Computerlogy CEO: We are in the era of rapid change in technology
Vachara Aemavat, CEO, Computerlogy, tells e27 that companies must not become idle and take technology for granted
Social media has been said to be losing interest in big markets like the US. Pew recently reported that 27 percent of individuals in the US are planning to cut down on time on Facebook. Tumblr, according to The Verge, saw a “sharp decline in traffic” in August. A study by Piper Jaffray, published on Vator TV, shows that only Pinterest is generating more interest with teenagers in the US, amongst other social media sites like Tumblr, Google Plus and YouTube.
That definitely doesn’t seem to be the case in emerging markets. Thai-based software development company, Computerlogy, claims that the fad is still growing rapidly in developing countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
In fact, Computerlogy’s flagship product SocialEnable, a social media management system, manages more than 150 top brands on various media channels in Thailand. Computerlogy was founded by Vachara Aemavat back in 2009, and now has a team of 15 people to help these brands to utilise social media more efficiently.
Computerlogy, a member of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) programme for the Apps and Pages feature, was invited to participate in a PMD hackathon organised in Singapore for the whole of Asia Pacific recently.
Aemavat, the Founder and CEO of Computerlogy, says, “Social media is growing at an explosive rate and it is the most important marketing tool for many brands in Thailand as well.”
With a business-to-business (B2B) model, Computerlogy targets big corporates in Southeast Asia with a mind to use social media marketing to reach out to existing or new customers. It also works with industries like telecommunication, banking, airlines, media and online agencies.
With the recent US$932,000 investment from InVent, the venture capital arm of Intouch Group, Computerlogy has plans to expand to the rest of Asia, like Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. However, in order to do so, the company will require strategic partners in these countries for proper localisation.
Aemavat notes, “We have the team ready in technology to develop products for the bigger market. So expanding our market into ASEAN is the next year target.”
He also claims that the company has been breaking even consistently. “Partly due to the right solution for users’ expectations with the utmost efficiency in utilising social media that can really convert conversation into conversion for business.”
The company charges a subscription fee, which varies according to the number of fans or followers the brand has.
Through managing big brands like EdgeAsia and Bank of Ayudhya, he has learned several valuable insights into using social media for business operations. In turn, this has helped SocialEnable become an even better product.
He shares that for Krungsri Bank, it is not just about customer service. The bank faces issues like focusing on engaging users and selecting target audience and campaign for each post.
Currently, SocialEnable allows brand managers to monitor updates from all social media channels, be it Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram or even Pantip.com, a Thai webboard. Users of the solution can measure sentiments, whether positive or negative, and generate a summary report. Not only does the platform allow publishing, it also tags the posts to campaigns, which could be filtered using specific demographics.
Read also: Thailand’s e-commerce space from the eyes of local entrepreneurs
Other features include a customer relationship management (CRM) function, which helps track customers and understand behaviours, and an analytical tool which creates interactive reports.
With competitors everywhere else, given the competitive nature of the industry, Aemavat says that it is important for them to adapt quickly. He says, “… We are in the era of rapid change in technology, we must not become idle to learn and adapt ourselves to catch up is our constant challenge.”
Well, Computerlogy does have one edge over its competitors. It is very much localised to the nitty-gritty details in languages. He tells e27 that the company is not “simply drawing data” but giving an analysis with related sentiments and evaluations.
The startup is also part of the Microsoft BizSpark* programme, where Computerlogy receives software and development tools apart from the free application of Windows Azure, a cloud platform. Aemavat says that his first impression of Azure was that the Dashboard feature was easy to manage, and there was a fixed and transparent pricing in place.
He adds, “With well designed structure from the beginning, now volume of customer increases we can shift size to support the bigger amount of users without problem.”
Aemavat first got to know about Windows Azure at an event titled ‘Start it up, Power it up event by Thumbup’. He says that as Microsoft provides “good local support”, the team was able to correct issues whenever they get stuck.
He adds that Computerlogy runs its open source stack on Azure, managing it within virtual machines.
As the pricing structure for Azure was considered cheap, according to Aemavat, the stack could run on small units such as XS or S-sized machines. “This is very helpful for startups,” he adds.
This allows scalability and a more long-term plan for the firm. He concluded, “Then, when we have more customers, which require more power loads, we start increasing the size.”
*Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that provides software (at no cost), support, and visibility to help startups succeed. It is a three-year program. For more details, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/
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