Sramana Mitra: Does that position you in the integration layer?
Adriaan van Wyck: It positions us in the layer right on top of the integration layer. If you think about the integration layer as being the concrete floors within a building, we are the hardwood floors that sit right on top of it. It is the center piece of the structure, but it is the piece that makes it beautiful and nice to walk on. Underneath us there is a fairly big infrastructure that provides all the supporting capabilities we need in order to succeed. We sit right on top of that, taking all that information and make it logically available to the kinds of applications that K2 builds. It is about providing access to that information within the context of a K2 solution.
We then pretend to be a generic data integration layer. We have rich enough technologies that allow you to integrate the solutions you build on K2 into the information that exists within your organization. That is the first thing we do. The second thing, where our real value comes in, is the ability to take that information and rapidly put it into a presentable user interface that makes sense to businesspeople. So when they get the information they can look at it, they can see it in a certain context and they can react to that very quickly.
Once we have information in SmartObjects, we know how to visualize it for people, give it to them in a format with which they can action on and respond to, and we control the business processes that know and understand the business logic of the organization, so we can react. If something happens, we know how to react to it, we know which people in the organization need to get that information, we know who to give it to when they are not in the office, we know how long they should have it before we escalate it, etc. – all of that within the context of making sure the organization can deal with this vast amount of information in a very responsive and quick way.
Big data so far has been focusing on the analytics and the molding of data into something people can consume. There is such a vast amount of information out there, how do you consolidate information and ultimately make sense of it? Once you have that end result, what then? How do you allow businesspeople to then use it? We believe that is where business applications and the ability to build business applications and react to information rapidly come in. That is the layer we focus on.
SM: So you are a rapid application development layer on top of big data sources.
AW: We talk more about assembling business apps based on data and processes. But it really is about assembling those business apps on top of big data as well as automating the processes that would allow you to react and respond to information.
SM: I asked you because you gave the example of Kimberly-Clark, where you helped them create 400 applications in a year. That sounded like rapid app development.
AW: If you look at typical information, this information was traditionally not easily accessible. People didn’t even understand how all of this information could impact their organizations. They never really built the systems to help them react to it. Now they have this vast amount of information available to them in accessible formats, and it is developing so fast. The next question is: “What do I do with it? I now have this information, I can react to it, I can understand it, but the traditional systems I used over the past five to ten years are not geared for that agility” – the level of agility within an organization that allows them to react to it. Customers suddenly start to understand this information and they want to respond and react to it. But they can’t go on 12- to 18-month development cycles to build those applications because by the time they finish building them, the underlying ecosystem would have changed again – the information might have changed or the business might have changed.
We spent the time and the money to build K2 and to work with some of the biggest customers out there. But we also work with really small companies that have the same needs and need to react to the same information. The end result is that investing in K2, they now have a platform where they become aware of the information within their organizations. Within a very short time they start building modern, agile business apps that run on their mobile devices, tablets and PCs, and empower the people in their organization to react to this information. Without that, it is just information. It is just a big library with a massive indexing system. This doesn’t really help you to respond to information. That is where we come in. We think it is unique and because of this people haven’t yet understood it or talked about it. That creates a tremendous opportunity for K2. It is evident if you look at the pace at which our company is growing and the demand we have to deal with. This is the evolution of where the space will go. Once people have the information, they need to react and respond to it. It is a fantastic opportunity for us and our customers.