Beijing based Runes Soft ( develops customer relationship management (CRM) system for mid-sizes companies in China.

The company was founded in late 2008 by four software engineers, Li Hui, Li Jiajun, Meng Guangyu, and Jin Shunlong.  “Two of the founders worked in a firm which makes software development tool. They use it to develop a CRM software and they think there is a market for it in China,” said Jeremy Chau who has invested in Runes Soft.

While the largest companies can afford solutions from Siebel and SAP, most of smaller firms in China have no particular CRM system to manage their customer information and selling processes.  “In the U.S., there is a CRM software vendor called Salesforce, which targets the mid-size companies.  But its price tag is still too expensive for a typical company in China,” said Jeremy.  Salesfore charges about US$30 per user per month.

“Also, Salesforce uses a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.  Companies’ data is kept in the central servers at Salesforce.  This does not work in China as most Chinese companies believe their customer information are too sensitive to be hosted away from their own premises,” said Jeremy.

Instead Runes Soft uses the simple licensing model. And it charges a super low rate.  “About RMB1000-2000.  And you can have it for life,” said Jeremy.  A few local consulting firms have become Rune Soft’s partners and selling the CRM software as part of the total solutions to their clients.

“Runes Soft can be easily modified to suit a company’s particular needs. This helps our consulting partners to have fast selling cycle,” said Jeremy,  “In fact, when they (the founders) designs the system, they hope even a salesperson can make the changes himself.”

Looking forwards, Runes Soft hopes to penetrate the market by partnering with more local consulting firms.  “Our strength is in making good quality software.  They (consulting firms) have the local connections and clients networks,” said Jeremy.

Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. ( She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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1 Comment

  1. This is why Beijing-based companies are having a hard time when it comes to their customer relationship management. It’s really hard to find a CRM software that isn’t SaaS these days, as these software work their magic best when their database is connected to a large network.

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