Online experimentation service Optimizely launches Australian office

Customer experience optimisation software platform Optimizely today opened its regional headquarters in Sydney as the company’s fifth global location outside of the U.S.

For the company’s new local managing director, Dan Ross, the launch is a homecoming after spending over two decades as an Australian expat in the US, he told Mumbrella last week.

Currently Optimizely has “10 or 12 people full time” in Sydney but Ross said he expects the number to double as the company ramps up support and sales operations for the local office.

The company was founded by former Google staffers Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen, who joined Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, Ross explained.

“Optimizely came out of the Obama campaign in 2008. One of the founders, Dan Siroker, was a project manager for Google and saw Obama speak at the Google campus about data technology and improving government operations. He was pretty inspired so took leave from his job to run digital operations for the Obama campaign.

Optimizely co-founder Dan Siroker

“Obviously when you are trying to get your message out to whole electorate, different issues matter to different people and different regions. He found the technology that was available at the time was falling short with what he needed. So in 2010 he founded Optimizely.”

The service allows businesses to personalise their websites, mobile apps and connected devices based on data analytics and enables clients to experiment at scale with elements of their online presence.

Ross sees the company’s services as going beyond marketing – “Experimentation is a bit more than a marketing challenge, it’s something that a lot of companies are struggling with as they figure out how their customers want to be interacted with, not just from a marketing perspective but from customer support or whatever.”

The company chose Australia to be its APAC home because of the increasing demand for innovation from business across sectors, strong organic growth in the market and talent density throughout the region, Ross said.

Ross also sees the arrival of Amazon as a spur for many local businesses to look at what they can do better in defending their market positions as Australian online retail markets and the digital marketing becomes more competitive.


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