We looked at the final product and saw that many other firms could benefit from it
Gor and Alexander worked together in the field of business processes automatization. They both chose this exact field because of its high demand and their fitting competencies – Alexander, for instance, has a degree in economics. Around four years ago they started collaborating with a major building contractor. Initially, they were asked to update the company’s telecom infrastructure but during the work, the contractor also asked for specialized software that would cover some of the management accounting and financial flows.
Partners spent around three years developing a personalized ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and improving it. And when this period was over, they understood that the final product could be beneficial not only for the company they were working with but for many others. Thus a custom project became an independent product – Aggio.
“We need a lot of resources, including human ones to promote and improve Aggio. Alexander and I have been developing, integrating, testing and supporting it – and while it's possible with only one client, when there are three of them, it becomes rather difficult. That’s why we started forming a team. Now there are seven of us – mainly, we have ITMO University students, graduates or staff members. This spring, we entered the University’s Technopark, thus reaching the maximum level of affiliation with ITMO. But this is wonderful because it gives our company the benefit of interacting with other startups,” explains Gor Karapetyan.
Custom products vs universally applicable ERP systems
Any system (ERP, CRM, telecom) ideally has a number of core functions and a general purpose but is actually developed for a particular company. Obviously, while ensuring the system’s maximum quality, this makes it fairly expensive.
“Not every business can afford paying for an ERP system to be developed, and that is why adaptability is one of Aggio’s main advantages. As part of our services, we offer not only transfer of the core functions but implementation, integration, technical updates and support. De jure, there are eight companies using Aggio, but de facto each of them has its own product,” adds Gor Karapetyan.
Naturally, any custom-made application is an expensive and time-consuming task. But an ERP system is strongly linked to the type of company – so, if Aggio was made for a building contractor, does it mean that it can only be used by similar companies?
In practice, no. Aggies is already applied in companies operating in the fields of project activities, sales, production and various services.
“Our experience shows that the system we created can be used by so many different companies in Russia. Though, not only in Russia – the building contractor we collaborated with before has implemented Aggio in its offices in the US and Kazakhstan, where the service is operating impeccably. It is a cause for celebration because an ERP system has to be seamless and be able to integrate into other systems and banks, it is difficult to adapt it for another country. We are happy to learn that Aggio could do it,” Gor Karapetyan explains.
One program – a single solution
An ERP system is a software product for resource management in business. The resources are mainly managerial and financial. So how is Aggio different from programs and services already available on the Russian market?
According to its developers, Aggio features functions that are unique in the country. It can be compared to international services that are represented in Russia by their integrator companies (they provide only support). But using their services here is controversial because making even the slightest changes to its code or changing the template solution is a difficult task.
“Aggio covers the whole company. The system accumulates information from every office and puts out the general picture in one window. One other advantage of our system lies in machine learning applied for distribution of paperwork for accounting records and automatic fitting of payments with cash flow items. In general, we try to minimize (or even eliminate) routine paperwork of the accounts and finance departments, as well as the company management,” expounds Alexander Plotnikov.
It is a trend on the Russian market to strive for business process automatization and cutting down on manual labor. The creators of Aggio say they have worked with various companies and audited internal programs of many a business – and that is why their ERP system comes equipped with the broadest spectrum of solutions. However, that is not the limit.
“We consider Aggio a 100% finished product but we keep on improving its functionality. We have recently added a possibility to set tasks to employees and are now working on integration with corporate telephones and chats. An ideal picture for us is when a company purchases Aggio, implements it – and the software covers most of the tasks at hand. And it has to be so good at its job that the company doesn’t need anything else for management,” says Gor Karapetyan.