Jérémi Joslin: Hello Matthieu, can you introduce yourself and your company ?
Matthieu Hug: Hello Jeremi. First of all thanks for taking the time to present RunMyProcess.
I founded RunMyProcess in 2007 with two partners, after almost 10 years in the IT industry as a management consultant and an IT director. The idea behind RunMyProcess was to offer a platform that would allow enterprise to streamline and automate business process efficiently, which results concretely in being able to design, run and manage process based applications.
We quickly realized that daily operational applications become very powerful if they allow for a lot of interactions with common tools like email, documents, spreadsheets and so on. This quickly drove us to integrate our platform with the best (imho) available cloud-based “office” environment: Google Apps
The funny thing is that proposing an integrated environment between office tools, and a platform for process based applications is actually an idea that had a lot of success in the enterprise context a long time ago: that’s basically Lotus Notes… And indeed many of our customers are migrating from a Lotus environment to a “bundle” made of Google Apps + RunMyProcess
JJ: Can anyone use your tool to create integration? What is a typical integration your customers are doing?
MH: Indeed we offer fairly deep integration capabilities: that’s extremely natural, and actually mandatory to build any serious enterprise applications. Our idea is that workflows (task handled by people) and integration (automated tasks between systems) are two sides of a single coin. So it’s very natural in our platform to handle both. As our main objective is really to allow customers to deliver applications very quickly to their end-users, we have created an important catalogue of connectors to various SaaS or on premise apps: we have more than 1,200 connectors available on the platform, and it’s fairly easy for a customer to add his own. It includes Google products, Salesforce, Netsuite, etc.
We also offer secured “behind the firewall” integration capabilities, based on Google’s Secured Data Connector technology. Scenarios are typically what we run for Emailvision: order management from Salesforce, to the production of a PDF order, to back office provisioning, etc.
Another scenario currently implemented on a customer project is a simplified purchasing app that integrates with SAP at the end of the purchasing process
Besides that we are also preparing a packaged solution that integrates Oracle CRM on demand calendar with Google Calendar. This is currently beta tested by 2 of our customers.
That’s how I discovered that integrating 2 calendars is way more difficult than one might think…
JJ: Yeah, a big problem when it comes to the cloud (but it was the same in-premise) is the integration. So you are the glue between the services.
MH: Yes exactly. The glue, the hub: pick the term you prefer, that’s indeed what we do! Our particularity is really to think of that glue not only as a glue between systems, but to include people via workflows.
JJ: ok, and how many companies are using this service in Google Apps ?
MH: In Google Apps I’m not sure. We have a little more than 100 customers, and I’d say that roughly 80% of them use also Google Apps.
JJ: I see. I think you are launching a new product today, what is it?
MH: Yes, thanks for asking about it. We launch a packaged, ready-to-run solutions for Google Apps. It’s a stand-alone product running on the RunMyProcess platform. This product is an add-on for Gmail premier accounts that allows multiple users to share one common inbox. An example would be a shared email used by members of a customer support team or other internal functional team.
That “Shared Inbox” adds to Gmail a functionality that is well-known by Exchange users, called “public folders”. So at last all Exchange users will be able to switch to Gmail…
JJ: How is it different from Google Groups and email delegation?
MH: Good question. Email delegation allows one other person to ask your own inbox. Shared Inbox allows to create an inbox “email@example.com” which can be accessed by several users without leaving their own mail account; all emails received are shared between the shared inbox users, all emails sent out come from “firstname.lastname@example.org” not from an individual user and finally all inbox users see the complete history of actions on all emails: who answered, who commented, etc. Basically an email becomes a managed thread shared among users.
Typically, think about handling a support function. This is useful for dividing shared tasks between a team. Covering for colleagues on leave etc.
JJ: Ok, so the email arrives in my “normal Gmail inbox” and I can assign it to someone or reply to it myself?
MH: Exactly! And if you answer it doesn’t come from you but from email@example.com
JJ: All of this directly without leaving Gmail?
MH: Yes. You have one side bar gadget in your Gmail account that gives access to all the shared inbox you are allowed on. Besides every email managed by the shared inbox triggers a “contextual gadget” that provides to all users the history info on what happened on the thread.
You never leave your own environment.
JJ: I see, to reply, you use the contextual gadget, not the normal Gmail reply, right?
MH: No you use the normal Gmail reply: but you reply to “firstname.lastname@example.org” then the email is routed to our platform, which creates and sends the email to the “target” user.
JJ: Ok, this is great!
JJ: So basically you don’t need any external software to handle the email support of customers, everything is done in Gmail thanks to your integration.
MH: Absolutely! Aside from that you can create multiple Shared Inboxes at no extra charge. Create one for sales, one for marketing, one for accounting…the possibilities are endless. The number of Shared Inboxes created is not limited. You only pay per number of users.
JJ: Am I able to search in this support email as well?
MH: Yes, the email that started the thread is in the inbox of every shared inbox user, so you can use Google’s search capabilities as usual.
JJ: How did you get this idea? Was it to fill a personal need or a customer?
MH: Actually the need came from Google. A sales guy called us one day: “One of my important prospects migrates out of Exchange; they have 50+ “public folders” in Exchange, and need an equivalent in Gmail. Can you do that with your workflow platform?” That’s how it started.
That’s a side comment, but that’s illustrative of how exciting it is to work with Google: they’re damn good, so it’s very demanding, but everything is fast and easy going. In my humble opinion they play very well the game of building an ecosystem and helping everyone in the ecosystem to develop itself
JJ: A word for the end?
MH: There’s no reason not to try, the first 3 users are free =) and it’s only 10$/user per year for the standard subscription! Go to install the RunMyProcess shared inbox for Gmail.