Windward Software enters new marketing waters

Penticton's Windward Software is making use of video technology to connect with current and potential customers.

Kevin Schilter and Calum Lloyd of Windward Software chat on the company’s Windward TV set in Penticton recently. The series of video episodes are a new way for the company to reach out to their customer base.

Kevin Schilter and Calum Lloyd of Windward Software chat on the company’s Windward TV set in Penticton recently. The series of video episodes are a new way for the company to reach out to their customer base.

With a large section of their Penticton office given over to customer service and support centres around the world, there is little doubt that Windward Software takes customer care seriously.

And with the addition of Windward TV, the local software company is taking communicating with their customer base, both current and potential, to a new level.

“Video, as a medium, is a great method of communicating a broad idea set quickly,” said Kevin Schilter, company spokesman and host of Windward TV.

The aim of the episodes, he continued, is to aid their customers by imparting knowledge or best practices that they have gained through years of helping customers. “Often our customers are small entrepreneurs, working in their business too. The road of an entrepreneur is ripe with organic learning.”

Windward Software produces a suite of software for the retail  and customer services sector with related tools for inventory control, point of sale, invoicing, and accounting systems.

It got started back in 1984,  when CEO Dennis Jacobsen, then a civil engineer living in Fort St. John, was laid off and  needed to create something new for himself to do.

“Part of the birth of Windward Software is sitting up in the Northern B.C. climate and thinking where would be a nice place to be,” explained Schilter. The company draws its name from the  Windward Island chain, a theme that is reflected throughout the Penticton offices, with bright tropical colours and boardrooms named for the various islands:  Martinique, St. Vincent, etc.

From Penticton, the company has gone global, with customers in 30 countries around the world and home in Penticton.

Windward TV is much more recent, an idea less than a year old and inspired by the accesibility of modern videomaking equipment and ways to distribute the result.

“Dennis Jacobsen, our CEO, had seen some other videos that were on the net in regard to imparting sales knowledge,” said Schilter. “That got him thinking how can we do this to help our customers.”

It’s also, Schilter continued, a way of living up to the company’s tagline: ‘We help you run your business instead of just reporting on it.’

It’s more than just the software in the box is a phrase that Schilter keeps returning to. It’s something he said really informs how he sets up the episodes, all of which feature interviews  with experts drawn from the company ranks.

“I really do think about the things we are going to do to sell the episode, tips and tricks and advice,” he said. “The intent is not to just be talking about our product, but also to give them ideas,” said Schilter. “I want to drip advice that a business owner could go employ without our software.”

The Windward TV set is inexpensive, just a couple of chairs and a large monitor set on a stage in their studio, which shows every sign of having been converted from a storeroom.

But humble studio or not, Schilter said Windward TV is having an impact, showing the accessibility of the medium as a sales tool.

“At the end of the day, that’s an example of even what our customers can do,” he said.

“We are past 10 episodes now gaining some traction. Traction, to  us, is people actually watching it and forwarding it; that’s how we are measuring it,” said Schilter. “If we can create compelling enough content for someone to share that with another or consume it themselves, then that is success.”

Episodes of Windward TV are available through their website at windwardsoftware.com/tv or by searching for Windward TV on YouTube.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

The Keremeos Grist Mill and Gards is preparing for another season of their Pantry Share program, distributing monthly packages with preserves like the one taken in the photo above. (Grist Mill Facebook)
Shares in heritage community garden program go on sale

The Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos is bringing back its Pantry Share for 2021

Expect cold weather and snow over the weekend. (Submitted photo)
Prepare for subzero weekend in South Okanagan

Expect some snow to start falling Saturday night and into Sunday

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near Penticton schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

Most Read