Leeds-based travel industry technology specialist Zolv celebrated a year of success by scooping the Innovation in Travel Globe award.
The panel-judged award, sponsored by Travelport, was awarded for Zolv’s new Sales Assist technology developed to add a visual dimension to the sales process for call centre agents.
Having unveiled the new technology for the first time last year at Travel Technology Europe, Zolv has entered talks with a number of travel companies and the first trials are poised to start.
Sales Assist also scooped the Technological Innovation award at last year’s Travolution awards, the digital sister title of Travel Weekly.
Olly Wenn, Zolv managing director, said he felt the accolades were an endorsement of attempts to provide the trade with a much-needed innovation in an area that is important but often overlooked.
“I hear all the time how the call centre is increasingly important, especially for complex bookings, and yet it hasn’t really changed much in 10 or 15 years.
“We are not just talking about call centres here, but homeworkers are also a very important part of the mix. We want to talk to consortia who are supplying IT to their members.
“Agents can use this for stock content but also to introduce their own content as a real endorsement of their expertise and knowledge.
“As a pure tech company but focusing on travel, we are able to look at the problems the industry faces from an outsider’s point of view.
“The attitude has been that call centres do what call centres do; it takes a disruptive view to say why can’t it be married up with something else.”
Essentially the concept for Sales Assist is to offer agents selling over the phone the ability to exploit content like images and video as an agent would when sitting in front of a customer in a store.
The technology enables agent and customer to collaborate in a shared online session during which content can be sent directly to the customers’ screen during a sales call.
It can also allow the customer to send content like forms back to the agent in real time cutting down on errors.
Sessions are also stored so what was communicated to the customer during the session can be reviewed.
In addition to the Travel Weekly Globe and Travolution award Zolv has just achieved Microsoft silver partnership status for application development.
This is given to firms which have had its developers take Microsoft competency exams and through customer endorsements.
Wenn added: “We are just about to start pushing Sales Assist out to the market, so this is a great start to the year.
“At the Globes we had a room full of people pretty much everyone one of which is on our hitlist to talk to about Sales Assist.”