CEO Interview with James Ontra

Presentation Management delivers a more Consistent Brand, Messaging and Higher Sales


 
Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – December 29, 2014

 

CEOCFO:   Mr. Ontra, what is the concept behind Shufflrr?

Mr. Ontra:   It’s all-in-one presentation management. Presentations are a critical form of communication in any big organization. If it is important, it is in a presentation. The big picture is presentation management. In the real world, companies manage communications down to the dollar. They know where they do their print, where they do advertising, what they are doing in social, how much time people are spending online, how they are using their cell phones. Companies track all of that data to gain efficiencies and achieve better results. However, presentations are often treated as an after-thought. But, we treat them as part of the marketing communications mix. And smart companies are recognizing that if they manage their presentations properly, they get a more consistent brand, consistent messaging and ultimately higher sales. Shufflrr delivers that for them.

 

CEOCFO: Is this something new?

Mr. Ontra: Elevating the role of sales or training material (i.e. presentations) and giving them higher priority is relatively new. The idea of consistent branding, consistent messaging, having everyone speak on message, no matter where, is something that all companies, large and small, struggle with. CEO’s dream about it, Shufflrr delivers. 

As for Shufflrr, our team has specialized in digital presentations for 20 years, and in that time, the market has evolved from consultative to software. Shufflrr is software built on that expertise. For a CEO to know that they have a library of slides and files (PowerPoint, video, doc, pdf, images, etc.) available, so their staff can find the slide they need, when they need it. Add drag and drop functionality, and the sales people have a much easier time creating a properly branded, compliant presentation in minutes. It is like having your whole company singing off the same sheet of music.

 

CEOCFO: Is the system in use today or is it still in development?

Mr. Ontra: Shufflrr slide library is used by many growing, public companies today. It’s easy and you can start in minutes. Just go to www.Shufflrr.com, and create your site. Upload your PowerPoint and other marketing files, and Shufflrr formats them for presentations. That being said, we will continue to develop improve, update and add new features as the market demands. We never stop developing.

 

CEOCFO: Do you find that many companies change their presentations and realize how inadequate some of their material is when they start to use your system?

Mr. Ontra:  Shufflrr is built to have the best content to rise to the top. And the process of organizing content for the Shufflrr slide library forces clients to think about their materials–what is “good enough” to go in, and what should be left out. Once implemented, sales people can comment on individual slides and files, so Marketing gets real time feedback from sales, and can edit the content appropriately. By default, the workflow process of using Shufflrr will ensure that the best presentations, the best content gets used and re-used.

A classic problem is when you have 100 people in the field doing presentations. Chances are they are pulling old slides and editing them a little, and then going to the next meeting and editing it a little more, and to the next meeting and little more editing. Much like the old children’s game of “Telephone” where the message breaks down and splinters into 100 different versions.  But with 100 or more salespeople, that’s 100’s of 1000’s of variations of your original message. Shufflrr protects against that. It controls the message, to ensure presentation compliance.

“Find that one slide you need, when you need it”


CEOCFO: When a user is pulling a file, are then able to do what they want with it?

Mr. Ontra: Shufflrr allows you to “shuffle” slides and files into a new order. Hence, the name, Shufflrr. Let’s say you have 10 presentations, two videos and a PDF up on your Shufflrr slide library. You want to create a new presentation, so you want two slides from one PowerPoint file, two slides from another, add a video and a PDF file. Just drag them all in. Add a few more slides and save. You get a new presentation with all the components and even the video and PDF have been formatted to run full screen. At that point, you can download it as a PPTX, and you can edit as you want. They can also send a link to a third party or even broadcast it live. Shufflrr has strong administrative permissions that can restrict users to download only a PDF or a PPSX.

We do not try to replace any software; we help manage what you already have. Shufflrr is a slide library for PowerPoint and other files where all files play back in a presentation format.


CEOCFO: What were the challenges in putting the technology together?

Mr. Ontra: Same as any other business, getting it done on time and within budget! Shufflrr was developed from 20+ years of listening to clients’ presentation problems and creating features that solve them. We don’t debate and develop in a vacuum, rather we build for our paying clients. And we have found over the years, that many of their problems are similar regardless of industry. One client’s request, actually helps out all of the others.

 

CEOCFO:
What has changed from the original concept?

Mr. Ontra: Presentation Management as a concept has not changed. The idea of ensuring brand and message compliance while increasing your team’s productivity has always been the reason why our clients call us. What has changed, is technology. We can do a lot more with presentation content. With reporting, Shufflrr produces sales intelligence never previously available. We can broadcast live or email a secure link, in addition to old-school face-to-face presentations.

Now our users have the option to work at their desk or on their smart phone. They can visualize more files and more content. So they can find that one slide you need, when you need it. It is like a shopping cart at Amazon and then hit save and get a new presentation. The end benefit is the same, there are just more ways to achieve it within Shufflrr.

CEOCFO: Who are you typically approaching when you are talking with a potential customer?

Mr. Ontra: We typically talk with large, public companies. They need compliance, consistency of brand and message for their sales and training, in a simple format that makes a sales person’s day easier. Generally, it is brand, marketing, training and communications managers. They are responsible for creating and distributing presentations and other content out to the field. However, to close the sale, the final decision lies with a Director or VP of training, sales, marketing. I have even seen the CEO get involved.  It is their budget and brand, so the decision is ultimately theirs.


CEOCFO: What is some of the push back that you get?

Mr. Ontra: Awareness is our biggest obstacle. CEOs and senior management have not heard the benefits of Presentation Management. Hopefully, interviews like this will help. Companies need to know it is out there, and they can easily benefit.


CEOCFO:  How are you educating companies?

Mr. Ontra: Educations is a critical part of our sales and onboarding process. We include consulting in presentation management with every site. We teach best practices for content and distribution. We help implement presentation management strategies that best suit our clients’ needs. But fundamentally, the site is intuitive and easy to use, with how-to videos scattered throughout the site.

And demonstration is key. Speaking directly to the individuals who have a problem, and showing them how Shufflrr solves their problem, is more powerful and more personal. We implement an educational approach with our clients and go to the source of the problem.

 

CEOCFO: What about working from sales people up?

Mr. Ontra: Absolutely. Shufflrr’s ultimate end-user is a sales person. If they don’t use it, we lose a customer. However, it’s usually Marketing or Sales Support that is responsible for presentation management – creating and distributing the content. So, Shufflrr is really a balance between Sales and Marketing.

And when implemented successfully, both sides benefit. Sales people can find their content and create and share a presentation quickly, without a lot of
hassle. And marketing not only is assured that their team is using the right content, but they also have Reporting to see what is resonating in the field.  Everyone wins.


CEOCFO: What is ahead for Shufflrr?

Mr. Ontra: Growth. More enterprise companies are recognizing the ROI of a presentation management strategy. Moreover, they are seeking out Shufflrr to not only manage their PowerPoint and other marketing files, but to also increase productivity.

Shufflrr is becoming an indispensable component of sales teams worldwide.

“Find that one slide you need, when you need it”- James Ontra

CEOCFO-Interviews-December-29-2014