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May - 2016 - issue > siTech20 2016 - 20 Most Promising Technology Companies 2016
Nathan Research: EXPLORING THE WORLD OF ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE ON THE CLOUD
SI Team
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
A good cup of coffee from Starbucks can elevate the whole coffee experience from just a beverage ritual. But, the journey from 'bean to cup' is complicated than what meets the eye. The brand has a well-run supply chain to ensure that a barista pours a good cup of Starbucks coffee, and other products are sourced from superior quality suppliers before delivering them at the outlets. To lure in customers, these cafes offer a slew of options- from easy access to cloud-hosted contextual content, to mobile apps that allow them to order onthe- go and notifications on order completion. These technology-aided preferences increase overall efficiency and decrease customer wait-time.

Through a wide variety of such option to choose from-including the mobile, cloud, and big data- consumers are bestowed with multifarious domainspecific solutions, such as supply chain and retail. The advancements are leading businesses to adopt different business models in their companies. But it is expanding the gap between what the technology world is offering and what the enterprise can execute. "It is not just our vision and ideas, but more importantly our focused execution that has shown enterprises how they can reap practical benefits from our models and solutions," states Ram Viswanathan, President and CEO, Nathan Research. The company, through deep domain knowledge and extensive research understands the workflows and technologies in enterprises and creates domain-specific software products. With the help of the software - all of it on the cloud, businesses are able to drive lead flow, optimize marketing channels, increase conversions, grow sales, fulfill efficiently, and make decisions. "In several mythologies, Nathan means the creator and our idea was to create something from nothing, we aimed at creating solutions and values from abstract concepts through research," extols Viswanathan. The firm's solutions are easy to deploy and are delivered either on-demand or on the cloud. Marketing, Sales, and Operations managers in leading Fortune 500 companies use the software on a daily basis.

ReMAPping Operations and Analytics for Retail

Retail data paired with analytics can assist retailers in understanding and responding with actionable insights to the disrupted landscape and changing ustomer expectations. It helps in finding new and faster ways to identify product and channel preferences, engage and serve consumers in an always-on, tech-addicted world. Nathan Research's ReMAP, a web-based portfolio of solutions is a perfect example of a management and analytics platform covering all aspects of operations in a retail service.

The Lead Management System (LMS), from Nathan Research's portfolio is software that can be configured to handle various types of demand signals-from online media to brick and mortar channels. "We have a call center solution with the help of which we handle leads and demand signals and optimize channels," explains Viswanathan. The initial consultation or interaction that takes place over the phone at the call center leads to the next step where an appointment is set for follow-up sales calls. The interaction happens through a scripted workflow in the lead management module. Users can manage digital content to set the right expectations, generate sales leads, and create effective campaigns in the Digital Marketing module. Once the prospect is well understood, the leads are transferred to field sales as is the practice in several retail service industries. Field sales professionals help the customers in navigating through complex projects or products where they combine and configure multiple items seamlessly and interactively through the Sales Management module (SMS).This module also aids them to configure the price and close the sales of a make-toorder project or service. Another module handles Fulfillment Management (FMS)-to help co-ordinate, and orchestrate the flow of materials in such a way that it all comes in correctly- the labor is scheduled at the right time and a back-end job flow sequence is maintained. Different entities in the supply chain-service providers, material vendors, and installers have visibility of their own portals. Typical examples are home improvement services, telecommunication services, and construction services. The firm's integrated e-business framework including Product & Catalog Management, Storefront, e-fulfillment has found appeal among several e-tailers as well. Yet another module FTZ (the Foreign Trade Zone management) handles the unique workflows involving processes in an FTZ for importers. The analytics platform helps slice and dice data across demand channels, different supply channels, geographies, different products, as well as track key performance metrics for daily decisionmaking through operational dashboards. The firm applies data science and deep learning techniques for their analytics offerings, to detect shifting trends in customer segments, lifetime values, and operational issues.

In one instance where Nathan Research worked with a customer to establish a complete workflow from leads to sales to fulfillment using their platform. The customer had a complex workflow which was affecting their sales and operations. Nathan Research understood the workflow of the client and configured a solution using the ReMAP platform, as a result of which the customer was able to address the demand and capacity issues, increase lead flow and conversions, optimize pricing, grow sales by 25 percent, reduce the cycle time by more than ten days and increase customer satisfaction by several index points.

Reaching the Destination

"My employees are my extended family," says Viswanathan, who carefully handpicked the initial team and still spends a lot of time mentoring and coaching employees and empowers them. He also mentions that "I have become friends with and it is a honor to be a trusted advisor to some of my key customers and strive to understand the goals and objectives that drive them and see how we can contribute to their success." Building such trusted relationships with customers, and focused execution are some of the things driving the success of Nathan Research. Viswanathan is also active in the Dallas Entrepreneurial Community, and chairs a young entrepreneur program called TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE). It is a program aimed at high school kids for a couple of hours every Sunday over a period of ten weeks. It helps the kids in idea generation, planning, selling, financing, launching ventures and culminates in a pitch event. The 25- 30 kids in the program form teams and pitch to a team of VCs and entrepreneurs where a winner is picked and given cash prizes. In this way, Viswanathan is helping the younger generation, and contributing to society by preparing our leaders for tomorrow. "Also keeps me young. These kids are amazing!" adds Viswanathan who shuttles back and forth between Dallas, Silicon Valley and Chennai, India where he has built and is growing an India operation. Looking ahead, I see us as having a major play with a differentiating, leading-edge, niche provider of enterprise software on the cloud for customers in several industry verticals. It is demanding, yet Ram Viswanathan exciting," concludes Viswanathan.
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