Local Tech Series: Research Triangle, NC
For those not familiar, there’s a region in North Carolina known as The Research Triangle, an area encompassing the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill (and/or Cary, depending on who you talk to). Since the 1950s, these cities have nurtured a strong focus on tech-centric research and development, and today are home to many high tech and life sciences companies like Red Hat, Cisco Systems and Pfizer. However, the fact that the area harbors so much innovation is hardly the result of like-attracting-like; it was all part of the plan.
The Research Triangle
In 1887, Raleigh became the founding site for the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which would later become North Carolina State University. Today, the school is known for having a strong engineering program, wholly unsurprising given the climate of the area. The Research Triangle is also home to a couple of other little schools — perhaps you’ve heard of them: Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All of this leads to a single conclusion: the Research Triangle is a virtual nexus of technological prowess. While the number of tech companies based in the area is vast, I have a word count to respect so here’s a quick look at a handful of players in the Research Triangle’s awesome local tech scene.
Via Pendo Facebook page
What: Customer Engagement
How: Detailed analytics. Here’s the thing: you can build a site that serves a purpose, but if people can’t figure out how to use it, it doesn’t do anyone any good. In a very ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it start the sales cycle if it can’t find your CTA’ way, Pendo specializes in a plethora of tools that go beyond the typical here’s-where-people-are-getting-confused data. It’s all about considering analytics to be a what’s working + what’s not = what you should do next equation, and luckily, Pendo is here to do the math.
Something Cool: Pendo is comprised of extensive solutions focused on product management, user experience, customer success and support tools, ensuring that no potential opportunity for success falls through the cracks.
Via PrecisionHawk Facebook page
What: Aerial Data Analysis
Traditional surveying methods are costly and time-consuming, requiring man-power, coordinated schedules and specific equipment. Instead, PrecisionHawk captures and records extremely detailed aerial images of these work sites, allowing companies in segments like agriculture, insurance and engineering to get a better lay of the land (literally). The drone can be equipped to record images in a number of different settings, from regular images all the way to heat signature readings.
Something Cool: There’s not much that isn’t cool about this company, to be honest. Not only are they solving problems in a truly unique way, but they’re doing it with FLYING ROBOTS YOU GUYS. And you know how I feel about robots.
Via ArchiveSocial Facebook page
What: Social Media Archiving
How: By now, we all know that nothing on the internet truly goes away (insert a moment of silence for Tom Hardy’s MySpace page). If a company decides to use social media to interact with and engage their customer base, a certain level of precaution should be taken. Businesses can be held accountable for every social post they make, which is where ArchiveSocial steps in. Not only do they archive all social posts, as their name would suggest, but they give you the chance to replay the social exchange as it originally happened. Why would you need that? Because —
Something Cool: ArchiveSocial never forgets that context is key. Saving entire conversation threads, photos and providing the ability to watch videos keeps a company’s social interactions in the same context as they were originally presented, no matter how much time has passed.
Windsor Circle, Inc
Via Windsor Circle, Inc Facebook page
Who: Windsor Circle, Inc
What: Predictive Lifecycle and Retention Marketing
How: If you’re an eCommerce retail company, getting the sale is your main goal— however, it’s also only half the battle. Repeat sales and return customers are what make a business not just successful but sustainable. Windsor Circle goes beyond typical marketing automation and implements a slew of immensely helpful tools like predictive analytics, behavior tracking and abandoned cart recovery.
Something Cool: Windsor Circle has a whole set of tools focused on Retention Automation, letting businesses customize campaigns (like Best Customer, First Purchase or Win-Back) in order to best suit the specific circumstances of each customer retention scenario.
Via Automated Insights Facebook page
Who: Automated Insights
What: Natural Language Generation
How: One might not immediately think ‘artificial intelligence’ when considering different kinds of business-related software, and that’s where Automated Insights wants to change your mind. Wordsmith, Automated Insight’s artificial intelligence platform, takes a company’s data and turns it into content that reads as if it were written by a person. By looking at a specific customer base and the general sales cycle stages they go through, the platform can deliver personalized content that speaks specifically to any given target audience.
Something Cool: Wordsmith delivers both quality and quantity. The platform boasts an unlimited content creation scale, and that content can go live within hours of its generation. And did I mention it mimics human language? Because it mimics human language.
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
While these five companies just happened to be the ones that caught my eye, they are hardly the beginning of the list, and to say I’ve only ‘scratched the surface’ would probably be one of the greatest understatements of the year. With so many companies finding their start in the area, and so much local support to nurture their success, the Research Triangle is an undisputed power player in the tech world. North Carolina might not be the very first place that comes to mind when thinking about major tech hubs, but by all means, it should be.
Feature image courtesy of Mark Turner
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