SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, Netflix fo-founder Mitch Lowe told a Utah audience that the key to a successful business was finding and solving "transactional stresses."
Of course, most people are familiar with how efficiently Netflix eliminated the trip to the video store and further enhanced our collective viewing by innovating technology, driven by artificial intelligence, to guess what movies and shows we might like to watch next.
Identifying those transactional stresses and helping companies abolish them is at the heart of so-called customer experience companies, and Utah has a rising reputation for creating some of the best companies out there. Qualtrics, Podium, InMoment and other efforts born and built in the Beehive State have carved out impressive successes in this new tech-created realm.
Now, a new business from veteran entrepreneur and founder of the long-running Utah-based advocacy group Women Tech Council, Cydni Tetro, is aiming to make it easy for technology companies to simulate and communicate how their emerging innovations will make things, well, easier.
Tetro said a wave of advancements in areas like facial recognition, artificial intelligence, machine learning and 5G service for mobile devices is set to fundamentally alter how individuals interact with companies they do business with, or even work for. And her company, ForgeDX, has created a way to simulate the experience of new technology even before it's implemented.
"We're providing the platform that lets customers and businesses see what the technology changes," Tetro said. "5G is a nebulous concept for most people, as is artificial intelligence or machine learning. We're able to simulate how new technology will integrate and enhance a customer's experience.
"And the reason that that’s so powerful is we live in a world where if you can create a visualization, and see something come to life, you understand the impact it will have."
ForgeDX's platform helps companies create presentations that simulate new technology.
Say your own a professional sports team and you want to create an interactive stadium sports experience where, once a fan has purchased tickets for an event, they get personalized, concierge-level guidance, that may rely on facial recognition tech, micro-location and artificial intelligence to ease your path. The near-future system might help you find a parking spot closest to your seat, get a birthday shout out on the Jumbotron for your kids and accommodate ordering merchandise and food that's delivered directly to your seat. Oh, and you just might be able to stream instant replays on your phone or weigh-in on a fan insta-poll about that last call the official made.
ForgeDX can, Tetro said, assemble all these technology-based add-ons in a simulation that re-creates before its happened exactly how they will shape and enhance the experience of that sports fan.
And the platform is designed to be infinitely adaptable to work for whatever business sector a client happens to be in. Financial services, hospitality, health care, retail and others have all already started making use of the ForgeDX simulations.
Tetro said the company launched quietly a little over a year ago, and she and her executive team made the decision to fly under the radar, working with early clients from the Fortune 20 and Fortune 100 list of companies, to evolve and develop the tool. And so far, it's been a huge hit.
"We were able to achieve break-even status by the end of our first year," Tetro said. "And we anticipate growing our client list and revenues by a factor of three or four in the coming year."
One of those happy clients is information technology giant Cisco Systems. Devin Hood, director of digital marketing at Cisco, said ForgeDX was revolutionizing the ability of the company to share how new technologies it's developing can help create positive customer experiences.
"The product that Cyd and her team have been developing has had an incredible impact on our digital organization and sales team," Hood said. "When we began using ForgeDX in August of last year, our team who specializes in customer demos was amazed at the power and capabilities of the product. It is a new and unique way to showcase the power of our technology and digital capabilities to our customers and internal stakeholders."
Tetro has previously launched and run tech companies working in emerging tech like 3D printing and worked for Disney in helping integrate technological innovations to improve and enhance guest experiences. She said ForgeDX is not only helping companies visualize how to create better and more satisfied customers, but playing a role in getting that technology in the hands of consumers much more quickly.
"We think about the platform as being able to create these interactive digital simulations and what you’re simulating is how the new technology can change the customer's experience," Tetro said. "And, that's helping to accelerate the adoption of these new technologies."