#22 Swampfox Technologies
Bob Cooper, CEO
Swampfox Technologies engineers Avaya Voice Portal- and Call Center-based products and platforms. The company was founded in 2009 by some of the original members of Conita Technologies, the startup that invented Avaya products. Located in Columbia, Swampfox Technologies works on any Avaya-related projects, with a focus on the healthcare and legal industries.
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
We saw a need in the customer service industry to build trust with our customers by proposing technically advanced solutions and then delivering them on time and on budget. We have followed this up by building a great organization of employees that are passionate about our customers.
What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
Enabling large companies to differentiate their goods and services through customer service. Today, many companies offer the same sets of products and services and what differentiates them is how they relate and communicate to their customers. Our solutions allow our customers to offer intelligent customer experiences to their end consumers. Once you do this, companies see their competitors delivering these kinds of results and they ask where they can “up their game” in customer service.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Keeping pace with the technology. In order to address this issue, we must hire exceptionally smart talent and continuously evolve our produce and service offerings.
What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Hire a good attorney and a good accountant—ones that work in your field and ones that work with entrepreneurs. Also, focus more on customer satisfaction than on profit margin. You also need to figure out what “system” you are going to use to run your business. Swampfox has adopted a system conceived by Gino Wickman called EOS—entrepreneurial operating system. It is not rocket science, but is a very pragmatic approach to how to structure many of the operational aspects of running a business. The way you run a business when there’s five of you is very different than how you do it when there’s 50. EOS helped us through this transition.
What is your strategy for innovation?
Continuously imagine how consumers will want to interact with supplies as new technology comes to the market and how our customers may offer services based on this potential trend. We then partner with our large customers to brainstorm and prototype potential go-to market offers that give them an early adopter advantage. This helps fund Swampfox R&D efforts and provides our clients early feedback on new technologies.
Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Yes. Many of the recruits we are after have job offers from Silicon Valley-based companies such as Google. Swampfox is able to compare the quality of life in South Carolina and the quality of our work environment to the typical high-tech cities, and as a result, we have an exceptionally strong story to tell. My first questions to a new grad who asks me about “why shouldn’t I go to work at xxx” is (1) what size house do you want to live in, (2) how long do you want your commute to be, and (3) do you like working in a cube. Swampfox has worked hard to build not only a great team culture but our facilities—a newly renovated 1900 power station—should be second to none. Coupling this with the atmosphere of a small company with marque big name customers allows us to attract many of the best and brightest graduates.
How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
We currently have 40 full time employees and six to 10 part-time and/or contract employees. Swampfox will likely hire five more this year.