Recently I had to prototype an iOS app for a project I am working on and did a lot of research to find an appropriate platform. I used ViziApps, Inc. and in a few hours I had a working prototype app up and running. I was pretty impressed with the speed and quality of the platform. As well as how professional it looked. I decided to learn more and reached out for an interview with George Adams, Co-Founder and CEO.
How did the idea to launch ViziApps come about?
GA: Having lived through application development in earlier waves of computing (mini’s, workstations, PCs, web, …), we knew that business users would be hammering on IT to move their laptop-based business process applications to their smart phones and tablets. The problem would be that requiring coding for every app would take way too long and cost too much. Further, the lack of enough people with mobile coding skills would create demand for a much faster way to create and update mobile apps. We had developed technology for automatic code generation from visual models, so we saw a way to provide an elegant way to meet that need. If we could amplify that with the ability to leverage with no coding all the new features phones and tablets provide (camera, GPS, push, …) and the easy use of legacy and cloud data sources, we saw major benefits we could provide businesses.
How has it progressed over time?
From the beginning ViziApps was built on the idea of no-code app development. Over time we've made it a much more robust tool for enterprise tools through advancements in two major directions:
- Support for easy connection to enterprise data such as that stored in Salesforce, Quickbase, Google Sheets and SQL databases available via web service
- The ability to use virtually all of the capabilities of a smartphone including camera, GPS, Bar code and QR code scanning, audio recording, signature capture, texting, email, contacts and calendar.
And, very importantly, you can use your ViziApps apps offline and sync your data later when you get back online. No other code-free app development platform can do that.
Who do you see as the target market?
While ViziApps can be used by citizen developers in any size company, we target two primary markets:
- Mid-market and enterprise companies looking for a way to quickly and inexpensively create many sophisticated apps to support their business functions
- Agencies and app developers who need a tool to prototype an app that could not be fully developed with ViziApps
Are there apps which have been created on your platform which surprised you in their complexity?
Absolutely! One of the world’s largest property management companies created a 20-page iPad app the enables sales and operations employees to manage different floorplans for a site, work orders from a QuickBase database, building permits from public cloud databases, GPS-enabled Google Streetview, and more. Another is an iPhone/Android app that a major retailer created in Chinese and English versions for their 6,000 retail partner in Asia to mage the loyalty programs and inventory – all from a cloud-accessed SQL database with world-class security.
How much money can a company save using ViziApps over custom code?
Companies can easily save weeks, and tens of thousands of dollars, by using ViziApps instead of custom code. For even more complex apps a company could potentially save a few hundred thousand dollars. We routinely have customers telling us they created their app with ViziApps for $5K to $9K in 2 to 4 weeks, after rejecting $40K to $90K and 3 to 4 month development time quotes for the same apps via coding.
Are there any drawbacks to not writing custom code?
We don't think that there are any drawbacks to using ViziApps instead of custom code. The only question is fit to purpose: does your app require some functionality, such as mCommerce or advanced gaming, that ViziApps doesn't support? In those few cases you may need custom code, such as complex consumer-facing mobile app. But ViziApps is the superior, faster, most cost effective solution for developing the dozens to hundreds of internal B2E business workflow mobile apps in enterprises and mid-market companies..
Why use ViziApps versus competitive platforms?
There are four major advantages ViziApps has over other no-code mobile app platforms: 1) Easy visual drag ‘n drop creation of your mobile app user experience, 2) easy, no-code secure access to corporate on-premise and cloud data, 3) easy use of device features in your mobile app, and 4) the ability to use your mobile app offline and automatically sync up later. Those are hugely valuable for many companies. We also provide easy inclusion of Internet of Things (IoT) data with our partner, AT&T and PTC ThingWorx, as well as Indoor Maps and Navigation with our partners Micello and Gimbal.
What are some of the things we can expect from your company going forward?
The market for what Gartner now calls RMAD – Rapid Mobile App Development platforms is just beginning and set to explode! We’ll be adding more no coding data partners and types, and we’ll be making ViziApps evermore easy-to-use and intuitive for the emerging array of Citizen Developers in businesses – the product, services, sales, and operations employees making their own business workflow apps, based on their direct frontline understanding of the business processes they are mobilizing.