The core of customer engagement is always to get to the context and understand what exactly is pain point or what got missed out or is the demand flowing in some other direction. The importance of customer engagement should never be declined, it’s what makes or breaks the existence of your product.
For your crew who spreads out on the web to market, to bring traffic, to e-tail the product, the usual business centric customer relationship management platforms are now backed out tools of old school which won’t work in the age of social media.
Your customer relationship platform needs to accept and identify users as humans and not just money minting objects. Your crew needs to engage with your customers as they would engage with their known ones on emails and social platforms. This is what would make your brand stand apart and take a lead.
The team at Muhive dived in and digged out the real points of failure of these age old sales and manager oriented platforms and planned to create their own which would help you engage with users in real-time, keep tracks even when you are not round and never miss out on the main context and fixes of your product.
We got an opportunity to get in conversation with Ritesh Nayak, Co-Founder at Muhive and learn more about the product and the technology behind.
There are already big players in the CRM space and among the small businesses HighRise, OnePageCRM and PipeDrive are gaining good popularity. How is MuHive different and beneficial for business?
muHive is designed to solve the issue of real time engagement. Our first differentiator is the fact that we handle Email and Social data (support for website and mobile coming soon) and can consume almost any medium that has engagement capabilities.
Also created a language translation and transliteration over telephony using twilio and Microsoft translator.
Our automation engine is our USP. You can create powerful rules, via an intuitive drag-n-drop UI, which understands the nature of the incoming message and triggers one or more aspects of your engagement process. We feel this will be something that most agile customer engagement teams will adopt compared to traditional CRM systems, by wanting to automate many aspects of their process maybe even changing them multiple times a day! You can see some of our automation capabilities on our home page.
We are also strong believers in good UX and design and have found some customers moving to our solution because of the app’s ease of use.
Is there Big Data technologies like hadoop or storm involved behind the report & analytics part of MuHive? If yes, can you tell us something more about it?
We don’t use big data technologies like Hadoop in our live systems but our signal detection algorithms like sentiment analysis, context extraction and others are built using big data techniques.
We do have a Storm like system that we have built in house which powers our automation backend. We couple this with real time messaging technologies to deliver processed conversations instantaneously to our customers.
Tell us about the overall technology behind MuHive?
We run completely on the cloud and use a JVM friendly stack. The heavy lifting code (a.k.a. the backend) is written in mix of Groovy and Java. The web application is built using Grails. Our primary data store is a Solr and we use MySQL for account data and all of our transactional records. We use RabbitMQ and Vert.x along with enterprise integration frameworks like Camel for our real time processing infrastructure.
What’s the programming language used for coding of the API’s and why choose that particular language?
All of the app is JVM friendly but since the APIs are RESTful, and exposed over HTTP, you can write the API integration layer in any language such that it talks to both muHive and the client side system.
As to why we chose Java, having worked with JVM all along, we could vouch for its stability and scale. Grails and Vertx just added to all the fun of building a quality SaaS application.
You guys don’t seem to be active on the social media front, how do you plan to spread the word?
Our social media activities have increased since we went live in June and we plan to pick up the pace further. We use our own platform to manage social media engagement along with finding people and content that we should engage with to spread the word.
The basic mantra here is good content. We have been writing about our product, about the domain of digital marketing and sales, about customer experience management and we believe that it is via an organic approach of this sort that we can attract a rich audience.
Our blog has been seeing a steady rise in the number of hits, both unique and returning visitors, which is a small validation to the fact that this is working! And we are firm believers that likes don’t equal business. In fact our product is built around this idea of going beyond likes and followers.
Tell us something about the team behind MuHive.
The founding team members, Ritesh and Sagar, are grad school buddies. We bond more over our resolve to make a mark in the Indian products Eco-system than we do over our shared interests in rock music, politics and philosophy.
After our Masters’ degree, we found ourselves stuck in the time warp of team outings, air conditioning and free coffee, all the while missing the excitement that comes with doing something creative and challenging. About this time we were witnessing the impact of young companies like Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce. Closer to home as well, we were seeing success stories such as Iflex, Zoho and InMobi.
One winter evening of 2010, we realized that only we could make our life more interesting and challenging. We began moonlighting to work on Rowz, a personal knowledge management and productivity tool that we were sure would make us instant celebrities. The initial adoption of Rowz was very encouraging and we decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge in the summer of 2011 and take Rowz to a whole new level. Our early adopters were quick to comment on the wonderful job we had done in terms of technology but then, finding a monetization strategy turned out to be harder than expected. Sadly, after hitting 500 users we had to come to terms with reality and seriously rethink whether a product like Rowz could actually create an impact in the Indian products eco-system. We pivoted.
We re-purposed the technology we used in Rowz into a new product idea, targeted towards brands with a strong philosophy to elevate customer experience across the world. That idea today has taken the form of muHive.
What are your future plans for MuHive?
We want muHive to be the one place where a brand manages their customer conversations. Our technology roadmap includes adding support for website and mobile apps as engagement channels on muHive, adding third party integrations to popular applications like Salesforce, Asana and others, and delivering muHive on the mobile.
On the business side, we are looking to raise some capital to grow our company and move our business to SaaS friendly markets like the US and UK. We are also looking to experiment with partnerships and a Business to Developer model of growth that will involve developers building on top of our product.