Technology Live 2023 returns to the Business Design Centre, London. Here, James Goulding talks to Ian Silvester, a Director of three-times exhibitor EKM Global, about the company and what it gets from exhibiting at the event
EKM Global is a software development house owned by TD SYNNEX through its 2021 acquisition of parent company Advanced Technology Trading (ATTCo), but run as a separate legal entity, with its own IT, own management structure and financials.
It has two main solutions, each with its own development team and workstreams within the company: one is a remote management and monitoring solution for printers, EKM Insight. The other is a subscription-based platform that can be used by resellers, distributors or even manufacturers.
Last year, EKM Insight grew by 40%, driven by massive uptake in America and ongoing growth in Europe, much of it coming from vendors and distributors that have rebadged the product. The print management solution is widely used by resellers and there is an end user version for enterprises.
The subscription platform is primarily used by TD SYNNEX in the UK and in Europe to enable its channel to offer almost anything as-a-service.
“Behind that platform there’s an API link,” explains EKM Director Ian Silvester. “This allows anybody to use the subscription platform to do anything that’s got subscription or consumption-based billing. So we are talking to people about electric scooters and we’ve talked to people about refuse trucks as well.
“TD SYNNEX wants to aggressively grow it because it gives them a subscription business. Anybody who has a web presence, a web shop could add this API in and set up business subscriptions really quickly. It sends everything automatically to the funder, so it does all the financing for you. It sends out all the contracts that people need to sign through DocuSign. The system does it all automatically for you.
“The record for a customer saying they’d like a device to having the order signed, sealed and placed with the distributor is 35 minutes. The customer said I’d like this printer, they agreed a price, pressed the document, the finance got authorised, the customer signed the contract through DocuSign, it came back and it went straight to the distributor who placed the order. That took just 35 minutes and the unit was delivered the next day.”
Silvester says that one of EKM’s big strengths is having its own product development teams – it doesn’t outsource any development work. This, and the fact that some developers have worked on its products for 10-15 years, allows EKM to be responsive to customer requests.
Another selling point, he suggests, is EKM’s focus on building relationships with partners: “We see our resellers as partners; and we make a point of talking to them all.”
He says that this, as much as lead generation, is one of the big attractions of exhibiting at Tech Live, which EKM will be doing for the third time this September.
“There’s always the opportunity to win new business; that’s obviously a key thing. But being there also gives us the chance to show our face and to meet partners and customers in person to update them on what we’re doing, where we’re going, what the next year is going to bring. It’s always good to be able to do that, and it’s a lot easier to have your customers come to your stand for a chat than it is to drive around the country visiting each one individually.
“It’s good to meet your peers as well. We talk to our competitors, we talk to other companies, people that might be interested in partnerships and things like that, other vendors that could be sympathetic or with whom we have symbiotic relationships.”
Last year, for example, he had discussions with a number of finance partners, fellow exhibitors, who were interested in integrating with EKM’s subscription platforms.
“Everybody’s looking at the subscription economy and where it’s going. There’s even talk of taking a car on a per mile basis rather than on a PCP. Those conversations are being had out there and obviously if you can work out a way to finance something, you want to make it accessible for people to sign up to. Our subscription platform does that.”
This September, as well as trying to win new customers, EKM plans to show some of its latest builds and give updates on future developments. It will also be listening to what its partners have to say.
“We will be saying to partners ‘What do you want?’, ‘What are we missing?’, ‘What do you want us to put in the system?’. We have conversations along those lines, and, of course, especially in America, they’ve all got lots of ideas.”
To find out more about visiting or exhibiting at TechLive 23 on September 12, please visit www.technologylive.co.uk and hold the date.
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