Magento, Magecore and now OroCRM, can you explain what led you to this new adventure?
OroCRM was born out of lots of conversations with commerce companies. We heard over and over that they were struggling finding the right CRM platform to fit their needs. We knew there had to be a better way. On top of that, Yoav and I are both happiest when we are building and growing ecosystems, so this was a natural next adventure for us both.
What is the genesis of the OroCRM Project ?
It started after Yoav and I both left Magento. We had developed relationships with hundreds of commerce companies and were hearing similar themes across many of them. They didn’t have a single view of their customers across multiple channels, which meant their sales teams couldn’t have relevant conversations with customers, marketers couldn’t segment customers in a meaningful way, and reporting was lacking on key customer and prospect metrics. These companies were also struggling with products that lacked the flexibility needed to match their exact business process. These are the themes we are addressing in the OroCRM project. The more we talk to merchants, the more convinced we are we are on the right path.
What do your team looks like today, how many people are working on Oro platform today ?
Today we have close to 20 people working full-time on the platform. Some of those are focused on developing the Oro Platform, which is the Business Application Platform that OroCRM is built on. The Oro Platform was born out of conversations with developers and merchants who were building custom applications. We felt by giving tools to developers and companies to build custom business applications we would create more opportunity for our growing developer ecosystem and better integrations to OroCRM.
From your perspective, how did customer relationship management become a major issue for e-commerce owners ?
We think it has always been an issue, but is becoming a more difficult challenge over time. As the ecommerce market has grown and become more competitive, merchants are struggling to find competitive advantage. The most important competitive advantage in today’s multi-channel commerce market is creating the right customer experience. Despite that reality, CRM technology hasn’t kept up. Merchants are stuck, trying to take off the shelf B2B CRM systems and customize them. What we are really seeing in practice is they are building their own homegrown systems or going without a solution, both of which are not the right long-term solution.
What will be tomorrow OroCRM exact functional coverage (first release) ?
We are actually publishing our full roadmap on our blog over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the full roadmap.
What are the key ideas that makes OROCRM a killer solution on the CRM market ? How do you want to position OROCRM in this very competitive market ?
We have two main areas of focus. First is creating a single view of customers across multiple channels. This will effect every part of the business for the better. Marketers will have access to more robust customer segmentation for marketing purposes then they ever have. Sales people will have more context to their sales conversations. Reports and dashboards in OroCRM will tell the full customer story, like it’s never been told before. The second area of focus is product flexibility. We know that no two businesses are alike. Each company has it’s own unique business process and customer interaction. We will allow product flexibility in setting up business process for the right customer experience.
Who is the typical customer of OROCRM ? Can you describe the typical profile of an OROCRM end user ?
We will have two types of customers. First is an online retailer that is serious about the customer experience they provide their customers. Second, is a multi-channel commerce company that has multiple channels and potentially multiple businesses. OroCRM will give them a single view of their business. There’s a big need for that, and we are solving it.
How do you imagine your eco system ? What will be your partnership model ?
We are highly committed to a true open source ecosystem. This means we will embrace the development community, system integration partners and technology partners, all for the benefit of OroCRM customers. Every part of our ecosystem plays a significant role. Our development community will push us technologically. Our technology partners will deliver integrations that allow OroCRM to play nice with others. Finally, our system integrator partners will be the ones who deliver full solutions for our joint customers. These will be the groups that unlock the full value of OroCRM through their technology and business expertise. Synolia is a great example. Their expertise with ecommerce and CRM technology mixed with their understanding of business trends in the space will be a huge competitive advantage for our joint customers.
What will be your license policy ?
We thought a lot about this one and wanted to make our licensing was simple and fair. OroCRM will be released under OSL 3.0 and the Oro Platform will be released under the MIT license. In addition we will have a commercial on premise and SaaS offerings.
When will we be able to equip our ecommerce owners with OROCRM ?Can you give us some detail about your roadmap ?
We are working hard to deliver our Beta in the Fall and release a Generally Available product at the end of 2013. More on the roadmap over the next couple of weeks.