What is Cogito?
Cogito is a software as service platform which can be used in business to create automate workflows. The service uses documents such as manual paper, email or spreadsheet-based and puts them into online automated workflows in just few minutes, then connects that to a cloud service. The startup was founded by Gian dela Rama, Aldrich Abrogena, and Jaana Abrogena. As the company grew, the startup received investment from Kickstart, one of the biggest Philippine’s largest telecom companies amounting to US$ 50 million in April 2015. Cogito itself is one of the products from InnoVantage Inc, a company that launched in July 2013 which aimed to help business streamline its process by providing technology solution. Its services including automated sales transaction, inventory transaction, Employee self service request, Expense reporting & reimbursement, outsourcing process, creative editing and QA Processes, Client portals and Purchase request.
Story Behind Cogito
Aldrich Abrogena, the CTO of InnoVantage Inc was having difficulties in hiring a senior developer for the company. Later on he came up with the idea to create a tool which would code 60% of the web app and the rest shall be done by the developer. In such, the company only needs to hire junior developers to maintain the web app if there is such a tool. Viola! Cogito was born based on that idea.
By operating Cogito as a cloud tool, the IT Department in a company can simplify the business process by providing electronic forms with automated workflows. In this case, even, the tech savvy in a company do not need to know how to do coding as the workflows itself can be done in Cogito’s web interface. Previously, the company’s focus was giving services to clients such as software development, creative design and digital marketing services. At that time, the company developed the first version of Cogito called Synapse.
At the beginning of the operation, the company did approach potential clients and ultimately got large multinational companies. At that time, the company sold Synapse at the end of 2013 and reach a small profit. Following the success of the company, they were included in programs Spring.PH of the Philippine Software Industry Association which gave the company acces to mentors in the field of software development so the company could establish business direction.
During the end of 2014, the company closed bids for Cogito products as well as several lines of services and focus the startup on competitions like Geeks on a plane. In the second half of 2014, the company had grown to employ 13 people and increased the number of clients which used the product. In 2015, the company developed the finishing touches on Cogito 2.0, incorporating what the company has learned and experienced over the last year and added new features for more friendly use.
In 2015, the company launched Cogito 2.0 and strengthened its marketing team to grab wider market. It also planned to expand wider consumers in ASEAN Countries by the end of 2015. Then in April 2015, the company received significant amount of investment from one of the biggest telecom company In Philippines, Kickstart, amounted for US$ 50 million. In 2015, there are 3.000 users accessing Cogito and expected to reach 20,000 users employed by 100 client companies. However, Cogito’s management never disclosed its clients but as a clue, the clients range from multinational consumer goods which used Cogito for marketing and budget plans, financial institution used Cogito for creating, approving and deploying promotions to potential customers and government institution which used Cogito for IT service request and document routing.
How it Works?
Cogito allows companies to create and simplify workflows by converting process such as paper, email and spreadsheet into automated workflows. As such, the company also integrated the Zapier which give more powerful performance of Cogito in doing automated workflows. Clients can customize their needs based on certain business process which need to be automated and set amount of users who accessed the software.
As workflow software solution, Cogito offers reliable online processing for documents. It aims to make business process goes smoother and streamline the process itself. As the result, less time is needed to finalize certain work process. In a interview with Dealstreeetasia.com, Gian Paulo G. de la Rama, CEO of Cogito claimed that the company has distinctive uniqueness which makes it hard to compete. Unlike any other workflow service solutions, which need to do in-house installation and configuration to deploy the software, Cogito offers more simply process. It is because the users can do automated process in Cogito’s website rather than installing the software.
There are some companies such as Tanco Asia Philippines,inc, and Activity Factory, operated also in Philippines, which offers similar services as Cogito. But those companies required to installing the software in order to provide workflow solution. Such service aslo provided by Microsoft Philippines called Employee Empowerment Solution Development Kit . This Micrsoft software required to be deployed in Microsoft Exchange 2000 server and able to automate workflow in form of papers guides, tutorials etc. It also provides template for common business processes such as expense reporting, training requests, costumer contract management and so on.
By using Cogito, users can track all work requests and not drown in a pile of mail. For example one user of Cogito is a telecommunications contractor who does the construction of mobile towers. The client uses Cogito to automate project approval, internal purchase request and process invoices. By using Cogito, work processes faster because it is automated so whenever there is an approval request can be tracked. Each request is stored and archived in Cogito and all approvers notified when the request is done so that the user can immediately respond to requests from computers and smartphones.
As a company that is also a client of Cognito, this software helps the job done faster and cost savings. For example, the consumer goods company that has been using Cognito can do the job for automating market plan and the budget approval process more efficient. If done manually, hundreds of pages of documents and spreadshet need to be processed more than 2 months to be done. Meanwhile, Cognito help the process faster because all the data has been entered in the system thus the approval of market plan or budget can be dne 2 weeks faster. In addition, companies can save unnecessary paper usage.
Furthermore, IT team experience in an insurance company in using Cogito. By using Cogito, IT team can be more focused in working on important projects and reduce the dependency to expensive IT consultant. Clients use Cogito to automate a variety of processes, problem escalation and service requests to the IT team. Escalating IT problems can be solved more easily because the team which making the request can automate their own processes. So that the IT team can focus on other business projects.