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Filling in the niche: the journey that made Plivo

It all started in Github, when Venkatesh Balasubramaniam (Venky) and Michael Ricordeau (Mike) got in touch with each other by chance. Both were individually scouting for applications to add voice and SMS capabilities to their websites. Unhappy with what was available, they decided to turn their need into an opportunity, leading to the birth of Plivo Open Source.

Passion was the fuel that kept them going through all the ups and downs in their journey towards making Plivo.

Plivo incorporated in 2011 and its Plivo Open Source system immediately stood out as a strong alternative to its competitor Twilio. In no time, Plivo garnered the right amount of attention. Their popularity in the web developer community encouraged Venky and Mike to create Plivo Cloud, a cloud-based telephony company, and there has been no looking back since. They officially became profitable in early May 2014 and continue to profit, having delivered around 2 billion voice minutes and SMS in over 200+ countries.

When did expense reporting become a pain?

As Plivo grew, the number of employees also increased rapidly, until there were over 100 employees in San Francisco and India. The number of expense reports also increased, which meant more work for the accounting team. Until Zoho Expense came along, Plivo's accounting staff were exhausted and frustrated with their old-fashioned paper reporting. The reimbursement process used to be sluggish, taking almost two weeks, with endless emails and calls just to process an expense report. The process was crying out for a change.

Zoho Expense to the rescue!

Plivo's accounting team heard about Zoho Expense from their HR team, which was already using Zoho People. Zoho's platform was already familiar, and when the accounting team tested out Zoho Expense, they quickly realized that it was going to be the right solution for their expense reporting needs.

The best thing about Zoho Expense is that we could find all the information about an expense report in one place," says Yasmin from the Plivo Accounting team.

As a result, managers could review and process a report in a jiffy. If an employee submitted an erroneous expense, approvers could edit it themselves, avoiding the hassle of rejection and resubmission.

What do they like the most about Zoho Expense?

By connecting their company credit cards with Zoho Expense, Plivo's accountants could create expenses directly from their card statements, rendering paper receipts completely unnecessary.

"I enjoy the syncing of credit cards in Zoho Expense. I was able to automatically see all the transactions made using the card and expense them that way. I didn't have to look for receipts anymore. It speeds up the process a lot," says Lucy Zhao, product marketer at Plivo.

In addition, the easy-to-use UI helps Plivo's employees report their expenses and speeds up the reimbursement process. With advanced analytics, it's become easy for the Accounting team to know how and where employees are spending the most.

"The fact that it is automated saves us a lot of time," adds Yasmin from the Accounting team.

As Plivo continues to scale new heights, Zoho Expense will remain right by their side, helping them deal with their growing workforce and making their expense reporting effortless.

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