We see huge opportunity with Slackbots: Boaz Hecht, CEO, SkyGiraffe

Enterprise-grade mobility platform SkyGiraffe recently announced a $6 million in new funding, led by SGVC with co-operation from Trilogy Equity Partners. The company, which has its development center in Israel, aims to provide unified access to line of business applications and enterprise data from any device and aims to ease access to backend systems for app developers in eliminating frontend coding. Boaz Hecht, CEO, SkyGiraffe in an interview with Techseen, reveals how Skygiraffe plans to use the fresh flow of funds and achieve optimization of business processes in the mobile era.
Techseen: What kind of apps can an enterprise build with SkyGiraffe?
Hecht: An enterprise can develop a multitude of a different applications and micro-moments based on their specific needs. Some of the most popular apps among our customers include an interactive employee directory, Customer 360, work orders, product details, inventory management, benefits, and time-off requests.
Techseen: You have recently raised $6 million in a funding round led by SGVC, with participation from Trilogy Equity Partners and a number of angel investors. How do you plan to use these funds?
Hecht: Our recent expanded capabilities have resulted from experience with customers and our realization that the offering we have had a wider appeal to customers if they can standardize on us across the business as both a mobility platform and a middleware for those same transactional processes that come up in a mobile-first world. Therefore we’ve opened up our platform in a modular way so customers can utilize our underlying data model. Given the competitive nature of the market and the massive opportunity, I purposely wanted to ensure we are on the right path with the right people behind us. Therefore I approached the three top guys who had been in my shoes and had built the market leading PaaS – Heroku, #1 MBaaS – Parse, #1 Mobile Security – Lookout. The premise being, if they agree with our approach, we probably are doing something right, and if not, we should probably rethink.
Techseen: SkyGiraffe claims to allow enterprises to bring their cross-platform development cycles down to a day, compared to months it takes to develop custom apps. How is this made possible?
Hecht: The real obstacle in getting these sorts of applications to work has been that they each require interaction with data that’s stored in different backend systems. SkyGiraffe solves this issue for any system enterprises use. That infrastructure is something that would usually take lots of time and energy for a company’s technical teams to build.
Techseen: What role does the SkyGiraffe Integration server play in the app-building process?
Hecht: The SkyGiraffe Integration Server (SGIS) is installed behind the customer’s firewall to ensure maximum security, and supports out-of-the-box connections for nine out of 10 enterprise backend systems. The SGIS then communicates with the SkyGiraffe Distribution Server (SGDS), translating all of the data into SkyGiraffe’s proprietary language to be pushed to apps across phones, tablets and desktops.
Techseen: What are the maintenance costs of an app developed using SkyGiraffe? Do you help enterprises minimize the costs in any manner?
Hecht: Maintenance is included in our platform. We upgrade the entire platform as part of our enterprise agreement with our customers, including OS updates that regularly occur for Apple, Android and all operating systems.
Techseen: SkyGiraffe has made its single REST endpoint for Slack and other third-party apps available to developers, and has also open-sourced its code. Why was the primary emphasis on creating Slackbots?
Hecht: Because Slackbots are still in their nascent stages in the enterprise, we see it as a huge opportunity to help large organizations streamline complicated processes in Slack. However, our REST endpoint can be used to build SkyGiraffe functionality into any third-party app, and we’re exploring multiple platforms with different customers based on their needs and preferences.
Techseen: The lack of self-service onboarding and a dedicated instant messaging (IM) stand as a void for SkyGiraffe currently. What measures are being taken to overcome these issues?
Hecht: We do allow self-service onboarding within an enterprise with full documentation. However, given the enterprise nature of the platform we support on-boarding of the administrator.
Regarding IM, we do not intend to add IM as part of our platform. There are plenty of good IM clients that we integrate into like Slack, Skype and Spark, and we do not see any reason to replicate their functionality.
Techseen: Do you also assist developers in creating the backend links by coding the middleware components?
Hecht: The backend links are applicable to most use cases out-of-the box; but if a client needs a special connectivity or a specific web-service that we do not support out of the box, we assist with it.
Techseen: What is your current team strength and do you plan to expand anytime soon?
Hecht: Our team across offices is currently around 30, and we are continuing to expand across several functions. We are growing aggressively.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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