First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Krishna Dunthoori: We’re doing well. We have tried to reduce our exposure and follow all the guidelines. We have some high-risk family members, so we have taken extra precautions to protect them.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Apty.
Krishna Dunthoori: This company and product started out of my consulting work. I founded and continued to operate a global IT consulting firm specializing in implementing or optimizing complex enterprise software. Before that, I worked as an employee or contractor to help implement these systems.
From both the company and consulting viewpoint, I could see things were not working. Companies would invest millions in a new system, trying to get it operational – only to abandon it because of a poor or failed adoption. I knew if I could build a product to solve adoption challenges, there would be a huge market for it.
We built the original version of Apty, called letzNav at the time, for one of my consulting clients. Based on our success, we then realized a public version of the software in 2017. We rebranded as Apty in 2019 as we started to add more features beyond on-screen guidance.
How does Apty innovate?
Krishna Dunthoori: Our innovation is driven by what we learn from listening to our customers. The more we learn about their challenges, the better the opportunity to optimize our product.
For example, the earliest version of Apty included an option to export the on-screen guidance out of Apty into a PDF with screen grabs. It was a fast way for companies to create documentation of their processes. We learned from listening to our clients they would use these PDFs inside their Learning Management Systems. So, we developed a feature where they could export Apty content as a SCORM object and quickly import it into an LMS.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Krishna Dunthoori: We have, in fact, grown during the pandemic. The business was slower at first, but the longer it went on, the more companies realized they needed help adopting new technologies and processes for the new normal. The last quarter was one of our highest volume quarters since we started. We even moved into the Leader quadrant on G2, thanks to our increased market presence.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Krishna Dunthoori: I took a leap of faith and kept pushing forward. We continued hiring and growing our team during the pandemic. I knew that the value Apty provides would be attractive to companies as they adjust to the realities of COVID, even though it was risky to expand in the midst of the economic turmoil. Fortunately, I was right, so I think the lesson I learned was to trust my instincts.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Apty in the future?
Krishna Dunthoori: Stress or anxiety just leads me to work more. It is not the healthiest reaction, but it works. I am confident we will continue to grow by adding new clients and by expanding our presence within our existing client base.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Krishna Dunthoori: WalkMe and Whatfix are our main competitors. Apty is different because we are focused on providing more than just on-screen guidance.
Digital Adoption and the multitude of on-screen guidance tools that have entered the market don’t address the real issue: process compliance.
Poor software utilization is merely a symptom of a larger issue that people are not following your business processes. The idea behind on-screen guidance is that it makes your software easier to use, so people will be more likely to follow your process.
The problem is that on-screen guidance is reactive. It only helps after someone has started a process. At Apty, we are working on building a proactive product.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you need your users to submit a project status report each month into your Project Management System. You have built on-screen guidance to walk people through the process, but they are still not doing it.
Stakeholders cannot make decisions if they don’t know the status of all their projects. Individually tracking down and nagging individuals to complete a status report is time-consuming.
With Apty, you can set a recurring activity to track. You have 500 active projects, so you expect 500 status reports by the end of the month.
The system can see how many are missing and then prompt people who have not submitted one to finish their status report. The user logs in to the system and gets an on-screen message that says they have not completed their status report, and then the on-screen guidance walks them through the process.
Your final thoughts?
Krishna Dunthoori: I am really proud of what we’ve accomplished as a startup. We have built a tool that solves the underlying problem behind failed software implementations. Our Digital Adoption Solution helps end-users not only to utilize enterprise software but also to follow processes.
In a relatively short time, we have become the highest-rated Digital Adoption Platform for Customer Satisfaction on G2, and now we have moved into the Leader quadrant.
I am really proud of our team and for the fact that we’ve delivered the best customer service and continued to grow, despite all the chaos of 2020. I am confident that the best is yet to come for Apty.
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