When a company is starting up, they need to stay lean—without cutting quality and creating a lot of extra work for a small staff. That means making smart decisions, and for legions of small companies today, the cloud has become the go-to hosting solution—and in its different forms, the cloud can solve a lot of the early growing pains. The addition of managed support, hosted email and cloud monitoring can make a big difference for a small company.
KarmaCRM, a startup providing SaaS customer relationship management, is representative of the trend. “As a small company, I need to leverage all the affordable technology I can,” explains KarmaCRM founder John-Paul Narowski. “The cloud both provides a strong backbone to my services and allows me to compete with the big boys with large technology budgets.”
They needed an affordable, scalable infrastructure that wouldn’t take man-hours away from the development of their core product. As a cloud-based service, KarmaCRM needed a host with stability and support in order to guarantee its customers that same level of dependability. “By leveraging Rackspace’s cloud offerings, we gain access to a wealth of services that we couldn’t afford to create or manage in-house,” says Narowski.
Narowski (pictured left) chose Cloud Servers with a managed service level, better known as Managed Cloud, and it has been a great fit for the company. “The experience has been A+, alleviating a lot of pressure we previously felt before switching to a managed, monitored solution. Rackspace gives us all the services and tools we need to ensure our CRM application is stable, fast, and always available to our customers.”
As software options have proliferated, Narowski has found simplicity by using a number of complementary Rackspace solutions, including hosted email. As Narowski points out, just because they’re a startup doesn’t mean it makes sense to do everything by themselves. “It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of doing everything in-house and waste your IT talent managing email servers instead of growing your business,” he says. “Our business is CRM, not IT, and everything we can do to help keep that in the forefront helps us remain lightweight and competitive.”
Cloud monitoring via Cloudkick (soon to become Rackspace Cloud Monitoring) has also given KarmaCRM greater control and peace of mind. “It alerts me to any issues or warnings on my servers,” explains Narowski. “I have alerts set up to allow me to preemptively fix any load-balancing issues my servers might have. The ability for Cloudkick to monitor CPU and memory usage and dynamically spin-up or resize instances is going to be a crucial part of our system stability and automation over the long haul.”
Would Narowski recommend these cloud solutions to other SaaS businesses? “Without question,” he says. “The peace of mind it brings is worth its weight in gold as you are starting up. For web-based software companies without a dedicated sys admin, it’s a no-brainer.”
To read more about the technical aspects of KarmaCRM’s configuration at Rackspace, check out the full case study: http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/karmacrm
For more information on using KarmaCRM to manage your customer relationships, visit KarmaCRM.com.