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Putting in the Hard Work for That Moment of Recognition

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

I recently attended an awards event organised by ISG where we collected Creative Virtual’s trophy for being named a Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ for Conversational AI. It was such an honour to be recognised as a leader in a field that contains such technology giants as Microsoft, IBM and Google. After so many virtual events, it was an unusual experience from the very beginning: putting on a business suit after 18+ months of varying degrees of lockdowns and restrictions; meeting so many people face-to-face in such close proximity; and the different ways people have modified their interactions.

There were certainly some different behaviours on display from the last awards ceremony I attended pre-pandemic. Some people wanted to shake hands, some preferred fist bumps, some people wore a mask between dinner courses and sips of wine. What wasn’t different was it being wonderful to celebrate the successes of all the companies being recognised.

Several speakers made jokes about their suits shrinking during the months of lockdown. As I looked around the room, there were certainly many nods of agreement to comments about the ‘Lockdown Bulge’. I had recently taken part in the London Marathon so felt somewhat smug! That got me thinking about the parallels of receiving corporate awards, like this honour from ISG, and completing a marathon.

Accepting an award on behalf of Creative Virtual is always an honour for me. Running a successful technology company with such a great and dedicated team and collaborating with some of the world’s leading organisations is a privilege. There is so much effort, over many years, that goes into making that brief moment possible. A brief moment of joy: stepping on stage, with the loud music and camera flashes, to collect the trophy. It is the same with running a marathon: all that training, the big push on race day which invariably includes pushing through the pain barrier at around the 20-mile mark, culminates in stepping across the finish line and collecting your medal.

All that hard work and dedication leads to that one moment of recognition and celebration. But I think the brevity of these moments is what makes them even more special. In our busy lives, when we’re in need of a boost, we can easily recall those climatic moments that put a smile on our faces. I believe that because these moments are so brief, we are driven to innovate more and train harder in order to experience more of them.

The Creative Virtual team is still hard at work to ensure we are delivering the conversational AI technology and expertise our clients and partners need for success. We are also living up to our status as industry leader by investing in the next generation of our V-Person™ technology. We aren’t doing all of this for awards and trophies, but being recognised by an important analyst group like ISG does provide a little extra motivation!

Congratulations to the global Creative Virtual team on being a Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ for Conversational AI! And thank you to the team at ISG for organising a wonderful evening of celebrations.

Check out ISG’s Conversational AI quadrant and report here to learn more about why they have named us an industry leader.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: An interesting evening with the Tech Track 100

By Rachel Freeman, Operations Director

Creative Virtual has been receiving a lot of accolades in the past few years and the challenge for a blog post is what to say to make each new title or award stand alone and special. We never want to be complacent, but our readers may be a little tired of hearing all the good news – or not?!

Making it onto The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 list at 72 was an honour simply because the numbers don’t lie and there is no judging panel doing the placements. The league table ranks Britain’s 100 private technology companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.

The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100The 2018 Tech Track list was published in September – read our official announcement here – but attending the awards ceremony was an added wow factor. The event was hosted at The Brewery in London on 6th November and had 294 guests in attendance from the 100 featured companies and sponsors.

Myself, Chris Ezekiel (Founder & CEO) and Peter Behrend (CTO) were in attendance together, but once the canapes were scoffed and a group photo of us taken, we were seated at separate tables with the objective to get all attendees to mingle and learn more about the 100 companies on the list by sitting and speaking to different representatives.

People at my table represented various sectors including trucking, AI (that would be us!), HR incentive packages, insurance, bill paying and venture capitalists. The mood at the event was tingling with drive and achievement and it was a buzz to sit amongst such a varied group of companies – ranging from the altruistic helping people with diabetes to devising ways to make hair removal simpler!

The speakers were interesting and luckily didn’t drag on; the food was noticeably absent of rubber chicken which meant that dinner was quite tasty. Advice from the speakers was offered including: always listen to your customer, ask probing questions, put in the hard graft, don’t give up on your idea and be prepared for the unexpected. The Founder of Candy Crush (a former Tech Track list member before going public) was amongst the speakers, and I found it interesting to hear how unprepared they were for the success that came to them after several years of being on the brink of closure.

Had there been time to sit amongst all 32 tables in the room, I’ve no doubt there would be a cartful of stories and advice and impressive tales of success. The time that we did have was fruitful and dare I say a bit fun if not definitively interesting. It’s a recognition that differs from the others in that the numbers put us on the list and we are then given the opportunity to shine and explain our story… our story is also a great one and whilst three of us were there at the event, we were representing the strong team behind us across the globe.