June 30, 2016
Today ERP and its related services been considered as a Red Ocean in the investment market and to top-up, there are many ERP project failures. There are many off the shelf software in the market whose Architecture was designed during the years 1990 to 2000. Most of these are designed with a focus on trained resources or an accountant or the necessity of accounting knowledge is a must to use them.
However, today’s Business Owners have money, but no time and they don’t get resources like before. They want information on their fingertip to make a decision. But these softwares are neither scalable nor mobile. More than that cost of ownership of these are very high and that leads to vendor lock-in.
The question that we started asking is. “Why a Business Owner has to license our product, in turn we make him an “IT Expert” to manage OUR software, take OUR database backup on his HARDWARE rather than RUN his Business for which he bought OUR software”
We identified some basic tenets around which our product would be serving the customers like Low cost of ownership, ability to switch the vendor, no need to learn new technology or maintain the software etc.
Today we are co-existing with many off the shelf software where Business Owners are managing their inventory, manufacturing and invoicing etc. in AcTouch.com.
I had run a Software business earlier and have sold ERP solutions that were standalone one. but this time, its a Cloud based ERP where we bring lot of value of customers with no headache to manage Servers, Software or backup. Just login and use, its simple as it is.
Major challenge that we faced is Gaining Business owner’s confidence is the biggest challenge that we faced till now. Because there were lot of software vendors didn't deliver what promised or Business owners bought off the self software based on a recommendation either from a close associate or from an accountant or someone else. They spend money before they even test and see whether it fits or not? This leads to frustration.
Now enters “certified trainers” or someone comes with a price tag, who really doesn’t understand the business, but claims that he can resolve the issues at a price.
In this chaos customer looses the faith on software as it starts affecting his business.
Definition of success could vary from people to people. For me and for our company,
it is very simple.
"When our customer uses AcTouch.com to run and grow his business is the ultimate success for us"
We launched our SaaS application for MSME market. But now we have received multiple business orders to develop industry specific business verticals on Cloud. This shows our customer confidence on our technical ability and skillsets.
We will add new features, simplify the Accounting process for end users, help the Customer to be more mobile and run their business virtually from anywhere. We see a huge opportunity in marketplaces settlements process, industry vertical solutions that’s not addressed by anyone. In next 3 years, we want to have a 15,000 customer registrations and grow with our Customers.
From beginning, we were clear about the kind of people that we need on board. So we always make an attempt to hire “A” players. So we have a stringent selection process that validates their technical skills, Adaptability, out of the box thinking etc.
Once a member is on board, we help him to learn our technologies and give an opportunity to make a mistake and fail quickly. We appreciate a member, if he says he doesn’t know. This helps us to help him so that we make a progress.
We encourage our developers to go and meet our Customers to discuss and understand the real business. This gives them an opportunity to improve their communication skills, Presentation skills etc.
June 29, 2016