My Experience on Building a New Generation CRM Company and Ecosystem with Kreato

We started Navrita with a vision of making customer life-cycle management an easily accessible and adaptable process to every SME (Small & Medium Enterprises). To realize this vision, we started building Kreato CRM – a moderately priced, end-to-end Customer Relationship Management solution characterized by leading-edge technology, comprehensive functionality and a highly flexible architecture.

Building Kreato CRM

When we started with developing Kreato in mid of 2012, we finalized that it has to be built over four main pillars.

First being it has to be a complete and an integrated CRM solution – covering all three main facets of CRM: Marketing, Sales & Customer Support and pre-integrated with required 3rd party applications. We don’t want our customers to juggle through multiple tools to manage their customer relations. Kreato will serve as primary and integrated platform to manage the complete customer life-cycle.

Second it has to be naturally flexible – Hence we first built a CRM framework with qualities to restructure its schema as needed and also ingredients to include new modules and workflows as required. And then housed Kreato on top of that framework, so that our customers can embrace the exact customization that they need.

Third on the pricing point. It has to be very attractive, affordable and modular – To make it possible we framed a moderately priced one single subscription package with all the must-have CRM features loaded and adopted the affordable & incremental pay-per-user subscription model. And then all other add-on features and much needed integrations are provided through the pick-n-pay App subscription model. So that our customers can just pay for only the Apps they want in addition to the must-have CRM features that comes as default with user subscription.

And the final one being the security. We wanted to provide the absolute security – Having hosted our solution at Azure, we know for sure that we don’t have to think even once about the infrastructure security. And we don’t have to worry on the access level security as we have the 256 bit SSL -encrypted application and database access in place. And on the data security, we felt that absolute data segregation only will provide the heightened data security. So instead of following the shared database model where all customers’ data co-exist in a single database, we decided to follow the multi-instance database architecture model, providing every customer a dedicated database.

After nearly two years of time has been devoted to build Kreato Cloud CRM with focused research and engineering on base of the four pillars (explained above) which includes 6 months of stealth mode for Cloud Infrastructure testing, we launched Kreato for general availability on April 2014.

Building the CRM Ecosystem

During the journey of Kreato building process, we decided that in-addition to covering the sales, marketing and customer service facets of CRM, more innovative features and supportive functions have to be introduced in-order to enrich our customer’s usage of Kreato in their customer life-cycle management or on improving their customer experience. And we know that we alone cannot drive such innovations and the best solution is building the CRM ecosystem comprised of best-of-breed technology platforms, supportive service partners and professionals that suits the CRM space.

To provide suitable examples – on the technology platform part, integrating cloud telephony will benefit Kreato customers with ability to track telephony communications from their CRM itself; on the service provider part, with the availability of trusted web designing provider, our customers can instantly create or enrich their web presence to make complete use of Kreato marketing tools; on the professionals part, our customers can instantly hire service of a sales professional well trained on Kreato lead and sales management features on a temporary or permanent basis to support their sales activities.

Including 3rd Party Technology platforms in the Ecosystem: We started addressing the first part of the CRM ecosystem – integrating more and more technology platforms like cloud telephony, text messaging service, web, social and email marketing solutions, web chat software and lead generating platforms with Kreato. Only one thumb rule that we followed on all these integrations is, we did the integration works up front and made all these integrations to be “Plug-n-Play” with Kreato. Our customers can enjoy the benefits of this ecosystem from the day one rather than spending more time, money and efforts to find external consultancy to make the integrations workable. So when an organization chooses Kreato, they are actually choosing an accessible and ready-to-use CRM ecosystem from the day one.

Our Kreato App Store is already live with inclusion of much-needed technology platforms. Mostly all the customers Kreato has got till-date make use of at-least one of these integrations, a welcome note which reinforces our dedication to enrich this ecosystem further.

Also we believed publishing the API platform can further fuel these innovations. Hence we opened up the API platform so that Kreato and any other third party applications used by our customers can talk to each other to build a custom solution that needed.

Including Service Partners in the Ecosystem: As we have progressed on the integration of technology platforms part and confident that we can add more and more required technology integrations, we started working on the next part of the ecosystem: Service partners. And now we are excited to announce the launch of service partner program, where we wanted to align with like-minded service partners who can help our customers on execution of various support systems of CRM like digital presence, social media management etc. It becomes easier for our customers to choose and use the service of these trusted providers who are already partners of this ecosystem.

Including CRM certified Professionals in the Ecosystem: We felt that adding the human-touch to the ecosystem will make it complete in real sense. We wanted to provide a platform as part of this ecosystem which will create a talented pool of professionals (sales, marketing, administrators and consultants) who are trained and certified in Kreato CRM ecosystem. Our customers can easily hire and use the service of these certified professionals to support their business operations. We will be co-launching this platform along with the service partner program.

We firmly believe that building an innovative cloud based CRM product supported by the ecosystem of compatible technology platforms, service providers and certified CRM professionals will strategically address and help us to realize our greater vision of making customer life-cycle management an easily accessible and adaptable process to every SME.

Even though it’s a beginning, we feel we are moving in the right direction to build the much needed CRM ecosystem that really matters to our customers. We are proud that even we are taking part in building India as a Product Nation.

Guest Post by Lokanathan Kutuva, Founder & CEO, Navrita Software Pvt. Ltd.