Webhelp Appoints Co-CEO of Digital Content Services

Webhelp Appoints Paul Danter Co-CEO of Digital Content Services to Lead Expansion in the Americas

PARIS — October 5, 2021 — Webhelp, a leading global provider of customer experience (CX) and business solutions, has announced the appointment of Paul Danter as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Digital Content Services (DCS). In this new role jointly leading the global DCS practice alongside Chloe de Mont-Serrat, Paul will be responsible for developing Webhelp’s digital content services business to support U.S. clients with services, including content management and moderation, digital activation, and data annotation.

Webhelp’s growth strategy includes expanding its service offerings to support new and existing clients in the U.S., where many of the leading tech companies operate. These services are especially valuable for platform businesses that are responsible for millions of customers’ data and digital experiences.

A seasoned professional with experience in software development and digital services, Paul most recently served as the CEO of RWS Moravia, the fastest-growing company in translation and localization, where he worked with many of the largest technology companies in the world. Before Moravia, Paul worked in the converging areas of content and mobile, where he joined forces with technology leaders, media companies, publishers and broadcasters, as they evolved to support their digital audiences.

Paul shared why he’s excited to join Webhelp, “I first met the Webhelp management team a few years ago and was impressed with what they were building and how they were doing it. It was clear Webhelp’s enviable culture played a huge role in driving phenomenal growth and success. I could sense the company’s spark was driven by an exciting team and strong leadership, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.”

“Since then, I’ve worked with companies to provide seamless digital customer journeys and look forward to using this knowledge to drive truly transformational change for our clients. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Webhelp family and am excited to design and deliver unforgettable human experiences in today’s digital landscape.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Paul to the team and look forward to co-leading the digital content services business across the Webhelp group. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the digital space will no doubt play a pivotal role in accelerating the growth of the business and especially in the U.S.,” said Chloe de Mont-Serrat, Webhelp’s Co-CEO of Digital Content Services.

“I’m thrilled that Paul has joined the team during such an exciting period as we are expanding our reach in the U.S. and continue to strengthen our digital and technology-driven customer experience offering. Paul will also play a role in developing new areas of the business to expand our offering and capability. This is an exciting step for the DCS practice, and I am truly delighted to welcome Paul into the Webhelp family,” commented Sandrine Asseraf, Group Managing Director, Webhelp Americas.

About Webhelp

Webhelp designs, delivers, and optimizes unforgettable human experiences for today’s digital world – creating game-changing customer journeys. From sales to service, content moderation to credit management, Webhelp is an end-to-end partner across all B2C and B2B customer journeys. Its 90,000 passionate employees across more than 50 countries thrive on making a difference for the world’s most exciting brands. Webhelp is currently owned by its management and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (Euronext: GBLB), a leading global investment holding, as of November 2019.

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5 Mistakes start-ups should avoid when building their B2B sales engine

When creating a B2B startup, a solid sales strategy is obviously a critical success factor.

Rushing to build your B2B sales strategy or missing some key processes in your sales team training or target identification processes could undermine your initial efforts to build your product and promote it.

Whether you’re looking to acquire your first customers or to improve your sales operations in a period of strong growth, here are some mistakes to avoid when establishing your B2B sales engine, picked by our expert Julie Cadalen


Webhelp Oneshot Technology CX

Discover the 7th edition of our OneShot magazine on Technology

Our 7th edition of the OneShot is here!

Download your OneShot Magazine

Webhelp Oneshot Technology Customer Experience Relation

“Let’s talk about the well-being of your customers and employees. Because well-being has become a central challenge for brands.
At Webhelp, we believe digital technology must be oriented around this axis. Technology can really make life easier, to the benefit of both women and men.
As you will discover in these pages, today there is a lot of evidence of its effectiveness – and not only in the context of the «maintaining of bonds» that we are going through.
There are also new avenues that deserve to be actively explored, And this is what we are doing, with and for you, as part of numerous experiments.
What is the goal of our Technology department? To make technology an ally, entirely to benefit the well-being of your customers and employees.
An exciting project!”

Discover through this 7th edition technological innovations that humanize customer relations, facilitating the work of our advisors, and always to the benefit of final customers.

You will also find testimonies and advice from experts: Massimo Dutti, Vattenfall, Samsung…

What are the latest technological trends that are worth a look?

What are the conditions for successful technology integration?

And let’s not forget Webhelp’s vision and ambition: transparency, security, data and, of course, the human touch.

Summary

  • A word – SXO
  • A number – Zero
  • Three opinions – Technologies that humanize the customer experience (Yan Noblot, Massimo Dutti, Vattenfall)
  • Some info – How Toyota operates predictive customization ?
  • A demo – Home: a place to live, a place to sell
  • A B-case – How Webhelp proposed and deployed an intelligent tool… to facilitate the work of Samsung Electronics advisors
  • A hashtag – #VideoChat
  • An offer – Telecats, the voice of the customer as a path to action
  • A meeting – the WorldSummit AI
  • A conversation – A weapon of seduction to re-enchant commerce in the city
  • A story – Lego : in what world are you playing?
  • A perspective – For efficient and benevolent technologies

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Protect dealers and buyers on classified ad platforms

Consumer content is instrumental in influencing both purchase decision making and the popularity of online businesses.

The trust and safety of users online is crucial in today’s digital world. Classified ads platforms like gumtree and craigslist are increasingly popular for users to publish ads to share or gain information, or sell unwanted, used and new items to generate an income. Therefore, the trust and safety of users on these platforms is significant.

To ensure users are provided with a safe and seamless journey, it requires a balance of technology and human intervention to manage content at each step.

This paper looks at some of the pain points in the classified ads space, highlighting the typical industry reactions and insights into how Webhelp can offer a comprehensive and game changing solution with expert content moderators.

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Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact the author

Benefits of integrated Content Management for Retail

Fierce competition, fostered by the necessity for shoppers to go online during the consecutive lockdowns across the globe, calls for key differentiators and operational excellence for ecommerce, marketplace, and classified ads platforms.

These now well-established players, ruffled by constant newcomers, aim to provide the lowest prices to their customers, but low profit margins do not allow them to always reach a lower selling price than their neighbors. Another key pillar for them to stand out is offering an even smoother online user experience. But how is it possible for the users to live an experience that is comparable to an in-store purchase, once they have been attracted to their website?

At first, Content Management seems to be a relatively simple concept, especially when applied to retail: it is important to have consistent information on products shown to the clients, in the right place at the right moment. If a customer is not able to find it on one marketplace or ecommerce platform (this can also happen to classified ads, to a lesser extent), but they are able to find it on a different one selling it for a similar price, they would not bother returning to the original website to make that purchase. Therefore, it’s important to retrieve all product information from different sources by skilled and industry-specialized content managers who are also able to run promotions or discounts, update prices, and take down sold-out products. This is what is commonly called catalog management.

This enables retailers to be efficient at organizing their products by ensuring consistency and quality information is displayed across different channels. Moreover, the combination of dedicated software with skilled content managers facilitates a collaboration between the advisor and retailer for a smooth online experience.

These three software tools significantly refines this whole process:

  1. Digital Asset Management: These tools will help different teams across an organization to easily operate together in an organized way, and modify media files such as images, documents, and videos.
  2. Product Information Management: They centralize the details that customers, platforms, or employees need to know about the products they are selling.  Syndication allows the data to be shared across all sellers, channels and languages. Managing it well is a lever to the localization of your catalog.
  3. Content Management Systems: These are essential to create consistent online user experiences. Their collaborative features support the organization of workflows and queues, as well as the ability to create, store, edit and publish web content. Moreover, they allow to put this online content into context.

With the three of these software tools combined, it is possible to offer a smoother online experience that is closer to in-store. It facilitates teams to have an exact idea of their stocks, a close connection to their CRM, and flawless ad equation between online and offline stocks for the whole organization. By using this data, it enhances the customer experience by being able to analyze and forecast trends.

The three immediate impacts:

  • It is possible to show more relevant recommendations to any specific customer
  • Avoids huge disappointments when a product that was displayed as available on the website – has just been sold or ordered in a shop
  • The retailer is able to have an integrated view of the performance of its products to then act upon it.

Automation and tools play a critical role in this process, but reactive content managers with the ability of retrieving information in an ad-hoc manner if the software is missing information is key, as one will not be able to work as efficiently as you would want it to.

This strategic stock management, that can only be allowed due to integrated Content Management, can be pushed even more when a retailer is present across different markets with different languages. To offer a best-in-class experience, customers need to feel close to the company’s values, which are mostly embodied by marketing strategies and the salesperson who is selling the product to you in a shop.

Online, this can be done through an accurate localization plan following trends analysis, based upon which digital asset works, in which context (placed by the content manager at the right time).

Thinking about its Content Management strategy as unified and collaborative, making use of the right combination of tools and the right people to enact it, is a lever to gain competitive advantage in a space that is getting more and more saturated. Consumers are searching for companies they resonate with, that are capable of not only understanding their needs but also predicting them.

The link to CRMs makes even more sense when the retailers know that a product lifespan is about to reach its end, and then offers to renew its purchase for example. Those smart ways of engaging with customers, which can only be facilitated by integrated Content Management – should be the go-to for any online platform aiming to remain competitive in the market.

Finding a partner like Webhelp, who is conscious of the different technologies available on the market and is able to find, train and nurture the right profiles that fit to your brand, with the ability to develop your digital strategy, is becoming more important than ever. Whether you are a retailer selling your products across multiple platforms or you are a platform yourself.

Talk to us today about how Webhelp’s Digital Content Services can help you deliver best-in-class online experience to your customers through designing the best mix of technology and people.


 

Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact the author
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Protect your community of dealers and buyers in the online marketplace

Managing content at each step of the online marketplaces’ customer journey

Protecting users online is crucial for businesses. It’s imperative to have a safe and secure platform for a seamless experience, and provide customers with trustworthy content to engage throughout the customer journey.

Did you know: 67% of consumer’s fears towards the sharing economy are related to trust, and 73% of people are unlikely to return to a site if ads have poor descriptions?

This paper looks at some of the pain points in online marketplaces, highlighting how Webhelp can offer a comprehensive and game changing solution to ensure a smooth and efficient experience.

Download our insights to learn more and discover our solutions.


 

Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

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Data revolution: how APIs can and should accelerate your Digital Transformation

Colin Clive, Director of Platforms & Engineering, looks at the history of APIs, and the value they can and should bring to your business.

APIs: a history

The Application Programming Interface or API as it is more commonly known refers to the modern approach of using HTTP to provide access to data. APIs allow software applications and digital services to talk to each other. They return and send raw data, which can be in a standard machine readable format, and are primarily used to support the integration of systems. Modern Web APIs became mainstream in the early 2000s when new start-ups such as Salesforce, Amazon, and eBay published Web APIs to make services available to customers and third party providers.

Since then, APIs have been behind the technology revolution in a number of sectors, and has improved the customer experience in each of these sectors. This includes Financial Services, where the use of Open Banking opened up commerce and payments, and Social Media, where APIs became the power behind the platforms used by giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

You can find more information here on APIs including a link to a popular dissertation on Representational State Transfer (REST) by Roy Fielding, which laid the foundations of Web APIs that we use today.

The Value that APIs can Bring

When an organisation can make it simple to exchange information both internally and externally, it opens up massive opportunities. It is a misconception that APIs are only there to be used by Technology professionals to build applications. They can also be used simply to provide access to a wide range of data sets. To enable this, it is important to make the APIs accessible to non-developers using API tooling that doesn’t require any knowledge of coding.

A simple and powerful starting point is to outline clear instructions, detailing how to use the APIs and where to find to them. Extending this simple concept to your partners or customers opens up the provision of data and digital capabilities outside the organisation, without the need for time consuming and expensive technology integrations.

Of course, with increased interconnectivity comes increased security risk, and APIs are no different. It’s vitally important that organisations employ API security best practices, including API gateways and data encryption, to ensure the APIs are accessible to those who need them, and nobody else.

How APIs can accelerate Digital Transformation

Simplicity is the key to innovation and accelerating Digital Transformation. The focus of the Technology team should be to remove the backend complexity and provide a catalogued suite of APIs that will open up functionality and data to clients and partners.

However, this is not just about Technology. In an API-first organisation, the API strategy should be linked to and driven by business needs, with business owners defining the details of the API contracts, i.e. the data to be sent or received, how it is requested, and the events that allow the data to be sent or received.

With the technology in place and the key business experts involved in defining and prioritising, the capabilities to be integrated through APIs will allow for innovation, and the unlocking of value, at a rapid pace. Working in collaboration with clients to react to changing customer needs through already created and available APIs will accelerate the speed of achieving digital transformation.

What we’re doing at Webhelp

In business process outsourcing, the seamless integration of data and functionality between the client and the outsourcer is paramount to providing the best Customer Experience and insight.

With this in mind, Webhelp is currently putting in place an API infrastructure and deploying an API Gateway to manage, secure, and monitor a rich suite of APIs that will be available internally and – more importantly – externally, to our partners and clients. With an initial focus on data exchange, we will provide an open and secure mechanism over the public internet to allow the common data required for seamless operational reporting and business intelligence through Partner APIs.

We will provide a standard suite of APIs that will be accessible, catalogued, and simply defined using common industry standards. This will allow our clients and partners to use the APIs from Day 1 without the need of any timely and costly IT set up. All that is required is access to a reliable and performant internet connection.

 

Nothing stands still. The ability to develop new APIs and change existing APIs at pace to drive digital transformation, will require a shift from a traditional monolithic design to a cloud-native design supported by modern technology. To support this, Webhelp are moving to a modern enterprise digital platform, leveraging the best practice in the technology industry. This platform, combined with a team of highly skilled engineers using Development, Security and Operations (DevSecOps) to deliver securely at speed, will provide the ability to deploy APIs to the business, and to partners, at lightning speed.


AI content

Impact of AI on online content moderation

We have all heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the numerous potentials impacts it will or already has on our daily lives.

Machine Learning through Data Annotation is teaching computers to recognize what we show them, what we say, and how to react accordingly.

When trained well, the impacts it could have on online Content Moderation seem quite straightforward at first. Nonetheless, we will see that AI brings opportunities in the field as well as new challenges, not forgetting that we are only witnessing its genesis – there is still great room for improvement.

Implementing the process, but not totally developed yet

Virtually, AI seems to be a no-brainer as it will take the hit on the most sensitive contents. It will work as a fully impartial chooser instead of moderators having to approve or deny harmful posts.

This is currently put into practice within Webhelp – thanks to our in-house technology handling a growing part of the incoming User-Generated Contents, and attributing priority levels for moderators to take care of the most urgent ones first.

We have established that if AI obtains total control over what can appear on the internet, it will start to get messy very quickly. 2020 pushed tech giants to send workers home and to rely on algorithms to moderate their platforms. As soon as this happened, issues were observed across the two extremes. In fact, on Twitter, there was a steep increase of 40% of hate speech in France, while Facebook and Google both doubled the number of pieces of content flagged as potentially harmful material from Q1 to Q2.

Several examples of artificially intelligent moderators failing their tasks have been observed as not being able to understand human expressions in the first instance, such as irony, sarcasm, or more striking and unambiguously harmful words, however when they are put into context they reveal to be harmless.

This happened over a live chess game on YouTube which has been taken down due to hate speech, but only chess strategy was talked about. The limitations Artificial Intelligence encounters start to fade away as researchers from the University of Sheffield are starting to successfully integrate context in Natural Language Processing algorithms. This technology will be able to detect the differences of languages across communities, races, ethnicities, genders and sexualities, but as Ofcom says: “Developing and implementing an effective content moderation system takes time, effort and finance, each of which may be a constraint on a rapidly growing platform in a competitive marketplace”.

Beneficial in fighting discrimination and derogatory speech online

Following an objective of moderating online content solely through Artificial Intelligence, several start-ups are arising in the market with ever-improving AI-driven solutions. Bodyguard is a great example of this new generation of players implementing technology fighting hate speech and other ailments. The platforms themselves have started developing their own tools: Pinterest unveiled AI that powers its Content Moderation and highlighted its benefits since its implementation: over a year, non-compliant reports have declined by 52% and self-harm content by 80% in the past two years. As we already mentioned, the quality and the quantity of labelled data is key -Facebook, thanks to 1 billion Instagram photos, has also succeeded in developing an innovative image-recognition AI system aiming at moderating the platform almost instantly. As it has just been launched, we are not able to appreciate SEER’s (SElf-supERvised) direct effects on the platform yet.

Watching out for the deepfakes

While these new technologies have potential for positive impact on Content Moderation, they have also created new challenges which plenty of us have already come across, growingly without even noticing it: deepfakes. When analyzing the credibility of content sources, AI can more easily recognize a bot that would be used by malicious users to amplify disinformation, and we can reasonably assume that it would do so for AI-created deepfakes. This issue is way more difficult to detect for the human eye, but appropriately trained moderators, supported by the right AI-driven tools is the perfect combination to complement purely automated or purely human moderation, quickly and effectively.

The first big reveal when it comes to this technology is Microsoft’s deepfake detection tool which has been trained on over 1,000 deepfake video sequences from a public dataset, in a similar manner Facebook has trained its moderation AI. Disruptors also enter the market: platforms like Sensitivity.ai are specialized in detecting face-swaps and other deepfakes which can have deep impacts on the political scene for instance. In fact, the most famous and recent example of deepfake was the face swap of Tom Cruise on Chris Ume’s body and which effect was that it impressed a consequent part of the internet and went viral. When applied to politic speeches, debates or else from official, the impacts could be way more considerable.

AI is not the silver bullet – there’s still room for improvement

Artificial Intelligence is a solution for greater accuracy and efficiency in Content Moderation. Nonetheless, it must not be forgotten that there is still huge room for improvement, as well as growing challenges because of its development for malicious purposes. It is important for any social platform and online community to appreciate how central Artificial Intelligence is becoming in the Moderation field, as both a threat and an opportunity.

Reacting accordingly by getting the right combination of human moderators and technological solutions is in fact needed, as the possibility the impacts on real life and brand image it could generate might rapidly become overwhelming.

 

Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact the author
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Job platform match: attracting companies and job seekers using content management & moderation solutions

If the job-matching process is smooth, companies will trust your platform and so will job-seekers.

The trust and safety of users online is crucial in today’s digital world. As 2020 shifted society to online and seek for jobs all across the internet, user-generated content is fast becoming a powerful and flexible tool to enhance job-matching capabilities and attract users to these job ads platforms.

This paper looks at some of the pain points in the the job ads space, highlighting how Webhelp can offer a comprehensive and game changing solution to ensure a smooth and efficient experience.

Download insights

Bots, Bias & Bigotry: safe scaling of AI

In the first of our Risk & Innovation series, James Allen examines the barriers to overcome when scaling AI.

Now that we’re well into the fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0), we expect to see some fundamental shifts in how businesses operate and serve their customers.

Here’s what we see as the three big pillars of Industry 4.0:

  1. Digitisation of product and service offerings
  2. Digitisation and integration of supply / value chains
  3. Digital business models and customer access

 

The shift toward Industry 4.0 has become more important to many brands, and has accelerated during the Covid crisis as a result of significant changes in supply chain and consumer behaviour.

In fact, a recent McKinsey survey highlighted that 65% of respondents see Industry 4.0 as being more valuable since the pandemic, with the same survey revealing that the top 3 strategic objectives for Industry 4.0 are:

  1. Agility to scale operations up or down in response to market-demand changes (18.4%)
  2. Flexibility to customize products to consumer needs (17.2%)
  3. Increase operational productivity and performance to minimise costs (17.2%)

Yet when the same respondents were asked if they had successfully scaled Industry 4.0 initiatives, only 26% had managed to do so successfully.

 

According to Rothschild & Co, the market for Industry 4.0 is expected to top 300 billion dollars, and with AI and connectivity projected to reduce manufacturing costs by 20% (or 400 billion dollars), it’s essential that companies find a way to scale safely, at pace.

Artificial Intelligence evolution

AI has been in development for years, starting with the first computers in the 1940, with which scientists and mathematicians began to explore the potential for building an electronic brain. In 1950, the “Turing Test” proposed that if a machine could carry on a conversation that was indistinguishable from a conversation with a human being, then it was reasonable to say that the machine was “thinking”. This simplified version of the problem allowed Alan Turing to argue convincingly that a “thinking machine” was at least plausible, and the paper answered all the most common objections to the proposition.

Fast forward many years, and many millions of pounds of research investment, and in 1997 perhaps the first publicly recognised AI computer was developed. This came from IBM in the form of Deep Blue – a chess-playing computer that beat the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

But machines like Deep Blue were incredibly complex, extremely expensive, and inaccessible to all but a few large technology companies. In the past few years, however, the interest and opportunity presented by AI within Industry 4.0 has exploded.

This is due to a number of factors:

  • Wider availability of computing and access to cloud environments with large processing power
  • Development of deep learning algorithms
  • Big Data platforms
  • Development of Artificial General Intelligence

AI – learnings and barriers to scale

Whilst many companies see the potential presented by AI, companies are also rightly concerned by the risks that it presents, as well as the barriers they need to overcome when scaling.

The most common challenges we tend to come across are:

  • Access to specialist skills
  • Cost of processing in cloud environments
  • Inability to demonstrate fairness, lack of bias and integrity of AI algorithms
  • Risk of unintended consequences
  • Regulatory understanding
  • Ability to seamlessly switch between AI powered processes and regular business processes in the event the AI fails

This presents organisations with a real conundrum. AI use raises questions over ethics, safeguards, interpretability and more. It’s only right that organisations probe these issues and take the learnings from those that have gone before them.

Here’s a few public examples of where AI has gone wrong:

Footballer or felon

A facial-recognition system identified almost thirty professional American footballers as criminals, including New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl champion Duron Harmon. The software incorrectly matched the athletes to a database of mugshots in a test organized by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Nearly one in six athletes were falsely identified.

CEO gets spoofed

In 2019 the CEO of a UK-based energy firm got a call from his boss at their German parent company, instructing him to transfer €220,000 to a Hungarian supplier. The ‘boss’ said the request was urgent and directed the UK CEO to transfer the money promptly. It turned out the phone call was made by criminals who used AI-based software to mimic the boss’ voice, including the “slight German accent and the melody of his voice,” as reported in the Wall Street Journal. Such AI-powered cyberattacks are a new challenge for companies, as traditional cybersecurity tools designed for keeping hackers off corporate networks can’t identify spoofed voices.

Get me out of here!

US airlines were subject to widespread criticism after their AI powered pricing systems charged customers up to 10 times the price of a regular ticket, as they desperately tried to escape Florida ahead of the arrival of hurricane Irma. The systems did not have a kill switch. “There are no ethics valves built into the system that prevent an airline from overcharging during a hurricane,” said Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and journalist.

 

Navigating the risks and enabling safe scaling of AI

Webhelp and Gobeyond Partners have developed a comprehensive framework to support the safe scaling of AI, including assessment of risk, key controls, human-centred ethics principles, algorithm management and data handling. This framework includes open source methods that can be used to demonstrate the integrity and explainability of AI algorithms.

Safe scaling of AI

Questions your organisation should consider

Although AI presents a huge opportunity to transform both business operations and customer experience, this is not without risk. Here are some of the long term strategic questions that we recommend you consider, for your organisation:

  • What role does AI have in the working environment and is there such a thing as a post-labour economy? If so, how do we make it fair?
  • How do we eliminate bias in AI?
  • How do we keep AI safe from threats?
  • Is it right to use AI in cyber defence? If so, where is the line?
  • As AI capabilities become more integrated, how do we stay in control of such a complex system?
  • How do we define the humane treatment of AI?

 

Feel free to get in touch, to see how we can help you safely fulfil your Industry 4.0 ambitions at pace and at scale.