The Guindy Times

The campus magazine of CEG, AC Tech and SAP

Making The Journey Towards 'great' Software Solutions An Interview With Ram Iyengar

Prem Sylvester, Aruna Arumugam

April 07, 2017

Mr. Ram Iyengar is a part of the Business Development team at Zoho Corporation. He typically helps accelerate the adoption of Zoho Creator, a custom workflow builder for businesses through user demos, blogs, articles, talks and sample projects. He gave a talk at Kurukshetra’17 on “How does good software become great software?”

The Guindy Times had the opportunity to talk to him after his thought-provoking lecture. Here is an excerpt:

What is the role of a Business Developer?

Business development is a team, and every person in the team is a business developer. We are the conduit between the sales and marketing team and help facilitate interactions between them.

What is the role of your team?

There are a lot of times where people come in to use a particular product based on a particular need and are sure of what they want to get out of it. But there are times when a lot of people fail to get the product they need as they aren't sure of how to get it -  we answer the ‘how’.

We also inform the teams of the ways in which they can open up new channels to marketing a product or coming up with some idea for the sales team. We help discover new paths for them.

What has the journey of Zoho been like?

The Zoho journey is more than 10 years old. Zoho wasn't the first company started by its founders - they were involved in sectors like telecom, finally leading to the cloud computing business. They began by selling products to the same businesses that bought their earlier solutions, continuing to make more software that could sustain their businesses. Today Zoho has 35 successful products and each of those products target one solution. For example, there is CRN for the sales teams, MAIL for everyone, DOCS where a group of people can work by editing and commenting on each other’s work.

What do you mean by elevating good software to great software?

Good software is something that does really well without any errors. For example, take the example of money transfer. There are some companies that provide solutions and do micropayments. They have a channel of partners who disperse these notes. This money is distributed to the needy people. The software they use becomes ‘great’ based on what they choose to do with it.

Do tell us more about the concept of a ‘paperless’ office, that you mentioned in your lecture earlier.

As the theme of today's event was ‘climate change’, I spoke about the ways Zoho is trying to contribute towards a better world. As we all know, paper consumption requires the cutting down of several trees and energy. Hence, Zoho is trying to contribute towards going paperless by providing software solutions as they are more efficient and secure. If I can convince even 1% of the people around me to become paperless, then my job is done.

What is the motto of Zoho, and its vision in 10 years?

Zoho is trying to make business software more accessible. Its aim is to promote pleasure at work. For example, everyone these days uses a phone very conveniently and efficiently. So if Zoho can introduce a working environment with the same convenience, speed, interest and accessibility in order to execute tasks, then it will definitely achieve its dream.