, depending on the industry they are in,” Green said. “They are likely to be slower in decision-making because of general uncertainty and because key decision makers are focused on wider business challenges.”

But with these challenges come opportunities for customers, especially in improving resilience through automation, something organisations have known for a long time they have had to do but is now becoming essential, according to Green.

“Further opportunities lie in providing staff and customers choice – ranging from where they work to how they purchase,” he said.

While tapping into new opportunities is important, so is staying sticky with existing ones.

“Keeping our existing customers happy with great service and continually improving features is essential for us – as is further customer acquisition, globally – particularly in the pandemic and post-pandemic period as we believe we are strongly placed to help businesses with some of their key challenges,” Green said.

Unsurprisingly, that approach reflects Green’s thoughts on what will make for a successful tech provider in the market going forward: “Uncompromising focus on providing customers with effective ways to increase efficiency and improve service; automation solutions that provide quick wins that do not compromise personalised service; [and] continuously evolving and embracing changing technology.”