On the lighter side of things, we caught up with Tikal Center’s CEO, Doron Dovrat, to find out what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
Answering this question brings back good memories. Early in my career, I made the transition to management and in my first role as a CEO I was responsible for a young technology company. This company was involved in remote monitoring and had developed an advanced application for a new market space.
I led the company to a successful IPO. At the time, we were the first Israeli company to go public on the AIM stock exchange in London. This was an exciting time for me professionally as well as those involved in the company. We raised enough capital to implement our strategic plan and build an extensive sales channel network across many markets around the world, which I am proud to say led to significant sales and profitability.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
My interest in technology actually began in high school. During my last year of studies, I took an introductory course in programming. Fortunately, the teacher was inspirational and I enjoyed the challenge and creativity that was involved in designing solutions. Until today, I still enjoy the excitement of applying new and varied technologies in order to build innovative solutions for different market needs.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
My approach is to combine my own willingness to be involved in all the company’s activities while allowing the company’s managers to have the freedom they need to achieve success. I know that these two elements can sometimes be contradictory, although finding the correct balance between them, which isn’t a trivial matter, is the key to success.
In general, the staff of a company is its most important asset and one of the main roles of a CEO is to put together the best possible team. Here at Tikal Center, we have a strong team that I trust. In my role as CEO, I am well aware of my responsibility for leading this team to achieving the company’s strategic goals. As part of this, I value teamwork among employees and within the management team, which always leads to making better decisions and producing great results.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
Buzzwords like Digital Transformation, customer experience, omnichannel and so on are constantly being discussed in the contact centre space and are attracting a lot of attention, especially in the media.
Yes, these are very important issues, although sometimes they are not fully understood or at least clearly defined.
With this said, we see that companies are looking for ways to make their Unified Communications infrastructure and subsequent processes as efficient as possible. Internal and external communications have a lot of moving parts and businesses now want to simplify the way they communicate as much as possible without compromising customer satisfaction.
The demand we are experiencing is coming from the request for solutions that are easy to implement, manage and use. Customers no longer want heavy implementations that take extended periods to complete and expect that their enterprise technologies will be as app-like as possible. Technologies that run from the cloud and include self-configuration and self-service options are very important today. We are experiencing this demand from all customer segments, especially from our mid-market and SMB customers, as well as our go-to-market partners.
Another area that is growing in importance is agent satisfaction. Agent satisfaction is often overlooked, although rather important given the burnout and turnover rates businesses experience with their customer support staff.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
For many years, I have been using exercise as a good method for dealing with stress. Long walks, especially at the beach, help me clear my mind and organise my thoughts. I have played the piano for a number of years which I also find relaxing. Of course, I very much enjoy every moment I spend with my family.
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be?
I can’t say there is one particular incident that stands out in my mind. However, like everyone and with the benefit of hindsight, there are several things that I could or should have done differently. I have never hesitated to take personal responsibility for a mistake or incorrect decision. This is an important message that I also convey to my staff. Maintaining integrity is an important value and mistakes are an opportunity to improve and grow.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Clearly, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are two technologies that are rapidly being incorporated into contact centre technologies. Like in many other sectors, AI and Machine Learning are enabling the automation of processes and personalisation of services as well as expanding the capacity of analytics.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
I would say that our success has come from maintaining strong partnerships with local representatives in specific markets. Our local partners and representatives help us to understand the local business culture in each country across Europe, especially with decision-making processes, timeframes and pricing sensitivities. Strong local partners for all pre-sales and post-sales activities are especially important in Europe. This is the base of our go-to-market strategy and the way we work in most markets around the world.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
Over the past year, Tikal Center has made its first significant steps towards becoming a global player. We have started sales around the world, most recently in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. We have strong expectations that this growth will accelerate in 2019 driven by these strategic partnerships we have in local markets. One of our objectives for the near future is to replicate these successes in new territories.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
First, make sure that you love what you do otherwise you are going to suffer without accomplishing your goals.
Learn as much as you can and ‘think big’ – try to see the bigger picture and act accordingly, contributing to your company as much as you can. Not only with hard work but also with new and creative ideas.
Never forget to be nice and listen to your team at all levels of the company’s hierarchy.
Never give up. Try to be creative and save no efforts to always find the best solution and not the first one that comes to mind.