I’m a strong believer that collectively, we can be bigger than the sum of the individuals. When it comes to tech startups, partnerships are crucial to one’s success. Not all companies understand this, nor take actions to build an ecosystem around their brand. In fact, internally, we call our business model “SaaS 3 layer strategy” of which 2 layers are about building relationships with non customers, who could help us scale.
Over time, UnifiedVU expects to have hundreds of declared partnerships. Our first and foremost partnership is with Livestax, who provides the underlying framework for UnifiedVU Platform. Our products and solutions include a large number of Single Page Apps (SPAs) developed to surface information and functionality from data sources, typically from software systems.
Today, we are delighted to announce our integration partnership with CapsuleCRM, a great Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for Small to Medium size Businesses (SMBs). They have listed us under Dashboard software Category with Grappster, Leftronic, SalesWally and Neatly. Whilst our offering is drastically different from these four products, it gave me an opportunity to learn more about them. Below is a quick review of their services and how they stack up against us, even though, we are not offering like for like.
Leftronic was founded in 2010 by Rajiv Ghanta and Cesar Del Solar, has raised $500,000 in funding from SV Angel, Right Ventures, Paul Buchheit and AME Cloud Ventures, and was incubated at Y-Combinator, the world’s most sought after tech accelerator. In 2014, it was acquired by AppDirect.
Leftronic offers a 14 days free trial and prices start from $89 per month for 3 users and 5 dashboards. Once the email is verified and account is opened, Leftronic takes you through 4 steps of familiarisation. At the time of trialling Leftronic offered 70 connectors (it seems only 10 were added since 2014). I tried with CapsuleCRM and Twitter connectors. Its good to have the ability to delete authentication tokens, after the trial.
The key value proposition of Leftronic according to their home page is that by bringing all your key metrics into one place, you would be able to make intelligent business decisions. This means the product is more suited to senior management, where our focus extends to operational staffs and senior management.
Marketing message focuses on technology rather than business benefits: “Make your business data driven – all data is related, connect cloud apps today”. Grappster has simple pricing plan of $15 user/month with 14 day free trial.
Grappster seems to only have connectivity to CapsuleCRM, Xero, Twinfield, Zendesk, Google Analytics and Twitter. I connected with CapsuleCRM, Google Analytics and Zendesk to get a feel for it. Unlike the tired User Interface (UI) of Leftronic, Grappster has a modern white well laid UI. The Twitter App does not seem to work.
SalesWally seems to have a similar look and feel when adding apps to Gappster. It supports CapsuleCRM, MailChimp, RSS, Salesforce, Twitter, Vimeo and Youtube. Once you have connected with Apps, you need to visit another site to view the results. At this point, I gave up and deleted my account. It looks to me like an incomplete product.
Neatly is a UK based product founded in March 2014 by Jon Leighton of i-resources, a digital creative agency, and seed funded by Northstar ventures to the tune of £75,000.
Neatly focuses on productivity with the message “Imagine the time saved when you view it all from one place”. Neatly offers a freemium product with free offer limited to 3 integrations and unlimited users.
It offers 30 day trial period with 42 connectors, showing more maturity than SalesWally and Grappster, in terms of product offering. Account deletion process seems to be faulty. I found the product and UI less inspiring than Grappster.
In summary, Neatly, SalesWally and Grappster are new products whilst Leftronic is a mature product that is now a part of a company with multiple product offerings. From what I have seen briefly, Grappster is far more exciting than the other three products. All focuses on displaying analytics unlike in our case, where we focus on streamlining your existing workflows by bringing everything that matters from all your systems into one intuitive UI. While our focus at this stage of growth is Single Customer View, UnifiedVU Platform can be used to build and display business analytics as can be seen below.