Now it’s time to take a look at a South Korean business bringing about changes in the global economy with some new ideas.
Today, we’re going to introduce you to an AI operation solution provider named The White Communication or TWC. Let’s hear from company CEO Park Min-young.
The world is changing rapidly. For example, internet-only banks such as Kakao Bank and K-bank are replacing traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Likewise, communication methods are evolving as well. And, accordingly, customer call centers inevitably have to change as well. We’ve responded to the changing communication environment quickly and effectively. We provide operation platform solutions, which are considered omni-channel communication tools. These days, there are too many communication tools, including online message boards, emails and chatbots. Whatever the form, we seek to simplify the communication process using AI so our client companies can respond to their customers easily and conveniently, and therefore, increase business efficiency.
Operation refers to the management of back-office work in a company, not the company’s major tasks such as planning, development and marketing. For example, a call center is a customer service operation.
Fast-growing companies and public institutions find it hard to operate call centers, due to the difficulty in building relevant systems as well as personnel and training issues. The situation is similar in large companies. In line with technological development, customer communication channels have diversified, making it increasingly difficult for companies to respond to their customers systematically.
TWC CEO Park was a marketing director and the youngest vice president at Daum Communications, a popular web portal in South Korea. He was sure of high growth potential of operation-related business and established TWC.
He introduced an AI operation solution called “CloudGate” to give a jolt to the market that was still depending on call centers.
In the past, an operation solution was installed on a desktop computer, which then had to be moved to be literally connected to a company’s system. But these days, cloud services are widespread. CloudGate is our cloud-based operation solution, which can be accessed by anyone. Companies using this cloud service can receive all customer inquiries, no matter what kind of communication tools the customers use, including Kakao Talk and Naver TalkTalk. The companies can manage the history of the customers and analyze their tendencies. When managing customer information, users of this solution don’t have to keep seven or eight web pages open and switch among them. The service can increase efficiency more than 30 percent.
CloudGate is an AI consultation service capable of checking and responding to customer inquiries on a single screen, although the inquiries might be made through multiple channels including messengers, web-chats, chatbots, emails and SNS. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the cloud-based solution has enabled workers at call centers to work from home more safely, as those workers are prone to group infection. TWC developed technology further to add voice counseling to the solution, which had already been equipped with the text consultation feature, to enhance business efficiency. Its client companies can utilize the increased amount of customer data in various areas including marketing and brand value promotion.
Last month, TWC launched another solution called “SellerGate” tailored to small-and mid-sized businesses, so not only large companies but many small firms can also benefit from innovative technology. Designed for small online sellers, the customer response solution supports product order checks, returns, exchanges, cancellations and resending.
Small businesses are struggling hard to stay afloat amid the pandemic. They typically start with online sales, which do not cost much in the initial stage. They sell goods on online shopping platforms such as Naver’s Smart Store, Cafe24 and Makeshop. For them, it’s inconvenient and challenging to keep all those websites open, upload products on the sites, answer customers’ questions and package and deliver goods separately all by themselves. But using the SellerGate solution, they can check information about products, orders and customers all at once. The new service is well received by users.
Developing technology and services that the market needs, TWC has created 500 jobs in just three years since its establishment. The number of its employees has grown even faster than that of food delivery firm Baedal Minjok, one of the first-generation startups in Korea.
The company was selected as a good example of social returns, as hundreds of employees save a small amount of money from their monthly pay each month and donate it to those in need. Given that it has grown significantly year after year, the company has indeed realized its corporate value of “the more it shares, the higher it grows.”
We have some 200 client companies including fintech and food-tech firms, O2O service providers and government agencies. Our sales amounted to 3.1 million US dollars in 2019 and 6.3 million dollars last year. And this year, the figure is expected to reach 13 million dollars. That is, sales have grown 200 percent every year. The impressive sales growth is understandable, since we are the sole provider of operation solutions with advanced AI capabilities in South Korea. Following the establishment of our branch in Japan, we’ll also set up a branch in Vietnam early next year to expand our business both domestically and globally.
TWC has recently secured investment worth 24 million dollars in a Series B financing, indicating that its technology and growth potential gained due recognition. The company was also designated as one of promising export firms 2021 by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. It obtained the “AI+” certification from the Korean Standards Association and also the KS certification, which is given to businesses that provide quality services. In fact, the company planned all these amazing achievements, as its goal is to become one of leading global firms.
Salesforce is the world’s leading customer relationship management platform. The company holds its main conference called Dreamforce annually, attracting 170-thousand participants to San Francisco. I hope our company will be able to host a major event like Dreamforce in Seoul. It could be called Cloudforce, named after our solution. The massive event may hopefully draw a large number of people—so large that participants may have a hard time finding accommodations in Seoul and the adjacent areas of Gyeonggi Province. We have this big dream. We also hope to become one of the very few B2B solution providers that become unicorn companies.
Operation-related work continues to grow and expand in the rapidly changing business environment, since complicated, high-tech services make it increasingly important to promote communications between companies and customers. Playing a bridging role in connecting companies with customers with its innovative technology, TWC is growing into a global IT firm representing Korea.