News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Startup Trigger captures billable hours and eliminates email trails

Trigger is a cloud-based application that eliminates the need for freelancers and creatives to communicate via email. It replaces emails with tasks and audit trails of communication, and ensures all billable times are captured.

A team of software engineers from NetEngine including Trigger Founder Bruce Stronge, grew frustrated with the process of accurately capturing their billable hours. The lack of an adequate collaborative environment and invoicing facilities meant that Stronge had to use his “free-time” working in multiple apps, with little cross-over and duplicated data entry.

He then embarked upon a mission with his crew of developers to build a solution; that is, one central place to manage projects, communicate with clients, and know how a business is performing at any given glance.

From that, a product was born. Trigger allows users to collaborate with their teams and clients in one place, replacing email trails and spreadsheets. It helps users track time through the app’s in-built timer, organise tasks, generate invoices from timesheets, and can even be used as a simple CRM to manage leads.

Trigger started as an internal project for NetEngine in 2009; but with many experiencing the benefits of its utility, the crew realised there was a viable business opportunity. In early 2012, they decided to turn it into a stand alone SaaS.

“The app was built completely from the ground up, using Ruby On Rails; it provides a great environment, not only to run the business easily, but for developers to try new things and hone their skills,” says Mariel Castro, Trigger Customer Development Manager. 

“Everything happens in real time – the app updates tasks and generates notifications to all collaborating on one piece of work. Goodbye long complicated email trails, say hello to simple and organised comment threads.”

Trigger has been integrated with Xero, Freshbooks, Highrise, Google Drive, and DropBox; this has also helped the business from a marketing perspective.

While the size of their market is limited only by the bounds of the Internet, the slice of the market they’re aiming to appeal to is micro and small businesses and entrepreneurs in the startup space.

“But we’re finding that our product appeals to a much wider audience, with our subscribers being based all over the world,” says Castro.

trigger-iphone-menu trigger-task-list-iphone

She adds that Twitter has been a great tool for them to grow their fanbase; and their blog helps sustain the attention of people searching for a solution to alleviate the pain-points in their business.

“Reviews on Trigger has also been very positive, word of mouth is incredibly powerful,” says Castro.

Taking customer engagement to a higher level, Trigger also built a forum for users pitch their ideas for new features.

“The more votes the idea gets, the greater chance it has of making it into the app. This keeps our subscribers happy, and enables people who may have used us before, to test out the new feature and sign up,” says Castro. 

“We’re constantly adding new features to Trigger, thanks to our users who offer suggestions, and give us feedback on what they love and what would make great new features.”

Castro says the team is happy that they’re not being dismissed as ‘just another project management app’.

The number of users who watch us and come back when the time is right is one heck of an achievement. They’re invested when they see we’re Australian, they tell us why they can’t use us now, but that they will be watching.”

The iPhone app can be downloaded via the Apple Appstore. The Android version is currently in the making.

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Startup Daily