Freshworks: empowering clients with team-based software
At a time when more workers are reliant on business software than ever before, Freshworks is dedicated to ensuring that users have an optimised experience.
Considering the average digital solutions provided to be “clunky, expensive, hard to set up and frustrating to use”, the company strives to eliminate the need for clients to spend prolonged periods of time customising inefficient apps.
Instead, Freshworks aims to deliver intuitive, ‘out-of-the-box’ style software which is immediately ready for use. It does this with cost-conscious and expert execution that doesn’t sacrifice quality in return.
The origins of world-class solutions
Starting organically as the response to a broken television in 2010, founders Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy began creating a user-centric cloud-based customer service software named ‘Freshdesk’.
Little over a year later, Freshdesk was officially in Chennai, India and almost immediately began receiving clients from all over the world; the company began its first-round funding in December 2011, worth US$1mn.
Later, in April 2012, the company moved to its second-round funding via New York investment firm Tiger Global Management and venture capital company Accel, this time for $5mn.
By 2014, Freshdesk had managed to break the 30,000 customer mark and in 2017 rebranded as ‘Freshworks’ to reflect its new focus as a products platform. The following yearn Freshworks managed to generate an annual revenue in excess of $100mn.
Now trusted by over 150,000 clients around the world to deliver best-in-class software, the company has worked hard to ensure all aspects of
With a portfolio of 13 products and growing, Freshworks has a diverse range of solutions that can empower teams to reach their potential and optimise businesses. These include:
Freshdesk: An omnichannel, AI-driven, self-service solution aimed at customer service agents. Enabling staff to work together when addressing customer enquiries, the app consolidates conversation threads into a single place and automates repetitive work.
Freshsuccess: A key tool for companies seeking to expand and/or strengthen their client relationships, Freshsuccess provides an easy window to learn about customers, identify opportunities and boost productivity.
Freshworks 360: Dubbed the ‘ultimate customer-for-life suite’, this app aims to bring together the entire customer journey or cycle: support, CRM, customer success, marketing, voice and chat.
Aiming to provide a seamless experience for both clients and team members, the separate aspects of Freskworks 360 can be found individually if required. However, for those wishing to integrate sales, support and marketing into one platform, 360 is the ultimate solution.
Helping to understand customers
In a recent press release, Freshworks announced that it had acquired AnswerIQ, an ML and AI (machine learning and artificial intelligence) provider for large enterprises.
With Freshworks’ AI engine, ‘Freddy’, matching well with AnswerIQ’s software, the acquisition was seen by both companies as a logical and welcome choice.
“With Freshworks’ commitment to deploying enterprise-scale AI to better understand customers and build relationships for life, this acquisition is a natural fit,” said Pradeep Rathinam, former AnsweriQ CEO and CCO.
“I’m excited to join Freshworks as their new chief customer officer as we create delightful experiences for enterprises that use our products worldwide.”
“The integration of AnsweriQ’s technology enhances our AI/ML capability in the customer engagement space and offers significant value to our customers,” added Mathrubootham.
That value has clearly permeated the thousands of clients which Freshworks currently serves, including some of the largest companies in North American business, including American Express, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems.
In addition to wide industry recognition across the world, from technology to healthcare, clothing and engineering companies, Freshworks’ appeal is near-universal and it is very likely that the company will soon be seen as one of the great tech success stories of the last 20 years.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.