According to a recent Adobe report, messaging and collaboration applications have risen to be the most mission-critical mobile apps in the enterprise world today. It is noticeable that more and more businesses are keenly delving into the mobile space by developing apps that can tweak business processes and functions.
Mark Weaser, Vice President, OutSystems, Asia Pacific in an interview with Techseen discusses the future of mobile apps and how the age where all apps are mobile apps will impact companies in Asia. Excerpts:
Techseen: What does your APAC partnership with Rainmaker Labs entail? Do you plan to propose any more partnerships in the region?
will enable both companies to engage new customers from the telecommunications and public sectors including large enterprises. The partnership will also help drive the development and delivery of innovative enterprise mobility solutions to Asia Pacific customers by leveraging Rainmaker’s enterprise mobility expertise and OutSystems trusted, low-code application platform.
“OutSystems will establish new partnerships where it makes sense for our business, especially as we look to drive enterprise mobility and aid enterprise digital transformation.”
Techseen: How does the APAC region pose as an ideal market for OutSystems and what kind of opportunities do you find here?
Many business leaders in the region have given high business priority to technology and leveraging the ways it can transform their businesses and improve customer services. With this shift towards harnessing technology to drive business growth and innovation, APAC is definitely an ideal market where OutSystems can grow rapidly.
There are opportunities to be found in a variety of sectors. With banks in the region being major adopters of technology
for business transformation, we see plenty of opportunities for us in the banking and financial services sector.
The supply chain and logistics industries are also embracing technology to enhance the operational efficiencies of their processes and integrate millions of shipped, tracked and stored goods in real time. There is also plenty of potential for growth in that industry.
Techseen: How does speed matter in the development of customer facing apps and mobile apps for enterprises embarking on digital transformation?
Businesses are obligated to their customers to deliver applications to them quickly, and the “traditional” way of hand coding applications is slow and cumbersome. However, with Rapid Application Development (RAD) platforms, businesses can build applications much faster as there is less code involved, and thus, able to meet their customers’ ever evolving demands quicker.
“Adopting a DevOps mindset towards app development would help to balance the need for speed in developing and delivering applications to customers while ensuring they work well and contribute towards digital transformation. This mindset is applied across the 4 stages of application development; planning, developing and testing, deploying and monitoring. It will play a role in adding increased value to the customer and enabling organisations to react much faster to business changes, ultimately contributing to digital transformation.”
Techseen: Last month, OutSystems announced its availability on Microsoft Azure Marketplace. How did your customers benefit from this? Has this decision helped you achieve higher profits?
For us, having OutSystems available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace is about providing our customers with greater flexibility and not about driving higher profits. Our customers leverage a wide variety of cloud providers to host and manage their applications and as the Azure cloud offering has matured we have encountered more requests for OutSystems to be available within the marketplace.
A key strength of OutSystems has always been the flexibility we provide around deployment options enabling customers to choose from on-premises, private cloud, public cloud, and our own PaaS offering that includes all of the management of the platform in AWS.
Techseen: How is OutSystems 10 different from the older version? Given that it was launched earlier this month, how has the response been so far?
OutSystems 10 is a game changing release for us and for low-code development platforms in general. The APAC market now recognizes the value of low-code development platform to create responsive web applications and portals. The robustness of OutSystems also means that customers can re-platform existing legacy applications or create new mission-critical enterprise applications using a low-code solution. However, we have seen that many organizations still maintain dedicated mobile teams – sometimes one team for each platform – in order to develop and deliver their mobile solutions.
OutSystems 10 is the only platform that allows teams to leverage a low-code, model-driven approach to rapidly create and deploy sophisticated mobile apps with a state-of-the-art user experience, offline data and logic and integration with native devices like cameras, GPS, calendars. And all of this wrapped in a secure, scalable, proven enterprise-grade platform. The response to-date has been amazing with customers now able to start to meet the overwhelming need from the business for new mobile apps.
Techseen: Do you provide any support for marketing of the app after it is live?
As a technology vendor, this is not a service we provide but this is where our network of partners can assist with a wide variety of different offerings to meet the needs of our customers across the globe.
Techseen: Questions over security of user information that is fed in mobile apps have been raised time and again. What solutions do you employ to assure that sensitive user data be handled securely?
The OutSystems Platform has an extensive set of built-in security features. Every application created with OutSystems Platform is secured over its entire lifecycle. The platform supports out of the box three different identity providers for your apps:
OutSystems securely stores the user information. Users are authenticated with the built-in authentication mechanism.
• Active Directory:
When users try to authenticate in an application, the application delegates the authentication to the Active Directory domain controller. Windows integrated authentication is also supported. This is done behind the scenes so users don’t have to type their credentials. Authentication through Active Directory is only available on the .NET stack.
When users try to authenticate in an application, the application delegates the authentication to the LDAP server.
We have also integrated a security testing tool
, HP Fortify Static Code Analyzer, directly into our quality assurance process. By making this security review a part of our product delivery processes, and by enforcing an aggressive acceptance criterion, no critical, no high, no medium reported occurrence left behind and we are able to systematically ensure that the applications generated with the OutSystems Platform, both Java and .NET applications, are inherently secure. When it comes to code vulnerabilities, we need to fix them immediately to ensure they are fixed forever.
Techseen: Earlier this year, OutSystems had successfully raised US$55 million from North Bridge Growth Equity to boost app development in APAC. How do you plan to monetize this fund and what would be your primary focus?
The $55 million investment will support continued rapid growth as organizations increasingly rely on OutSystems to help them react to changing market dynamics and demand for building core applications very quickly and inexpensively to meet business needs. The investment is being realized across the worldwide organization.
Techseen: What do you think is the future of mobile apps in Asia? In an age where all apps are primarily mobile apps, how will enterprises benefit from it?
We see that mobile apps will continue to gain traction in this region. It is no surprise that Asia-Pacific is leading the explosion in mobile devices. In fact, the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will be the world’s largest spender of mobility-related products and services, forking out US$578 billion by 2019, according to IDC
Due to the surge in mobile devices, consumers too see the convenience in using mobile apps. Consumers in Asia are increasingly turning to banking and finance apps to engage with financial service organisations. Mobile commerce is also on the rise in the region, increasingly seen as a preferential ecommerce transaction method. This is partly due to the growing availability of apps to make it easy to shop online.
With the growing number of employees using smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, enterprises stand to benefit from the rise of mobility and mobile apps. They can be used in sales, warehouse management and distribution. Employees too can access a range of products and customer data, including information about current payments, which enables them to perform pre-selling operations from taking orders and tenders, direct selling and then print documents.
Techseen: After gaining a significant experience of working and driving revenue growth for several companies, how would you like to describe your association with OutSystems so far?
OutSystems is at a major inflection point. Our platform is the catalyst that organizations need to unleash digital innovation. I have seen our customers leapfrogging competition in multiple industries through the fast digitalization of their business. OutSystems empowers IT and business teams to build beautiful, powerful mobile and web applications faster and easier than ever. It is embraced by both technical and business users and that is refreshing.