Every job in any industry has at least one thing that we dread doing. Maybe it's a task that is necessary, yet boring and time consuming, or one that gets in the way of your main task at work. As the enterprise software industry grows, so have companies realized that they can begin to take care of the menial tasks that create friction between them and their mission at the office. Salesforce's humble beginnings were in the Lotus Notes generation's frustration with clunky software for documenting intense sales cycles. By creating an easy-to-use piece of web-based software, they removed many barriers between their salespeople doing what they were hired to do: sell. Yammer and Slack both exist to help relieve the classical issue of centralized workplace communication, and companies like Talkdesk remove the need for location-based call centers or expensive gear.
In early startup teams, a great deal of tasks are spread across multiple technical personnel, meaning that Quality Assurance ("QA") in software either becomes an extra burden or is left to the side. Rainforest QA bills itself as "the first API for QA testing," where companies write out potential QA tests in plain English that Rainforest then turns over to their tens of thousands of testers that can, according to an article by Business Insider, deliver feedback in half an hour or less. Fred Stevens-Smith, the CEO of Rainforest, said in the article that his idea came from a frustrated email to fellow Y Combinator startups asking them what problem they'd pay $1000 a month to fix, and that answer was QA. "Developer-facing startups are a huge growth opportunity right now," said Stevens-Smith. "Every company in the world is going through a 'digital transformation' to focus on software. This will take about a century. Nothing is more important than building the tooling and processes to enable these companies to focus on building amazing products."
The same can be said for companies even going after less complex but equally commonplace problems, such as Front. Many companies have "shared inboxes" for particular groups, such as customer service or technical support. The truth is that many take the easy way out by creating a shared email address, leading to a messy inbox and dull digging through requests, with no prioritization or organization. Front controls this by creating a slick user experience for the shared inbox, with the ability to create rules for particular messages (for example, if an email has the words "SharePoint" in it, it will be routed to the IT manager who is most familiar with that software), or assign entire emails to people (such as a customer service problem escalation to a manager or department). They have also built in many of the disparate functions that companies such as Yesware and many Gmail plugins have been built to handle (email tracking, email reminders, canned responses) to hand back workers precious minutes (and hours) of their lives. Front supports multi-channel (text, phone, email, and integrations with Slack and Asana too) inboxes and even lets you make comment threads on each email; a boon for discussing the best approach to a testy customer.
For Stevens-Smith, Rainforest's approach matches Front and many other startups' place in the world. "We allow developers and product teams to focus on what matters: delivering amazing software. We do this by helping eliminate many of the traditional distractions of QA, and getting them feedback faster than any other method." When you cut away the chaff of the workplace, you'll find yourself with happier, more motivated, more focused employees that can execute and get their work done efficiently. If you want them to stay loyal, it's up to you to give them the tools they need to succeed.