We've built a number of custom solutions on a MySQL database, though we're about to switch to Amazon Redshift--our engineers are very excited about this. In our business, customers pay us a percentage of assets under management, so it's a long life span with a customer, where profitability from a customer is quite uncertain to us. We have to analyze a lot of different variables to try to get a measure of what a customer might look like over the long term, so custom analytics platforms were necessary.
We don't have a salesforce across most of our business, though we do have some early inklings of it. Although it's expensive, we like SalesforceIQ, and we use it for business development and managing investor relations.
We're pretty pleased with Desk.com--it's a nicely functioning platform. It's easy to train people on it, has a lot of capabilities, has a great UX and allows us to create efficiencies (macros, things that speed up support, integrates with data and other tools that we build in house). Our customer service team is 11 now, and we implemented Desk.com when the team was about two, though I wish we had done so sooner. When we initially launched, we used Gmail to answer customer questions, and then switched to SugarCRM for a couple years. SugarCRM is a solid product--similar to Desk's feature set, but Desk is a little more mature and allows for more robust developer integration. My advice would be to bring on customer support software early on, even before you have a team in place. Once you have a bigger team, ownership of cases becomes an issue, and it's easy for things to slip through the cracks. In terms of the efficiencies that Desk.com allows us to generate, I would recommend starting with it early on.
We've been using this for a long time, and we're happy with it. There's a lot of functionality there for our developers, and we've been able to build out a lot with this. We do a lot of segmenting, so Salesforce Marketing Cloud covers our bases.
We're running Quickbooks Desktop through a hosted solution, Swizznet. We have an outsourced accountant to manage our accounting, which is necessary because of our specific finance control needs.
We have some special accounting and finance needs because of our broker-dealer status, so we're different from a typical startup in that sense. One issue with QuickBooks Desktop is version control, but Swizznet helps us manage that.
Small Improvements is good for general HR tracking (employee info, salaries, review, performance). This is pretty good, fairly intuitive, and more or less does what you want it to do. We switched from Namely because it didn't support some features and functionality we needed.
We use BambooHR for time off and vacations. We're fairly new to it, but it seems OK. General feedback on all of our HR tools is that there's a lot out there, none of it does everything you want, and none of them are perfect.
We've always done benefits directly. We didn't really like the health plans that were available with the other services, and in the earlier days, it was more expensive and just as time consuming, if not more, to do this through a PEO. We use a traditional insurance broker to set this up.
We use Greenhouse to manage our recruiting process--from interviews to prospect management. I give Greenhouse high marks--it's been really good at integrating with calendars, and it does what you want it to. It provides the ability for everyone to submit a scorecard, and we like the ability to create admin privileges around who sees what.
We take an agile approach to project management and use Trello across all of our groups--including people in finance, ops and engineering. Everyone likes it, and it's scaling nicely for us.