What’s In A Name?
Ortoo – A Mongolian Messenger System

It won’t surprise you to know that we’re often asked where the name Ortoo comes from. Most people think an Ortoo is probably an animal of some kind, maybe a Dodo-type bird or perhaps a rare marsupial? But, in truth, the origin of Ortoo is a tale of war, death, empire and intrigue.
Sunset over some Mongolian mountains

What’s In A Name? Ortoo – The Mongolian Messaging System

It won’t surprise you to know that we’re often asked where the name Ortoo comes from. Most people think an Ortoo is probably an animal of some kind, maybe a Dodo-type bird or perhaps a rare marsupial? But, in truth, the origin of Ortoo is a tale of war, death, empire and intrigue.

Email-to-anything and Q-assign have been around since 2010 and for the first 4 or so years of their life were largely experimental. But in 2015, when things started to get serious, our founder, Leon Crisp, knew that the time was right to establish and launch a company to take the apps to market. The challenge was to decide upon a company name, something which would be memorable, and perhaps have branding potential, so Leon undertook some lateral thinking to see what he could come up with.

The raison d’etre for the new company would effectively revolve around the handling of messages in the Salesforce ecosystem. Email-to-anything receives messages (via email), processes them and automatically creates various objects, as determined by the contents of the message. Q-assign then assesses those same messages and, using intelligent assignment rules, routes them to the best available agent, again determined by the contents of the message. So, the new company would effectively be developing a cloud-based, message-handling system.

The raison d’etre for the new company would effectively revolve around the handling of messages in the Salesforce ecosystem. Email-to-anything receives messages (via email), processes them and automatically creates various objects, as determined by the contents of the message. Q-assign then assesses those same messages and, using intelligent assignment rules, routes them to the best available agent, again determined by the contents of the message. So, the new company would effectively be developing a cloud-based, message-handling system. Leon set about researching ancient messaging systems for inspiration, and struck upon Ortoo.

Ortoo was a messenger system used extensively in the 13th and 14th century across the Mongolian empire.

Ortoo was a messenger system used extensively in the 13th and 14th century across the Mongolian empire. With war raging across the land, it was essential to leaders such as Ghengis and Kublai Khan that lines of communication were able to deal with all situations. Relay or postal stations were established all over the land, typically between 15 and 40 miles apart, and each one would provide food, drink, shelter and spare horses to a vast array of Mongol army messengers.

For urgent messages the Ortoo messengers were able to arrive at the stations and handover messages to secondary messengers, relay-style. Or, if time was not of the essence, they could take on food and drink, rest in the provided accommodation overnight, and continue on their journey in their own good time.

The Mongol armies famously traveled very quickly, so it was essential that their messengers were able to travel even faster, sometimes covering 200–300 km per day. By the end of the 13th century there were over 1400 Ortoo stations across China alone, and they had at their disposal some 50,000 horses, 6700 mules and 1400 oxen, along with a fleet of over 6000 boats.

A Name Synonymous With Efficiency And Quality

The Ortoo message system was used to speed up the processing of information and intelligence and was, in fact, so efficient that the Mongols were able to set new precedents for speed, quality and levels of service. And it was the unparalleled efficiency of this ancient message system which inspired Leon to choose the company name “Ortoo”.

Today, Ortoo prides itself on processing Salesforce messages as quickly, as efficiently and as effectively as possible. And our mission is to do this with unprecedented attention to detail and with a laser-focus on quality, coupled with outstanding levels of customer service. The great Mongol armies achieved this with Ortoo over 800 years ago, so it seemed only fitting that we should “pick up the baton” and try to emulate their success in this modern, cloud-based era.

If your interest is piqued we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to talk to us about your Salesforce use case, or about product features and functionality, that would be great. But if you just want to shoot the breeze about affairs of the Mongolian Empire, that’s fine too!