Most companies end-up using a variety of CRM solutions to manage their businesses. That is to say, there is no one single solution that would cover all aspects of the business reasonably well, so companies are forced to use a number of them. For instance you might end-up using Pipedrive for sales, ERPLY for stock management and POS solutions, Mailchimp for sending e-mails, Quickbooks for accounting, etc. The problem is, that all of these have their own database and they do not sync with one another.
What this means is that if one of your clients changes their e-mail address, you will need to manually update this information in all of the CRM’s that you are using. An Estonian startup, Cloutex, is aiming to change that by making a service that would achieve full synchronisation with all of your CRM solutions and update data everywhere, automatically for $19 a month. The real revolution of this idea is that you are not limited to just two systems and only updating new data, you can completely synchronise all data.
In essence, this allows to build a fully synchronised system for all of your CRM needs. This is the kind of stuff large corporations build, spending thousands and even hundreds of thousands on it.
There are of course competitors such as the Y-Combinator backed Zapier that raised over $1.2 million and is basically the “If This Then That” for businesses. However, Soren Hejnfelt co-founder of Cloutex tells us that “what exists in the market right now is an opportunity to link two different services together so that when something happens in one service, you can have that action copy or trigger another action in another service. What we are introducing is full synchronisation capability. In our platform we created an integration hub, which means that instead of connecting two systems, you can theoretically connect an unlimited amount of systems to the hub.”
To achieve this, Cloutex uses a central ‘Master’ database, which is updated from all the services and then pushes the necessary changes back. Cloutex promises that there will be no need for manual synchronisation as it is supposed to be completely scalable and automatic.
The technology uses a Java based synchronisation script, and has an algorithm that took over two years to develop and implement in order to take care of all the possible issues.
For instance Peter Mark, the Founder & CEO of Cloutex told us that if a lot of data changes simultaneously, the script would take the changes in batches and would only take 20-30 items per session to update the data.
Hejnfelt added that “If you look at how our system is built, it is not just about the script. First you need to translate all the service providers code into our language. Then we need to create a link between our language and our service API. Then our service API talks to the master database and then it needs to go out to one, two or maybe three other systems on the same hub. So there are a lot of links in there.”
A real-life example comes from their beta-client that was running two different Magento shops in different parts of the world. This meant that he had two separate business entities, with different accountants. So he basically had two Magento databases, two Quickbooks databases, one central Mailchimp database and a central Salesforce solution to monitor all sales, leads and accounts.
So before using Cloutex, he had to manually export Magento databases on a weekly basis and import them into two different Quickbooks accounts and also into Salesforce. Then he would have to add all the e-mails of new clients to the Mailchimp list. This is a lot of work, considering that he was thinking of opening a third shop. Cloutex told us that now all of this is done automatically.
Peter Mark also told us that they have a very specific target market in sight – small to medium companies. In his own words “Cloutex is not for big enterprises, it is for small and medium ones. They are really looking around to find a solution and to avoid paying thousands of dollars for building their own custom scripts to run synchronisations. This is the pain that we are solving.”
The company received a seed round from Wiser, an Estonian investment company and is currently in the process of closing their next round. You can check out their explainer video below:
Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // Sync