Mobile is getting sexier and sexier, and businesses are increasingly looking to establish a branded, mobile presence, giving their customers access to their services — across platforms, while on the go. With the consumerization of enterprise heating up, big companies want a platform that allows them to build their own customized apps, offering both web and native app experiences to their clients. Enter: AnyPresence, a venture-backed startup that brings a cloud-based platform for building HTML5 and native apps to enterprise, without requiring big companies to install or develop tools or SDKs.
But the market is rife with DIY mobile platforms, you say! There certainly are other players in the space, yes. So, for easy taxonomy, let’s say that these services tend to fall into three different categories. There are open mobile frameworks, like Sencha, Appcelerator, and PhoneGap, which offer third-party developers the ability to build apps quickly, while generally requiring technical expertise to install and use their frameworks.
Then there are the SMB platforms, like Bizness Apps and Apps Builder, which are geared towards businesses that don’t have back-end IT systems to integrate with, are easy to use, and targeted at non-technical users with a focus on content features, like WordPress plug-ins. Or there are enterprise mobile platforms, like Kony, Verivo, and Antenna — higher-end platforms that offer enterprise mobility features, typically for business process apps. These tend to be more expensive, because they come with stuff like capabilities for user roles and authentication, integration into source systems, extensibility, cloud data management, etc.
To define its own niche, AnyPresence essentially wants to provide the enterprise-grade infrastructure and features from the latter category, with the lower cost of ownership, ease of use, and consumer feel of the platforms that target SMBs. The startup wants to target customers like utilities providers, second tier telecom companies, regional banks — big businesses that need robust apps but don’t have the time and money to spend on traditional enterprise platforms.
While the platform does require some technical knowledge, AnyPresence wants its customers to avoid hiring contractors, specialized external mobile development — to be a platform their internal IT team can easily make sense of. So, they’ve built a platform that makes it easy to design and modify apps right from the browser, using pre-assembled “starter app” templates embedded with mobile user experience best practices that let them quickly build both employee and customer-facing apps.
And to get at those enterprise-grade features, the AnyPresence platform is a cloud-based “Back-end-as-a-Service” platform, which allows businesses to deploy HTML5 apps instantly to a scalable cloud infrastructure, as well as compile native iOS and Android apps in the cloud, while making them available for local testing, over the air distribution, or submission to app stores.
Beyond reducing development costs and offer cross-platform deployment, AnyPresence also wants users to be able to support data access and security policies with user roles, app permissions, and data availability, along with enabling them to extend their reach to non-smartphone mobile users through text messaging and interactive voice response capabilities. Going beyond other non-technical, consumer-facing options, the platform supports services-based platform extensions and allows IT staff to use any programming language of choice, in addition to offering a set of APIs to assemble and generate custom apps or enable app development from third-parties.
Another bonus is that, in the attempt to build a platform that’s extensible, the startup offers integration with Twilio out of the box and wants to add further, comparable integrations soon, including Dropbox, for example. The teams also said that, since the consumerization of enterprise has been taking off, gamification is also very much on the radar.
Founded by former SAP, Oracle, and Siebel Systems executives, AnyPresence is backed from $2 million in venture funding from Kinetic Ventures, and is currently in the process of raising its series A. The startup is launching their platform in beta today, with general availability set to arrive next month. (You can sign up for the beta here.) As to pricing,
Co-Founder & CMO Richard Mendis says that the startup’s pricing begins between $15K and $20K per year, and scales up based on usage from there.
For more, check out AnyPresence at home here.