Five questions with Doug Rybacki - VP of Product Management at Conga
Earlier this month, business software productivity company Conga released several updates to three of its key products. Spanning across Composer, ActionGrid and Novatus, the releases focus on faster data updates, actionable insights and more efficent automation.
A couple of weeks on - and on the eve of a major product announcement for the company - we caught up with VP of Product Management Doug Rybecki to discuss how the latest changes are designed to impact end users.
KB: Would you be able to tell us a little more about the impetus for these updates - were there any overarching user needs this bundle of updates were designed to address?
DR: Yes, it may seem a bit broad, but the core function of all of our technical and customer-facing team members is to make it easier for our customers and partners to enable data-driven and document-based business processes to be digital and automated. Inevitably, we help customers whose data lives in multiple systems and whose data is not always complete or accurate, and as a result, we create features to make it easier to leverage data from other systems with functions like bulk data import for Novatus, OData for Composer, and robust export for ActionGrid.
To help customers with the data completeness and accuracy issues, we give them functions like ActionGrid Quick-Start Grids to enter and refine data more rapidly and Composer's Live Edit function to tune their automated communications. To help our customers automate these processes, we provide tools like the Composer API and larger batch sizes for Conductor. These features are already helping our customers solve more business process issues more deeply.
KB: Is there any timescale on when the Novatus bulk data import functionalities will be available to general customers (not Beta)?
DR: Yes, we plan on this happening in a Novatus release in late summer/early fall.
KB: Conga is seen as being very Salesforce-focused. What drove the decision to open up Composer to data from non-Salesforce systems?
DR: Many of our Composer Customers use a variety of core business systems outside of Salesforce such as ERP systems, accounting systems, and custom-built systems. To have well-tuned data-driven document-based business processes become digitized and automated, our Customers want to have those informed by all of the appropriate systems at the right time so the process flows appropriately. To frame this, I will provide some examples.
When one of our customers' sales representatives is preparing a proposal for one of their existing customers, that proposal should be informed by the lead times of the products in the proposal and the accounts receivable status of that customer.
If the lead times are longer than usual, the sales representative may want to propose another product with a lead time more acceptable to their customer. If their customer has a large outstanding accounts receivable balance, the sales representative may ask for the customer to make a payment to get their balance current before incurring more receivables from that customer.
When our customers have highly secure data stored in another system, they often choose not to replicate it in Salesforce due to the nature of the additional cost of managing the compliance aspects of that data being resident in multiple systems. Instead, they can query that data for a subset of that data to be used for the creation of the transactional document creation - reducing the scope and nature of the compliance problem to be solved.
KB: Are there any plans to broaden non-Salesforce integrations in the future?
DR: Although Composer is Salesforce focused, we have integrated it with many business process solutions where our customers need their data-rich documents to go on their business process. We add new integrations and enrich existing ones on a regular basis. Electronic signature, file storage, online office suites, and email functions are the most used by our Composer customers.
KB: And more generally...any exciting updates or extensions in the pipeline (that you can tell us about!)?
DR: We are launching an exciting new product family on April 20th! Stay tuned.
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