Our subscriber stories speak about the challenges and successes of our subscribers. Since we know that you, our readers, love these inspirational stories, we figured we’d lift the veil on some stories we know better than anyone: the Cazoomi team stories. This is the first one of our new Insider monthly column.
Enjoy your sneak peek into our business and meet the team that makes integration possible for SMEs all over the world.
The Cazoomi story started back in 2009 (yes, we’re 11 years old!). But this is not a boring history lesson, so we won’t waste your time with how we started out in the US and ended up being the only iPaaS provider in the Philippines, serving customers from all the continents and all that.
Instead, we’re going to tell you how the pandemic affected us.
You see, when news about the (then) novel coronavirus broke out, we felt relatively safe. Based out in the Philippines, we are somewhat close to China but still far enough to hope for the best.
However, by early spring it was clear that everyone will be affected, no matter how far away from China they were. It was a game of survival for both individuals and businesses.
Then those headlines began to appear:
- Unprecedented times
- Economic uncertainty
- No business is immune
- We are all in this together
- The worst crisis of modern times
You know them. They are so widespread that most of us break out in hives when we hear one of these phrases — which have reached cliché status in record time!
Naturally, we were worried, too. We worried about our own company and about the businesses, organizations, and institutions we serve. We spoke a lot about the clichés above and about our 24/7 support structure during the pandemic and the “Pandamage”, as we call it, which was bound to follow.
Our action plan was three-pronged:
1. Supporting Our Subscribers
If you’re a regular on our blog, you know that we always strived to support our subscribers with marketing and business strategy ideas and tips. This time, we took things a notch further.
We quickly realized which two of the industries would be the most affected by the pandemic: eCommerce and Nonprofits.
Because we expected a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses to pivot to eCommerce in order to survive. We knew they would need to do so fast, with minimal preparations. So we added new features and new integrations to support them in this valiant endeavor. And we keep on doing so.
Perhaps the most sought-after integrations for eCommerce during this period were those for Loyverse. eCommerce’s new wonder kid is an app that turns almost any device into a mobile POS. Since eCommerce business owners loved it, we made integration between Loyverse and other favorite solutions like Mailchimp and Constant Contact possible.
Nonprofits, on the other hand, took the biggest hit during the pandemic. It will probably take them years to recover from this. We explained why in this article.
Our approach for them was different: we beefed up our free plans and offered massive discounts for any NGO or nonprofit that needs comprehensive integration solutions.
It was our way to support an industry that needs our help more than ever. Our affordable plans are one of the biggest reasons why nonprofits (like UNICEF or WWF) choose SyncApps by Cazoomi, so we took things even further and did our best to support them even more.
(The discounts are still available, by the way. So if you know a nonprofit that needs integration help, give them a heads up about getting it for free or for a massively discounted price).
2. Supporting Our Team
Remember that whole craze with moving people to work from and teaching everyone (from your colleagues to your parents) how to use Zoom?
We didn’t have that.
Our Philippines team was 100% remote even before the pandemic, so the changes were minor. To be more exact: we canceled our local island team-building retreat plans and the weekly meetings that usually took place in our local downtown Starbucks. We moved them to Zoom or Skype.
Other than that, our whole team was free to work from wherever they wanted anyway. Some of our colleagues took this opportunity to travel back to their home provinces to spend more time with their families, and others to simply work from the comfort of their own home.
Since traveling was no longer an option, family time and comfort were our main perks.
All our departments, from development and marketing to support (our 20+ colleagues who are here for you 24/7) found the transition seamless, just like our integrations.
No surprises there: nothing much changed, so our productivity wasn’t affected. And neither was the workload of our usual 4-day work week. Support was all hands on deck 24/7.
Which brings us to the third point:
3. Adapting and Thriving
We made very few tweaks to our operations but we did work on adapting to “the new normal”. The biggest changes we made were in our communication.
Our main focus was on supporting our 1000s of subscribers and our community in every possible way. We took more calls than usual and we went above and beyond to find and/or create helpful resources for everyone who was struggling or fearing what the future had in store for them. Which was pretty much everyone.
Cazoomi is lucky. With very few tweaks, we didn’t just get by. We thrived. However, we believe it wasn’t all luck. Here’s what factored in:
How We Managed to Thrive during the Pandemic and the Pandamage Era
Perhaps the most important thing that boosted our revenue in all the quarters of 2020 so far, despite the discounts and free access we offered, was the simplest thing ever: we provide a product that people really need. Anytime. And especially in uncertain times.
The iPaaS market has been growing steadily for years now. The growth won’t stop for the iPaaS players that provide valuable products at a fair price.
Because more and more businesses move their entire operations online now. Yes, most of the world is open again.
But it’s not perceived as being as safe as it used to be.
So we shop online more, we do online fitness and yoga classes, we consume our entertainment in the shape of streaming and we stay in our houses or at least in our cities more than we used to.
This means that everyone is more glued to their screens than they ever were.
Of course, companies in every industry know that. So they try to find their clients where they are most likely to be found: online.
However, the competition for their attention has increased exponentially. As a consequence, you need better marketing tools. More importantly, you need better ways to measure what works and what doesn’t.
iPaaS does both those things and so much more. The right integration solution helps your team work together seamlessly even if they are in opposite corners of the world. Better yet, the insights you get from combining intel from your favorite marketing solutions gives you the opportunity to create hyper-targeted marketing campaigns.
In turn, this means less money wasted on communication channels with poor ROI and more, happier customers. What’s not to love about it?
All in all, we are extremely proud to have been able to support our subscribers as usual if not better. We know everyone is tired of the bleak news bulletins and of hearing about yet another struggling industry.
So we are happy to be an oasis of normal.
If you have any questions about iPaaS in general or SyncApps by Cazoomi in particular, we’re always here for you.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming post in our Insider series to meet one of our colleagues. Spoiler alert: he’s the one responsible for a lot of the SyncApps by Cazoomi features you know and love.