“Have you ever tried to get into contact with a company, and you waited a long time on the phone until finally you got someone on the line who was able to help you? It can be quite a nuisance sometimes,” says Managing Director Thomas Lang, who is thrilled by the company’s ability to discover new horizons. He is convinced that artificial intelligence will be a solution to determine customer communication in the coming years.
The company’s focus is clearly on traditional products like service phone numbers, which form the basis for availability when it comes to service centers. In addition, innovative customer dialogue solutions based on artificial intelligence are part of daily operations at the company’s headquarters in Mainz.
dtms can look back on almost 20 years in the German telecommunications market. Its roots go back to the year 1998 when telecommunication was liberalized in Germany. In those years, service phone numbers like the 0800 numbers required an intelligent network.
“We were one of the first who had dealt with this issue before, so it did not come as a surprise that we were soon leading the way in this segment of telecommunications, introducing intelligent solutions that even today are miles ahead of the ones from other competitors,” says Mr. Lang.
In addition, dtms concentrates on software-based call management in call centers. “We created architecture and applications before, and thus it was the most sensible step to find a logic that would not just encourage questions but also generate answers,” explains Mr. Lang.
Looking at the product portfolio, dtms has continuously increased its presence, although it has operated under various ownerships in past years. Today, it is owned by the private equity fund Paragon in Munich.
“Since I have been on board, we have clearly focused on our core business, recently excluding sms operations and billing via the telephone bill. We have focused on a new strategy and have had to make some tough decisions, including restructuring our staff base. We have streamlined structures and procedures in order to face the challenges that will confront us in the future,” says Mr. Lang. “So, we have incorporated a new spirit that will carry us through the coming years, which will see the emergence of new artificial intelligence solutions in the field of customer call centers.”
Innovation has been key to reorganizing internal procedures as well, seeing the ongoing digitalization of the company’s sales operations and the automation of phone operations. While cutting waiting times in call centers using intelligent software solutions is only one of the company’s main activities, artificial intelligence has become top priority to take customer relationships to a new level.
“Digitalization is just the beginning, but we have established an artificial intelligence machine for chats and e-mails which we monitored for a long time before. It is self-learning, but it requires efficient material to start the learning process. However, over time, the machine will learn more and more by the day. Our software has integrated several elements. We started with e-mails, but by February we will be able to introduce vocal entries, which will be another major step towards artificial intelligence in the field of customer services. I am convinced that in the future customers will talk to machines, but they will not even notice,” explains Mr. Lang. “For me, this is not some kind of alienation, but these machines have a positive effect. We are talking about automation here. There will be more time to focus on creativity as companies are freed from many standard tasks. Machines really will bring relief to many corporate procedures.”
Over the years, dtms has developed into a specialist for total solutions when it comes to taking care of dialogue processes, and it has also patented its latest software on artificial intelligence. It might be considered a competitor by giants like Google and many start-ups in Silicon Valley, but its dominance on German-based footprint is still an important competitive edge.
“We aim to be the market leader in automation in the German-speaking market, and we might be acquired by an international company eventually. It is our objective to make ourselves known in the European market and to play in the Champions League,” stresses Mr. Lang. “dtms is truly a shining star in Germany, and there might be someone out there in Silicon Valley who sees our potential. We are really looking for an international context to blossom further. Recognizing our own capacities is the driving force that has helped us to maintain a fresh profile over many years in the market.”