SkyGiraffe, an enterprise mobile platform provider, has raised a seed round from well-known investors, including Parker Thompson, a partner at 500 Startups and Yuval Neeman, a former corporate vice president at Microsoft, who started and led the company’s .Net development.
SkyGiraffe makes a platform called SkyGiraffe Studio that connects data from different business groups with mobile apps, giving employees access to data from systems of record such as ERP or CRM environments.
An IT manager downloads the client, installs SkyGiraffe Studio and then selects the back-end and data source to connect. IT can then define security access and other IT policies, said Co-Founder Boaz Hecht. Within 30 minutes, Hecht says an enterprise can provide employees with secure access to on-premise data from several backend systems.
The opportunity is summed up in the corporate transition to a mobile culture. But the tools people use in the office have historically been accessed on desktops and laptop computers. Now people work remotely without the same level of security that comes with working at the office behind the firewall. They need different ways to access their business data. Mobile devices are the way to do it.
SkyGiraffe competes with custom mobile app developers such as Capriza and IBM Worklight. The company is demonstrating its technology tomorrow at the Microsoft Demo Day in Mountain View and is accepting applications into its private beta.
“FWIW, in this case it’s all about the product,” Thompson said about investing in SkyGiraffe. “This product replaces an internal development team with a solution you can get up in half an hour. It’s cheap for the enterprise and great revenue for SG. It solves a problem enterprises know they have and are already solving, but way cheaper and faster. Early traction reflects this.
He added that at 500 Startups they are seeing enterprises that need to use data in the field. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and a distraction for these companies to build mobile development teams and do this themselves.
“SkyGiraffe makes usable apps built on existing enterprise data fast and cheap so these companies can focus on their business. We think this is the right approach for the market,” Thompson said.
It does look like SkyGiraffe offers a step forward in how mobile devices can be used much more effectively as a tool for employees. The question is the ease of set up. A customer needs the help of a data analyst to get started using SkyGiraffe. The next goal should be to make it fully self-serve. That should come as more vendors develop different forms of connectors that can easily be plugged in to create customized app workflows.