Interview with AODocs CEO and founder Stéphane Donzé at Google Next

We ran into AODocs CEO and founder Stéphane Donzé at Google Next London and got to learn more about their document management platform built for Google Drive.

AODocs helps companies comply with regulatory environments, bring structure to documents, and automate business processes to make work more efficient—all within the G Suite ecosystem.

You can watch the interview below or read the transcription.
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Interview Transcription

Fintan: I’m here today at the Google Cloud Next conference in London. I’m hoping to talk to some of Google’s partners about some of their products and services, and how they help customers. I’m here at the AODOCS stand and I have with me —

Stéphane Donzé: I’m Stéphane Donzé. I’m the founder and CEO of AODOCS.

Fintan: Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about AODOCS and maybe some of the challenges that it solves for your customers?

Stéphane: Sure, yes. AODOCS is a document management for Google Drive. We help customers organize their document and implement their business processes. For example, if you’re a manufacturing company, you want to be ISO 9001 compliant for your quality processes. We can help you manage your procedures, we can help you distribute those procedures and the test results from your customers. If you’re an HR department, you want to improve the [unintelligible 00:01:01] of your employee. We can take care of that from the arrival of the employee, integrate with your HR system’s collector of the documents, push resources or employees or [unintelligible 00:01:09].

Anything in your company that requires documents — business processes, compliance, even document retention — can be done with the AODOCS and you keep all of that in the G Suite environment.

Fintan: The customer, or the end-user, doesn’t really have to leave the Google ecosystem. From their perspective, they’re still living within Google Drive or whatever the product is, and your [unintelligible 00:01:36] sits on top of it, does it?

Stéphane: Yes, exactly. The customers make the choice of G Suite and Google Drive to get this collaborative environment, this work-anywhere work-on-any-device user experience. We add to that the structure of the organization that you typically need in the enterprise for your business critical documents. You stay in the G Suite environment, it’s single sign on, you have your Google account, your Google groups to manage the permissions, but you have these additional features.

Fintan: You mentioned the administrative layer on top. From an admin’s perspective then — if we just switch for a second — does it allow admins to manage the content much easier?

Stéphane: Yes. We have different level of administration; we have function administrators who do not need to be technical. They will typically manage the workflow configuration, the sharing permission, the processes, the notifications that are sent to the users. Then we have IT administrators who can globally manage where the product is deployed, which organizationally needs, which permissions are granted, and so on. We also have interfaces for developers, so we have APRS and custom scripting. If you want to build application on top of AODOCS, it’s possible, and to integrate it with your SAP, with your CRM, whatever you need.

AODOCS is really designed to be a component of your IT infrastructure, something that can be connected to anything that produces documents or consumes documents or processes documents. We are also integrated natively with some other G Suite partners, so we work with DocuSign for document signature; you can use e-signature as a part of your AODOCS workflow. We can encrypt documents with Virtue, with another partner.

Fintan: I’ll be talking to them afterwards.

Stéphane: Exactly, yes. It’s an ecosystem. It’s not just the box in which you can put documents. It’s something that you can plug to the rest of your architecture.

Fintan: Okay, excellent. In terms of particular industries or verticals, is there a particular area that tends to lean towards AODOCS or benefit specifically from AODOCS?

Stéphane: Yes, absolutely. We have lots of success in the manufacturing industry.

Fintan: Lots of business processes and so forth.

Stéphane: Yes, business processes, operations; quality control is a big thing. We have a lot of customers coming to us to be ISO 9001 compliant. We have government — of course, in government, you have a lots documents, papers. We do paperless, digitalization, things like that to improve their efficiency and reduce their cost; education. Then we have some departments that are big users of AODOCS like the legal departments to manage contracts, and IP registration, litigation, things like that. HR departments – of course, there are lots of processes in HR that can be solved with AODOCS.

Fintan: Are there any specific customer references you could mention to us that are UK- or European-based?

Stéphane: In Europe, we have quite a few big names. We have Solvay in chemistry, we have Air Liquide in the gas industry. In the UK, we have the cabinet office who [crosstalk] our customer.

Fintan: That’s big. [laughs]

Stéphane: Yes, it’s a big one. We have Valeo, the automotive equipment manufacturer [unintelligible 00:04:58] is that Google themself is using us for some of those processes. We work in some operating procedures for your data centers, we work with the Google legal department. We have almost 10 use cases today that are being explored or being deployed at Google for AODOCS.

Fintan: Yes, that’s quite a few brands, all right. Yes, definitely. In terms of areas and features that you guys are working on this year, is there anything you can share with us about where customers might expect to see the product going or –?

Stéphane: The two big things we’re working on are the ability to build applications on top of AODOCS. We call that the low-code platform. We’re adding lots of features that you can use to not only manage you documents but do things with your documents. Use AODOCS almost like your database on which you can build real applications. We have a customer who have their entire employee annual performance review on AODOCS with salary computation and all the stuff. It goes very far. It’s no longer document measurement, it’s really a business application that manipulates a lot of document. Local platform is one priority, the other one is integration with the rest of the world.

Because, like I said, in your IT, it’s not just you have a place where you put documents. You have lots of information flow that comes from the CRM, come from SAP; that generates quotes. You have obviously DocuSign that is processing documents for a signature or —

Fintan: Things aren’t siloed anymore.

Stéphane: Exactly, so we want to be a part of information flow. We want to be able to connect to all of those applications, so we’re developing sonar connectors for sales force, for different ERPs. We have customers working JD Edwards, we have Whirlpool who is using success factors in HR; we’re integrated with that. That’s the big thing, making it easy to connect all of those systems to AODOCS.

Fintan: Making it easier for the IT admin. [laughs]

Stéphane: Yes, of course. Because you don’t want to spend time doing plumbing, you want to spend time modeling those business processes and organizing the flow of information. [crosstalk] simpler.

Fintan: Solving problems —

Stéphane: Yes, business issues rather than technical issues.

Fintan: Exactly, yes; excellent. Just one last fun one we’ve been asking people — I’m putting you on the spot now. Other than your own product, do you have a favorite Gmail or G Suite add-on or Chrome extension that you really love? Free or otherwise —

Stéphane: Sure. Well, I just spent 15 minutes playing with the Jamboard. This is-

Fintan: Oh God, the Jamboard.

Stéphane: – fantastic. This is unbelievable. It is so natural, you’re just touching it, and it works. I think it’s going to be a hit as soon as it’s available for sale.

Fintan: Yes. I had a little play with it there as well. It’s really exciting innovation in whiteboards which haven’t really been innovated in a long time. Excellent, well, thanks very much for talking to us today.

Stéphane: Thank you.

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