Dimensional Insight has a network of global distributors to help us sell to industries all over the world. Over the last several months, we have profiled several of these distributors and introduced you to their businesses. All of our distributors play a vital role in expanding the Dimensional Insight brand to customers looking to gain valuable insights in their data.
Today, we introduce you to Remi Gagnon, managing director of Telesafe Asia Co., our main distributor in Southeast Asia. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, Telesafe Asia offers a wide range of business intelligence (BI) solutions in several industries. Remi sat down to tell us more about his company’s relationship with Dimensional Insight. He also discussed the future of business intelligence solutions.
Remi, tell us a little bit about Telesafe Asia.
I founded Telesafe Asia in 2003. At the time, I was already based in Thailand and decided to start my own business. I had a background mostly in telecom, so I initially focused on consulting services. In 2005, I was involved with a project with a telecom operator. E-Program, Dimensional Insight’s Australian partner that covered most of Asia, then introduced me to Dimensional Insight. Then in 2006, Dimensional Insight opened its Asia office in Hong Kong and we became a partner. Since then, Telesafe Asia gradually developed business in Thailand. We also work with Dimensional Insight’s Asia team to provide support to new partners and customers. Our sales team is led by Worachai Kuviwatchai and we also have two consultants who develop demos, POCs, and support the customers.
What do you do in your role?
I am the Managing Director of Telesafe Asia, but I still do a bit of everything. I work with the sales team to develop opportunities and follow-up on leads, help our consultants and partners with some of the technical work to perform some administrative tasks.
Do you focus on any particular industries?
Initially, we did not focus on any specific industry, but we have had significant success in retail and distribution. Two of our largest customers in Thailand are large public companies distributing consumer products. We are also trying to put more focus on the manufacturing sector as Thailand has a significant manufacturing base. We have also been involved with several projects in the Healthcare industry in the region.
What aspect of Diver do you find most appealing?
There are a few things I find really appealing about Diver. First, Diver is still one of the few BI tools that almost any computer literate person can pick and go from data to reports or dashboard without the need for extensive training. Many of the products we compete with require some form of programing skills for someone to develop a project.
Second, Diver is extremely stable. Once you have a system that is stable and running, it will run forever. I know of several customers in Asia where the system has been running for several years with very little intervention. Day after day, Diver will extract the latest data, rebuild the models and users access their reports without any interruption.
Third, Diver has found a way to remain Diver while being able to change and grow with a continuously changing business environment with users who are more demanding than ever. If we think of the early markers that customers used as reports in those days and a portal using the latest version of DivePort, they are miles apart. Yet these old markers are probably still compatible with the latest version. This is good news for customers as it ensures their investment is protected while allowing them to meet requirements that did not even exist when they first bought Diver.
What types of events do you participate in?
We are always busy, so we pick and choose trade shows that we think will bring the best return on investment. In the past, we have attended several exhibitions, including some for the healthcare industry, manufacturing, and also general software/IT exhibitions. In most cases, these events are always a good place to network and develop good leads.
Where do you see business intelligence heading in the future?
The use of BI tools is rapidly increasing and the business is going in many directions all at once. BI used to be something found only at large companies, but these days, more and more SMEs realize they need some form of BI in order to compete. This means the solutions need to scale down to be cost effective. In addition, cloud solutions will become more important in the future as they are often best equipped to serve smaller companies. At the other end, the larger companies have huge amount of data and want BI to become an integrated part of their business process. Big data is another trend while real-time information is also something that is becoming more important. Collaboration is also important for many customers.
Over time, another trend will be for an increased integration with business applications or other analytics tools like predictive analysis, or machine learning.
Can you comment on how developed the BI market is in Thailand?
The local market is evolving quite fast and becoming more sophisticated. It used to be that customers had no problem investing in hardware but would question any investments in software. We have mostly put this mentality in the past and customers now realize the value of business applications. One area where things are still different is when evaluating the ROI on the investment for a business application like BI. In the U.S., if you can reduce the demand on the IT team by providing a tool that supports self-service reporting, this can translate into significant savings and quickly justify the investments. Here, the cost for manpower is still very low compared to the U.S. Therefore, the justification can be quite different and is challenging.
What is the culture of Telesafe Asia like?
We are a small team, so everyone gets involved when we have a large project. We work well together as a team and enjoy our work, even when it requires long hours. Our customers come first, and we strive to provide the best support to them. While it’s not always easy, everyone in the office puts in the extra effort to keep our customers happy.
Our office is bilingual, most of the staff speak English quite well and I know some basic Thai. There can be some misunderstandings once in a while; however, most of the time, it ends with a laugh.