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October 19, 2023

Redefining Revenue Management: Interviewing Colin Girault-Matz, CEO of Wiremind

We unravel the data-driven future of revenue management with an expert

Businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and maximize revenue. One such approach involves leveraging the power of web data and technology to monitor and adapt to industry price changes. The ability to react swiftly to shifts in market dynamics can make all the difference. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Colin Girault-Matz, the CEO and co-founder of Wiremind, a company at the forefront of this technology.

Wiremind has developed tools that deploy advanced web crawling techniques to track and analyze pricing changes across the passenger transport industry.This gives businesses the insights they need to optimize their revenue streams. Here, we explore how the constant quest for innovation has improved client outcomes and stayed ahead of emerging trends in an ultra-competitive industry.

Neil: Can you share some insights into your early life and experiences that influenced your decision to pursue a career in the tech industry? Were there any specific role models or events that shaped your path?

Colin: My early work experiences in pricing & revenue management departments played a pivotal role in shaping my career path in the tech industry. This is where I met my future associate Charles Pierre, and where I gained valuable insights into the transportation industry and its challenges which later influenced my decision to co-found Wiremind.

I was also lucky enough to meet with, and learn from passionate and inspirational managers such as Olivier Sanz and Valérie Dehlinger – people who are always pushing to innovate. Together with Charles, we were inspired by the idea of using the latest web & technology standards to create new systems to replace traditional business practices.

Neil: What would you consider as the most significant milestones in your career leading up to your current role as CEO? Can you elaborate on the key learnings from each of these experiences?

Colin: Several milestones in my career have led me to my current role as CEO of Wiremind. My journey started as a team member in revenue management, where I learned the specifics of being a Revenue Management Analyst. In my roles thereafter, I learned more about how to be an efficient team manager, which I really enjoyed.

Meeting with Charles was obviously a huge step in the process, since his involvement led to the perfect fit between a 360° tech profile and a 360° product profile. Co-founding Wiremind with him in 2014 was a significant milestone, where we translated our industry expertise into a real software solution in production with a customer. Over the years, our expansion into new industries and product offerings has been a key learning experience, teaching us the importance of diversification and adaptability. Being awarded major contracts with national companies like SNCF or VR, SJ, and DSB allowed us to ensure the long-term development of Wiremind.

Neil: What is your company's core mission and vision, and how has it evolved under your leadership? How do you see your organization contributing to the tech industry's development?

Colin: From a primary focus on Revenue Management, Wiremind's core mission has evolved to transform traditional IT landscapes for B2C businesses in transportation and entertainment. We offer a modular suite that aims to address all the distribution & optimization needs of our customers. We help them maximize revenue, optimize operations, and enhance customer satisfaction by streamlining their processes and providing advanced solutions, with artificial intelligence being at the core of our systems.

Essentially, we connect with amazing industries which address travel and connecting people. People who work in these industries are generally passionate people – we don’t want this passion to ever disappear. This is why we design our products to inspire passionate people to continue the great work they do. We build our systems to operate as smoothly as imaginable, with many great major modules and countless small cool features, but always with the aim of creating added value.

Neil: Could you highlight some innovative strategies or initiatives you've implemented during your tenure as CEO that have had a transformative impact on the company and its industry positioning?

Colin: Taking the first steps, we were very quick to realize how web technologies would impact the whole industry, and we took a tech advantage over our competitors, by setting strong foundations which would later be enhanced with lots of additions.

Secondly, in terms of the development process, we used very iterative ways of building our products, because we could constantly monitor and observe it. It was the best method to build steady solutions.

Thirdly, we had a passion for design, and that cost us mockeries in the beginning since we were supposed to address mathematical problems and not “choosing the color of a button.” But still, we chose to keep a high design standard at the heart of our product development, and that’s why today our product workflows are recognized as being highly efficient. It’s a no-brainer that workflow and design are of utter importance, especially when addressing vast quantities of data.

Lastly, we have built our AI modules to be a mix of business pragmatism and artificial intelligence, so that every user is able to understand and have a grip on the automation mode. I’m pleased to say this is working!

Neil: Every journey has its share of challenges. Can you share some significant challenges you've faced and how you navigated through them? What lessons did you learn from these experiences?

Colin: We have funded our company without raising funds, because we preferred to patiently build the solutions we had in mind, and focus on product development, rather than spending our time and energy on, for example, hiring dozens of additional employees to meet investor expectations. However, this meant we were perceived as a small company in the very beginning. It was sometimes difficult to convince huge companies that they should work with us to provide them with a Revenue Management system, which is an ultra-sensitive component in the IT landscape.

We chose to diversify our products, offering less sensitive solutions in combination with what we already had, and this allowed us to continue to grow and to progressively step away from this situation.

We learned that if the plan does not go as expected, it does not mean you need to change everything, but simply make small adjustments to get the job done. We also learned to be patient during this process.

Neil: Tech is an ever-evolving field. How do you stay ahead of emerging trends and ensure your company remains adaptable in the face of industry disruption?

Colin: As we have a strong focus on technology, with high software development standards, we have managed to build a community of highly qualified engineers, product profiles, etc. This creates a strong emulation mindset at Wiremind, which flows among the company to always keep up to date about the latest innovations. Our adaptable approach allows us to quickly incorporate new technologies into our solutions, if we feel it’s relevant of course. Last but not least, we invest a lot in research and development to explore new fields and new opportunities for the future.

Neil: Looking ahead, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for your company and the broader tech industry? How do you plan to position your organization to thrive in the future?

Colin: Scaling and keeping innovation at the heart of our processes. Otherwise, our customers will naturally lose interest in our products. That does mean we constantly need to update software with new features. However, we can’t be careless in doing so. Sometimes, too many ‘upgrades’ can worsen your product if you weren’t meticulous about the added features. This being said, we need to ensure our products keep improving alongside industry standards and offer greater capabilities to our customers.

We want our organization to continue its worldwide expansion, of course, not forgetting our local footprint. We are confident in our products’ capabilities, and we know we can continue to help new customers at a global scale. We aim to be recognized as a leading provider of Distribution and Optimization solutions for transport and event companies, globally.

Neil: How do you envision the future of the tech industry, and what role does your company play in shaping that vision? How have your company's mission and vision evolved to align with industry developments under your leadership?

Colin: The future, as we know, will be about artificial intelligence and automation, and how to leverage this technology so that it creates added value for the customers. At Wiremind, we have been using artificial intelligence for a decade, and we have learned that you need to give a frame to it, with human control, otherwise, customers are generally not comfortable with it. Wiremind's role is to enable businesses in transportation and entertainment to navigate these changes seamlessly. Our mission remains aligned with industry developments as we strive to simplify IT landscapes and drive growth for our clients.

Neil: The tech sector is known for its rapid changes and challenges. Could you discuss some notable industry challenges you've encountered during your tenure and how your leadership helped your company overcome these obstacles? What insights have you gained from these experiences that can be applied industry-wide?

Colin: Like I just said, artificial intelligence needs a pragmatic frame if you want to create a business use case. ChatGPT is amazing but is more efficient in some cases than others, and can sometimes completely be mistaken. If companies feel that the artificial intelligence use is out of control, they will stick to their “less elaborated” systems that they have full control on.

In the beginning, we took the path at some point to give the keys of automated revenue optimization to full artificial intelligence, but we quickly observed that other technical layers were required for this to work. Today, we combine the best of the two worlds. We use artificial intelligence to predict demand, and we make it flow through our complex optimization structure. At the same time, users have all the information and command which is required to understand and control the outcome of artificial intelligence.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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