Tony Blank, Director of Startup Programs
Massively expedites application response times to increase community growth by double digits
Moves beyond spreadsheets and manual data entry to select best-in-class tools
Conserves community team resources to refocus on delivering an incredible experience
Deeply integrates multiple CRMs to ensure alignment with revenue organization
Drives awareness and demand for Agora.io among key communities, including startups, students, and developers
Agora is the leading Real-Time Engagement (RTE) platform. The company aims to make real-time engagement ubiquitous, allowing everyone to interact with anyone, in any app, anytime, anywhere. Agora’s video, voice, and live interactive video SDKs help developers deliver rich in-app experiences for users across many industries, including gaming, social, education, entertainment, and enterprise.
“We’ve recently invested in our community programs for startups and education organizations—both key verticals for our video communications products,” says Tony Blank, Director of Startup Programs at Agora. “By offering developer support, promotions, and free consultations, we hope to empower these organizations to build better software, seamlessly connect with their students, and increase awareness around our offerings.”
Agora’s developer community team knew from day one it needed more than just spreadsheets to manage records and deliver a seamless community experience. “Dev community professionals like ourselves often struggle identifying and implementing the tools we need to effectively build relationships and increase brand awareness,” explains Blank. “There just isn’t a standardized ecosystem for community building software like there is in, say, sales. Most sales teams rely on CRMs that are tailor-made for them by sales ops teams. But our team has vastly different objectives from sales and needs solutions that help us grow our community and engage with members fast—without the noise and extra functionality of sales-oriented tools. And often, these tools require a developer to configure the software, which is a resource that we just don’t have.”
To make matters more challenging, community teams don’t always have the option to partner with more-technical, process-oriented teams. “In the past, we’ve tried hacking together solutions using spreadsheets and hand-coded integrations to keep track of our community and manage inbound inquiries. But ultimately, these tools and processes were always an uphill battle. The teams that managed those systems weren’t always able to prioritize the work we needed, when our community needed it.”
Ultimately, ad-hoc systems weren’t enough to take Agora’s startup programs to the next level. “We needed a solution that could help us effortlessly orchestrate the outreach and data management involved in our community programs while still working seamlessly with the rest of our revenue stack.”
Agora’s developer community team members weren’t strangers to building their own integrations. “We have some technical experience on the team, and we’ve built our own integrations in the past,” remarks Blank. “But technical talent is a scarce resource, and we didn’t want to spend all of our time hand-coding integrations when we could be planning and executing programs for our startup community.”
The team also tried connecting its stack using lightweight integration tools to no avail. “We’ve had pretty negative experiences with other integration vendors in the past. Other vendors’ limited, barebones functionality, which didn’t go far beyond simple, point-to-point integrations, couldn’t resolve the unique quirks in our tech stack. Plus, every time our software tools would release an update, our integrations would fail.”
The Agora team heard of Tray.io through another firm they worked with at the time. “I reached out to a colleague to talk about some of the challenges I was having with my current vendor. As it turns out, they had experienced similar issues and had switched to using the Tray Platform.”
“After a strong reference from a trusted colleague, we were ready to give the Tray Platform a shot. The implementation process was seamless, and it felt like the right tool to connect the dots between our stack and the rest of the business. As an added plus, we could train our non-technical colleagues to build their own automated workflows. The platform offered the right mix of power and ease-of-use to go above and beyond our needs.”
With a General Automation Platform, the team at Agora could finally build the custom developer relations tech stack they needed to set their startup community up for success. “We opted to build a custom CRM ecosystem that met our unique needs by flowing data across our preferred CRM, community experience platform, internal communication tools, and enrichment vendor,” says Blank. “We didn’t have to settle for technology that was designed for a different purpose. And with a tightly integrated stack, we could stay aligned with the rest of the software tools our business operates in.”
Now, the Agora team could implement the best possible software solutions for their team, without relying on resource-constrained technical teams. “The Tray Platform is the solution for teams like ours that are traditionally tougher to prioritize by IT and RevOps. By building our own integrations, we can choose the tools and processes we need to deliver exceptional developer relations programs at scale."
Armed with a tailor-made tech stack, Agora can now respond to inbound inquiries fast and at scale. “The Tray Platform has empowered my team to be super-responsive to inbound requests,” says Blank. “As a result, we’ve been able to massively expand our community and increase the number of startups onboarded by double digits.”
Agora has also dramatically sped up onboarding processes, too. “Now, we can onboard new startups significantly faster. Which is vitally important for time-strapped teams with limited resources. Shaving days off of their implementation time can help these teams seamlessly integrate video into their software and ultimately go-to-market faster.”
As an added bonus, Agora can retask its community teams to refocus on more-strategic projects, such as designing and executing new offers for startups. “We’ve been able to cut out slow, manual work-intensive processes across our team. Which helps us deliver more-exciting and engaging programs for our communities.”
The team at Agora is already building out more automated processes to unsilo data and unlock actionable insights organization-wide. “We’ve started to partner with other teams to help them identify and measure the impact of their process gaps. Our marketing team, for example, frequently relies on spreadsheets to segment and analyze snapshotted web data. We’re designing a new workflow to consolidate data from a few live sources and identify trends that will drive traffic and pipeline.”
Agora’s technological partners also see the value in rapid, low-code integrations for developer relations and startup community teams. “Developer relations teams work across the customer journey to create value and build lasting relationships within their communities," says Patrick Woods, co-founder and CEO of Orbit.love, a fast-growing community experience solution that community teams like Blank’s trust to onboard and engage startups quickly. "But their communities are usually distributed across many platforms, so they need a way to understand members and activities across each platform. That's why integrations are the key to delivering outstanding community programs for rapidly-growing startups.”
If you’d like to see how other successful firms have integrated their tech stacks to supercharge their processes, join our next weekly group demo. Or, see how other customers such as Udemy, Outreach, and Github use the Tray Platform to take full control of their data.