i. What does it do?
Cirrus Insight integrates Salesforce with Google (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive). It primarily takes the power of Salesforce’s CRM and sticks it into your Gmail inbox. Contact, Lead and Opportunity info becomes visible in the inbox. This functionality is greatly extended via integration with many other excellent apps in the ecosystem that facilitate things like digital signatures, lead/contact creation and case management right out of your Gmail inbox. Salesforce and Gmail are present together in a lot of companies and Cirruspath (the maker of Cirrus Insight) is busy turning them into a perfect marriage.
ii. Why is it big news for the Salesforce ecosystem?
According to Co-founder Brandon Bruce “So many organizations are taking the ‘cloud plunge’ and many are going a combined Salesforce and Google route. Cirrus Insight is often the missing piece between these 2 huge platforms. They are making a big investment in dollars and we can really multiply the productivity of both.”
iii. What does it help your customer facing staff do?
According to Bruce, it “helps them be more responsive to their prospects and existing customers – quick responsiveness makes customers feel like they are being taken care of.” Basically if they access some of the power of Salesforce while still in their Gmail inbox during a call, that’s a powerful timesaver and productivity boost and reduces the need to shunt back and forth between the 2 apps.
iv. Main users?
Anyone using both Salesforce and Gmail. It’s relevant to every vertical. As Cirruspath is so young, they predictably have a few verticals where they are developing the apps footprint first – and they’ve been pulling in a lot of customers in manufacturing and media in recent times. They haven’t even started to build their sales machine and the battalion that will grow as part of that machine. If you’re a VC or big Angel investor with a taste for getting in at the beginning, maybe re-read this paragraph.
v. How does it demo?
Some highlights…you can:
– Save emails into Salesforce with a single click.
– Sync events between Salesforce and Google Calendar.
– Create and manage leads, contacts, tasks, events, cases, and opportunities right from Gmail.
vi. Latest and Greatest news:
The following 3 major functional enhancements were announced in the last 2 weeks (almost simultaneously) and this says something about the speed at which these guys are innovating through integrations with other parts of the Salesforce ecosystem. Expect a lot more announcements.
– Creation of leads and contacts from Gmail and populating into Salesforce via a single click (partnering with Ringlead). The email signature is scanned in this process.
– Sending contracts for digital signatures out of the Gmail inbox. This is for joint customers of Cirrus Insight and Adobe Echosign.
– Changing case ownership and using flags to keep track of the age of cases (through partnering with Internet Creations).
vii. Product roadmap?
Expect more great integrations within the ecosystem, but the big focus is on mobile. I don’t expect to see any Alpha App this year without a big focus on mobile. Cirruspath understand that the inbox is a massive access point and they know the shift is to mobile. They want to bake more of the power of Salesforce into the inbox so you can connect better with customers/prospects when sending email. Cirrus Insight has a Mobile UX in beta release. Expect full release this year.
If you want to be part of the Mobile beta, click to apply.
viii. Geographical penetration and target market.
The US is where most of their business is, with some big UK customers. Nothing unexpected there. There’s also a few customers in Australia and they are getting traction in Peru and Brazil too. Not much traction yet in the world’s biggest economy, the European Union (outside of the UK & Ireland). So come to the EUs Silicon Valley early! That’s Dublin I’m referring to of course.
ix. Where do Cirruspath see themselves in 4 years?
Bruce is not prepared to put his finger in the air. “How big? Who knows? My belief is the 2 organizations will keep growing”. Cards to the chest on that one. In 4 years he feels they will probably “self describe as a mobile company”. Bringing Salesforce into Gmail on your mobile is really exciting and its great to know that box is genuinely being ticked.
x. Anything I would change/add?
Add an email scheduler.
Integration with the other big player in digital signatures (Docusign) might be a good idea i.e. if there’s no exclusivity agreement with Echosign.
Integration with Chatter.
xi. Investor ready?
Is this company and its app highly investable? In a word ‘yes’. They have a 1st round Angel investment of 625K USD. For 2nd round investment they are actively growing revenue and cash-flow – and talking with investors. They will be looking to raise about 2 million dollars in round 2. They do not want to comment on stock. I wouldn’t be surprised if they give away about 10% for that so I’m guessing they currently value themselves at around 20M USD. Cirruspath is first and foremost a team of superb innovators. My definition of a company that is strong on innovation is one that has vision, the developers to execute on that vision and a good understanding of their addressable market. They’ve been able to post an attractive revenue growth curve without pouring massive resources into Sales & Marketing. These guys have been innovating and integrating with other valuable players in the ecosystem at a rate of knots. And they’re doing this on the Salesforce and Google cloud platforms – 2 growth machines that are not going to disappear anytime soon. All of this points towards a modest valuation with a strong potential upside when they receive the 2nd round investment necessary to beef up business development and marketing.
xii. Hang on a minute…Email is Dead…..
I’m going to publish a separate article on this but in short, anybody who believes that lives in a science fiction movie. And Marc Benioff is far too smart to really believe it. He’s a business visionary but he lives in the present – just look at the success of the revenue generating machine he commands. Benioff’s just pushing buttons very cleverly and getting tons of media exposure as a result. Fair play to him.
Look at it this way. Gmail has >500 million users after less than 10 years existence. WhatsApp has >450 Million users but achieved that in 5 years and has an accelerating growth trajectory of 1M users/day. Ergo WhatsApp is much more important than Gmail? Gmail is far more important. Yes there is an unstoppable movement away from email towards social media. However even if we take an inflated worst case scenario and say Gmail reduced to 30% of the footprint it has today in 5 years time, that still makes it massively relevant today, tomorrow, in 5 years time and beyond. So ask yourself the question. “Is Gmail relevant?”. Of course it is. And here’s the thing. Email, email marketing etc. rarely trends these days on social media but it still rules the roost on ROI. Some companies are taking their eye off that ball. Companies that stay focused on email as a crucial player in terms of employee productivity, customer interaction, marketing etc will continue to benefit in spades. Gmail is the big mama of email. Salesforce is the big daddy of CRM. Google and Salesforce have platforms that will only continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Cirrus Insight is in a great place.
About the co-founders and their company:
Cirruspath was founded in 2011. It evolved from the Cirrus Consulting Group that was created in 2010 to provide solution architecture and project management services to companies seeking to extend their products to cloud-computing platforms like Force.com, Google App Engines, and Amazon EC2. Like a lot of talented consultancy and implementation Salesforce partners, they created Cirrus Insight in response to customers demanding Salesforce-Google integration.
Brandon Bruce, COO & Co-Founder
Ryan Huff, CEO & Co-Founder
Ryan and Brandon are friends for 17 years going back to college days. This is their first start-up. Ryan is an architect on the salesforce platform and a great coder. He identifies useful business cases and is able to visualize and execute solutions with powerful and intuitive apps. Brandon oversees and works on business side of things – customer support, operations, marketing, sales, strategy and big picture stuff. Brandon’s also a serious endurance athlete. He did a 508 mile bike race through Death Valley (35 hours and 7 minutes). All this was achieved with just a 17 minute nap for a break. Half a dozen red bulls supplemented his enormous calorific intake. Ryan was in the car supporting him all the way. These guys are committed friends and that seems to feed into their focus as business partners. I happen to know they both have a fondness for red Bull and for burning the midnight oil for mutual success.
“I get email; therefore I am.”
About Amasat: Founded in 2013, Amasat identifies and promotes global best in class cloud apps. It focuses on apps within the ecosystem evolving around the world’s most powerful and innovative platform, Salesforce.com. Amasat calls them Alpha Apps. If you believe you have a global best in class app or a unique app that creates a new market, please email me and describe in a single sentence what makes your app an Alpha App. You’ll find contact details and more info here: Amasat