Two West Midlands venture capital firms have backed a company which claims its software products can help save the call centre industry millions of pounds annually.
Silver Lining Solutions, based in Rugby, has developed a system called 'Skills Manager' which assesses, analyses and improves the skills of staff working in call centres and offices.
The firm says the software can help cut back on the industry's annual staff churn, which is estimated to cost the sector an estimated £2.3 billion in training and recruitment costs, not to mention the resulting negative impact on customer service and efficiency.
The Birmingham office of Catapult Venture Managers has injected half of a £500,000 funding round into Silver Lining Solutions via the Advantage Enterprise and Innovation Fund which it manages.
The Advantage Growth Fund, managed by Midven, has increased its investment in the company by a further £125,000 to bring its total investment to £500,000.
The remaining £125,000 of the package has been subscribed by Angels and Management.
Caroline Green, investment director with Catapult, said: "The funding will be primarily used for a sales and marketing push and to enable the development and integration of the software into other leading platforms.
"We first became aware of Silver Lining Solutions in 2006 when it was a winner in the West Midlands Connect Gauntlet Challenge.
"It has an exciting future backed by a strong management team, spearheaded by managing director James Pratt, who joined the company a year ago.
"Since arriving, with the support of Simon Wright, operations director, he has continued further channel development with Genesys (the world's number one contact centre software) and leading Genesys' channel partners such as BT Siemens and most recently Intelleca in South Africa.
"The demand for call centre technology is burgeoning and the market is currently estimated to be worth $5.1 billion (£2.61 billion) by Business Insights. The business already has an impressive blue chip customers base including Orange, and Jupiter Asset Management."
Nicholas Moate, investment manager with Midven, also said: "Midven is delighted that Catapult has recognised Silver Lining's potential and invested alongside ourselves to enable the company to continue expanding in the call centre marketplace."
James Pratt said: "We are delighted to have received this backing. Market research continues to indicate that that call centre operators still need to pay more attention on their most important assets - their agents and their customers. Getting things right first time is acorporate imperative to help retain and grow market share in an ever increasingly competitive consumer landscape. Our solutions are helping to support this business problem and integrate into legacy technologies."
Legal adviser to Catapult was Robert Bough, associate with Eversheds. Robert Lee, partner with Wright Hassall in Leamington Spa provided legal advice to Silver Lining Solutions.