Finnish HTML5 app platform Appgyver has one of those paths that seems logical when you look back at their history, but would be somewhat impossible to fully realize when they first launched. Their new product, called Appgyver Workspace, looks like a promising platform for enterprises to finally take advantage of the power of mobile – a massively valuable turning point that hasn’t come thanks to bloated corporate software banging up against today’s ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy.
I sat down at Appgyver’s office for a tour, and CEO Marko Lehtimaki gave me a demo of the product without ever picking up his phone to show how it worked – something different from the normal Appgyver presentation. The company has always had an enterprise focus thanks to their app building platform, Appgyver Steroids, but one thing they realized is that for mobile to properly facilitate better communication within large organizations, it also needs to plug into the web to be used by colleagues sitting down at their desk in their office.
With that in mind Appgyver Workspace produces a corporate communication app with somewhat “drag and drop” modules that fit nicely on both mobile and on the web, allowing you to pull in features like chat, document sharing, timekeeping, or really whatever you want. With 30 built-in modules ready to go, it should hit most companies with the features they need while still allowing anyone HTML5 inclined to plug into outside data sources to automate information sharing and present the information to the right users. With built in team chat and optional discussions around items added in through the modules, the product eventually turns into something like a cross-platform Flowdock or Slack, but better tailored by letting you pick or build your own features, rather than having to conform your company to what the software lets you do.
“These components can be built in a few hours or a day, so if you want to show a graph in the project page that shows the amount of projects that you have unfinished, you can build as an HTML5 web component and can be dragged and dropped into the instances,” says Lehtimaki. And if your company is running low on HTML5 developers, then additionally you can post your needs through Appgyver’s Module Marketplace and get bids to get it made.
So say that you’ve got a engineering office with a few engineers out in the field supported by a home team. It would be complicated and a big investment to build a reliable app from scratch that has timekeeping, document sharing, and notification features built in – especially if you find out later that you don’t need some features. The idea that companies can build whatever they want is incredibly powerful.
Their pilot customers during their beta include organizations as different as legal offices and warehouses. The pricing comes down to $10 per user per month, which makes it more expensive than some communication tools but a cheaper investment than hiring a development team to build an app and web platform from scratch.
After seeing it demoed, I’m bullish about the technology. I want to build a custom app for our needs, and it’s got me thinking there’s a great business opportunity to build and sell customized Appgyver Workspaces to SMEs.
Despite this new platform, the company is still focused on their core product, Steroids, that allows developers to create fast HTML5 apps with native features. More news on that front should be coming soon.