ReadyMode co-founder and CEO Jason Jantz
Formerly named XenCall, the cloud-based business is scaling up
Jason Jantz still remembers how his parents looked when he broke the news that he was going to take a job at a call centre. The Vancouverite, who had long had his heart set on being a ship pilot, was about to embark on a two-week tour with the Coast Guard through BCIT’s Marine Studies program.
“I took a Transport Canada physical, and it turned out that I’m completely colour-blind; at the time, I had no clue,” Jantz recalls. “There was definite disappointment in my parents’ faces when I told them I was going to work at a call centre instead.”
It ended up working out pretty well. Jantz climbed his way up in the industry before co-founding XenCall, a cloud-based platform that helps call centres perform better, in 2014. Since then, he’s grown the team to some 60 employees, most of them based in Vancouver.
But there are no plans to stop there. Today, the company announced that it will be rebranding to ReadyMode and has raised $4 million from ScotiaBank’s Technology & Innovation Banking arm to scale its operations.
The brand change has been in the works for about 18 months. “Our opportunity is here to make a shift upmarket and reposition ourselves,” explains Jantz, who serves as CEO. “We’re looking to move into enterprise—and as far as ReadyMode goes, it’s an industry term for when agents become available to start receiving calls.”
Jantz believes that’s fitting for his platform, which he says benefits both call centres and the agents that make them run. “The problem that we solve is agent productivity, which sounds kind of boring, but it’s really what we’re great at,” he says.
“From a contact centre perspective, agent productivity is really the key metric that they run their businesses on—how much time does my agent spend actually talking and engaging clients, versus sitting idle? That’s the real underlying problem the product solves.”
ReadyMode’s platform does that with what Jantz calls “three core approaches” in purpose-built customer relationship management (CRM) software, a predictive voice engine and a simplistic user interface.
“We’re able to earn a lot of business because our platform ultimately help agents work as well,” he says, noting that ReadyMode has about 1,900 call centre clients, almost all of which are based in the U.S., in markets like health care, insurance and real estate. “They like something more efficient, less bulky and with less process overhead so they can get on to next call as soon as possible.”
As for the funding, it’s the first such injection the business has seen since its launch. The money will mostly be directed at increasing ReadyMode’s headcount—it foresees getting to around 100 staff and plans to open a second brick-and-mortar office, in Montreal.
“Bringing in extra people will allow us to accelerate the growth we’ve projected, move faster, innovate more,” Jantz says. “We’re quietly doing research and development—there are a lot of exciting things coming to market for contact centres and voice, for sure.”
It’s a good thing that ReadyMode’s CEO seems more than capable of navigating those waters.