Envision Inc. has partnered with a startup company with Wichita ties to both help the new tech company grow and meet the nonprofit’s employment mission.
Envision has teamed up with Knowledge as a Service Inc. (KaaS) to provide call center support to help the business expand the reach of its new training platform.
The company, which has a continual employee training app called Ringorang, was launched earlier this year by a leadership team that includes Wichita-based BW Barkley.
Now the startup has found another Wichita tie with Envision, one the company believes better positions it for rapid success heading into 2021.
“I feel that (Envision), because they understand our mission, are motivated and have done this before … they’re going to help us really build top-of-the-funnel activity,” says Kathy Hughes, chief revenue officer at KaaS. "We need to get in front of more customers because we’re a young company. So to have them as an extension of our team, scheduling meetings and getting us in front of the people that we need to be sitting in front of … that’s going to roll down into better, bigger, more targeted opportunities for us.”
And for Envision, which works to provide employment opportunities for the blind and visually impaired and returns those associated sales back into its array of services for that population, the partnership exemplifies its nonprofit mission.
While that has traditionally been met primarily through Envision’s manufacturing operations, the KaaS program will add to the expanding work of the William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center.
The center, which focuses on more office -and technology-oriented roles, was opened by Envision in 2018 with the goal of creating 500 new employment opportunities by 2022.
“It turned out to be a really good fit,” says Joel Leftwich, executive director of the BVI Workforce Innovation Center. “We realized that Knowledge as a Service is really cool company doing very innovative things. So the opportunity to partner with them is something we’re really excited about.”
Call center work both in Wichita and Dallas by Envision for KaaS is expected to begin this week.
“Our partnership helps ensure that people are being employed,” Leftwich says. “In the blind and visually impaired community, you have a 30% employment … and that number hasn’t changed in 30 years. This is why the BVI Workforce Innovation Center at Envision was created. It’s creating employment opportunities for people who are qualified, skilled, who can deliver a good product and good service. It takes innovative leaders like Knowledge as a Service for us to really change that number as a society.”
And with new customers already coming on board as the year winds down, both sides expect KaaS to be able to continue that growth through next year thanks to the work now being done by Envision.
“It’s two, fantastic and aggressive organizations trying to bring solutions to our customers and at the same time promoting jobs in Kansas,” says Hughes.