Silicon 70 2018

Predicting the Future of CRM: San Diego-based SoftClouds LLC, a Leading CX Solutions Provider, Moves the Needle on Customer Satisfaction

thesiliconreview-balaji-ramachandran-ceo-softclouds-llc-18We have an experienced team with expertise with various CRM Software and technologies that can help improve revenue and margins by exceptional customer experience: Balaji Ramachandran

An ongoing stream of new technologies are challenging enterprise businesses to adopt smarter capabilities – technology is impacting customer experience development and delivery, as well as influencing rising customer expectations. Leading companies are embracing top trends, incorporating them into their existing processes to create innovatively connected experiences that win long-term customer loyalty.

Customer satisfaction is the key to success in any business. For a company to consistently succeed, it needs to satisfy its customers by providing high-quality products or services on time at the right price. That’s why businesses need to interact with customers to understand their real needs. However, interaction alone isn’t good enough. The requirements need to be tracked and analysed in a systematic and organized fashion to build lasting, high-quality customer relationships that translate to long-term success. We found that Customization of CRM software/solutions was of utmost importance and the reason behind establishing SoftClouds.

SoftClouds was set up to capitalize on the need for customization of CRM software/ solutions and businesses wanting to engage with their customers in a personalized fashion. Larger organizations buy off-the-shelf CRM products/solutions, but they do not have the expertise to implement the right CRM capabilities for their needs. SoftClouds brings in an expert team with a core focus on CRM, and exceptional skills to help blend CRM with business needs. SoftClouds was established to bring valuable CRM expertise to companies seeking to enhance their customer interactions and experience.

SoftClouds was incorporated in 2005 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Interview Excerpt: Balaji Ramachandran, Founder/CEO

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

One of the major concerns faced by large organizations is implementing the right CRM capabilities exposed to their organization. Without proper CRM implementation, a company can suffer massive losses. We felt that there was a change needed in the way customer experience was handled. The industry was maturing, and customers were looking for better experience. We had a strong background in software development, hence wanted to focus on CRM/CX. And that’s how SoftClouds was established.

Tell us about your first project that went live.

The first major project was a complete end to end implementation for one of the largest Weight Management and Nutrition Companies headquartered in San Diego, CA and with more than 600 weight loss centers in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico. This project involved building a strong team of 20 people, ground up and going through a year-long process of implementation and delivery.

How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.

The initial rollout of the project was a massive success. Our experience in applications, industry exposure, understanding of the customer business culture, and our substantial experience in evaluating, assessing, customer experience products had exceeded the client expectations in this project. We also educated and trained the customer and their CX team on the latest features of the implementation. The customer was thrilled, and the results started showing up in terms of ROI. That is the core team that is still present at SoftClouds today.

What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

In the initial years, the biggest challenge we faced was to get a like-minded team that focused on quality and deliverables towards customers. Growing while getting the right people with the right mindset is a difficult task, but we were fortunate to get our core team built around quality and customer focus.

What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?

We only focused on CRM. Our teams have multiple user experiences working on a strategic solution around, and we were able to see change adapt to newer industries. When cloud adoption started to happen, the team took an early plunge into a cloud-based solution to make sure we were ahead of the curve.

If you have to list 3 factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

Employees: Our people are our pride. SoftClouds is known for the quality of its people and their commitment to work. We have a strong culture focusing on teamwork and hard work.

Customers: Our Customers and customer service means everything to us. Our mission statement is ‘Redefining Customer Experience’; we cater to every customer and analyze their business requirements in depth and then journey-map their road to modernization and success.

Partners: SoftClouds has been an Oracle Gold Partner for the last 10 years.

What do you feel are the reasons behind?

Your services popularity: Making sure that we meet the needs of our customers by providing innovative technical solutions to their problems.

Your consistent growth as an organization: We always make sure that our customers are happy with the interactions and the quality of the solutions we provide as it has helped us in getting repeat business from where ever we go.

Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?

The world of technology is changing at a rapid pace. Newer trends in technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Predictive/Prescriptive analytics has led to innovative platforms like IBM Watson, Amazon Lex etc.

SoftClouds, a leader in technology and innovation, has been at the forefront of driving these trends into strategic solutions for customers. One of the solutions is Qupplet, a natural language search engine for Siebel, uses IBM Watson.

Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?

We see SoftClouds as a 700-1000-person company in the next five years, leading the way in the CRM industry with digital transformation.

Balaji Ramachandran: A Brief History of SoftClouds’ Promising CEO

Bala is the Founder/CEO and one of the members of the Board of Directors at SoftClouds. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial and innovation leadership that has helped shape today CX Industry, Bala started SoftClouds- a leading CX Solutions provider based in San Diego, California.

Bala has a demonstrated history of leading cross-functional organizations to achieve healthy growth and margins. He is a keen entrepreneur, skilled in Product Lifecycle Management, CX Technologies, Solutions & Services, Go-to-market Strategy, and Sales & Marketing.

Before SoftClouds, Bala was Director at eRiva Systems where he directed corporate strategy and development by leading the company’s engineering, product management, and technology groups. Before that, he was a principal consultant at iGATE that provided full-spectrum consulting, technology and business process outsourcing.

Since Thomas Siebel is Bala’s inspiration, SoftClouds started with On-premise CRM applications to improve the Siebel CRM system. As the CRM industry progressed moving to the cloud with cloud computing, Bala extended the CRM offering at SoftClouds to focus and include Cloud CX application related services.

“As an Oracle Gold Partner and Certified Salesforce Partner, we have a 10+ year demonstrated a track record of success.”