Machine learning and analytics technology specialist Inside Sales has revealed plans to bring its cloud-powered sales acceleration platform to the European market.
Inside Sales, which counts Tegile, LogMeIn and Hanover Insurance Group as customers, will use part of a £60m round of funding from Microsoft and Salesforce to set up a European headquarters in London.
Dave Elkington (pictured), founder and chief executive of Inside Sales, told V3 the company sees significant potential in the UK to scale up its business, which has grown by 100 percent a year in the last four years.
"The UK is one of the fastest growing economies in the G7. I think there's more talent here than most people realise, so we're going to [set up] European headquarters in the UK, and this is our stepping point into the rest of Europe," he said.
Elkington explained that Inside Sales sees Britain as a significant area of business growth, given how the company's sales acceleration platform can help UK-based salespeople work faster and more efficiently, which he believes they are not currently doing.
"If you think about it people in the UK work longer hours than anywhere in Europe, but it's about working smarter," he said.
"The UK is one of the fastest growing economies, but [there is] talk about how productivity is still lagging. I think we have an opportunity to drive productivity and help increase growth in the UK."
This European expansion has involved the appointment of Martin Moran (pictured right) as Inside Sales' EMEA general manager, who brings significant experience heading the sales arms of Skype, Oracle and Salesforce.
Elkington revealed that Inside Sales will open a data centre in the UK with ambitions to invest in more facilities in other European countries.
This move will allow Inside Sales to apply its machine learning platform to data that is constrained in data centres inside national or European borders owing to the continent's stricter regulations.
Moran explained that Inside Sales is working with European authorities to ensure that its technology meets the data regulation requirements of specific nations and regions.
"We have a whole programme to meet the needs of a multitude of markets," he said.
Elkington added: "Different regions in different markets are going to require us to treat data differently. You're going to find we're on the safe side of doing what's appropriate."
Microsoft's support was more than just funding, as Inside Sales' machine learning technology helps aggregate data from Microsoft's Dynamics CRM system and allows that data to be used with the firm's Power BI visual analytics tool.
Data from Inside Sales was used during a developer preview of Office 2016 at Microsoft's Convergence 15 to showcase how Microsoft can help salespeople to work more efficiently.
Microsoft is pursuing an empowerment strategy based on integrated cloud and data use, making it likely that the development of its productivity applications will complement the growth of Inside Sales.
Author's view: With support from Microsoft and Salesforce, rather than an acquisition, Inside Sales is clearly a company with potential.
But more interesting is the company's decision to base its European operations in the UK, particularly in London where space is at a price premium.
Such a move is indicative of the health of the UK's technology market, having seemingly overcome the ravages of the recession, and the attractive base it offers US companies beyond the technology hub of San Francisco and the West Coast.
The UK's technology clusters are growing at a rapid rate, and I would not be surprised to see more US-based companies setting up operations on British soil.
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