Digitising a business process into an app takes too long, and costs too much money. Owing to these high costs of money and time, enterprises hesitate to digitise in a wholesome and cohesive manner. They resort to fragmented, piecemeal digitisation. Thus to deal with this Mr Vinay Aggarwal founded Hubbler in 2016. It is a no-code, Digital Transformation platform that lets businesses to build their own app in order to go abreast with the fast digitalization of the world. Business users can build enterprise-grade apps for iOS, Android and Web without writing any code using the Hubble’s intuitive “drag and drop” interface.
Well, this is just a small introduction of the Hubbler, when I heard about this platform, was wondering how efficient the platform would and how it is different to the apps created by the developer by writing millions of codes, thus with such kind of question I approached Mr Vinay to more about Hubbler, its plans along with technology and strategies they are using implementing to catering their customers.
1) Where did you get this idea to establish this sort of DIY app creation platform?
When I was in Unicel – my previous startup – we ran the business in a very lean manner. We managed our core business processes using Excel Sheets, Emails, and Chats.
We didn’t realize that we were making a huge mistake. Once we started growing rapidly, we realized that we were using so many disjoint tools, which resulted in absolute chaos as we scaled. It was almost as if my right hand did not know what my left hand was working on.
How did we try to solve this problem? We tried to put some applications together. We also got some consulting firms onboard to build internal software for us. But none of this helped solve our problem. When everything failed, we tasked our internal development teams to build a customized ERP that would suit our unique needs (a project that took us almost two years to finish).
When I successfully exited Unicel, in 2015, I was thinking about my next venture. And I wondered how I could have built robust, customized systems to run Unicel better. So I came up with the idea for Hubbler.
And now Hubbler is empowering so many organizations to make their own enterprise apps in just two to three days. They’re digitizing workflows in the exact way that suits their unique needs, and the platform is helping them work better.
2) And what are the technical hurdles you faced during the early days?
We faced four early challenges.
We aspired to build a revolutionary platform: We envisioned Hubbler to be a whiteboard where anyone could build their app by simply drawing it. Which meant that we wanted to let non-coders build apps using visual controls (that’s right- without writing a single line of code). And that was an incredibly hard exercise.
We wanted to take a zero-code platform: We didn’t want it to be a low-code platform, because that would restrict it to users who had coding knowledge. We wanted it to be zero-code, which meant that if a non-coder knew how a certain business process worked, he could build an app using Hubbler that would let him manage that process. In fact, if the user wanted to create some business rules or logic on the platform, we wanted him to be able to exactly that without having to write a single line of code.
We wanted it to be a DIY platform: When you build a DIY product, it isn’t enough if you build powerful features and capabilities – you need to make them intuitive for new users who have no knowledge on your product. So we had to build on-boarding flows, educate users at every step of the app-building process and offer a user experience that any employee at an enterprise would be able to master quickly. In short, if you want to provide a simple and easy learning curve to your user, it means that you have to be incredibly intelligent and thoughtful while designing the user experience.
We wanted the end-user’s experience to be consistent across iOS, Android & Web: As you know, developing across all three of these platforms involves different challenges – all three are very different and nuanced. But our vision was that the end-user (the employee at an enterprise who goes on to use an app built on Hubbler) would have a consistent experience regardless of which of the three platforms he used.
3) How does the Hubbler allow its users to create an app without coding on a mobile platform? What is the technology behind it?
All of us like to have a solution that is uniquely suited to our needs, right? When you use our app studio, you’ll be presented with a blank canvas. On the same screen, you’ll have all the features and functions neatly stacked on the side.
All you have to do is drag and drop the features to build the kind of app that you want. Or you could also choose from an assortment of prebuilt apps and modify them as per your wish.
The features and functions are all pre-coded; you could say that they are like LEGO blocks. You can use them in any combination, and make an app that precisely suits your business process.
Talking about the technology, we spent 3.5 years of continuous work to create a proprietary platform that was built from scratch. Our mobile side of the platform is built using Kotlin and Swift, while our back-end is built on Python.
4) What is the difference between an app created on Hubbler and one by some developers through manual coding?
We created Hubbler to democratize the development process. You don’t have to be a coder or software engineer to build an app. Anyone who understands the business process can use Hubbler to create an application.
Hubbler is different from the old school approach to developing applications. How so?
It’s faster: When you hire a developer or a software company to build you an app, it takes months to get a fully usable product. However, with Hubbler, you’ll be able to get a working app in a single afternoon. And when it comes to testing, it takes 1-2 days with Hubbler, compared to 2-3 weeks for traditional software development.
It’s easier to update, maintain and evolve your application: When an enterprise is growing, and if they get their internal app made by a developer (via manual coding), that app can become obsolete very quickly – because maintaining software it is an expensive affair that no one cares about at an enterprise. But with Hubbler, you can customize and update your apps, in real-time, so that your systems can scale along with your growing volumes and business.
With Hubbler, your non-coder employees are empowered to build their own apps and improve or modify them at will in future, which takes away their dependencies on developers, and radically improves their speed of software development. This results in a massive jump in speed, since a non-coder can reshape an entire business process in a few hours to meet the changing demands in a market.
You won’t be gambling with your UX: Hubbler offers an incredibly modern and intuitive user interface by default. We’ve implemented multiple frameworks into our App Studio to ensure that if you build an app with Hubbler, you can only build one that features a world class user experience. However, when you outsource software development or get someone to code it for you manually, you often face the risk of getting an app that’s poorly designed, resulting in a terrible user experience.
5) How easy is it to publish an app to the Android or iOS app store after it has been created on Hubbler?
So this is where Hubbler’s approach is different. While everyone else is taking an app-led approach, we are doing something different. We’re taking a platform-led approach.
Thus, when a customer signs up for Hubbler, they usually build multiple apps to automate multiple business processes. For example, let’s imagine they have 3 apps: Sales, Service Ticketing and Payroll. Now each of these apps will sit inside what we call as a Super App.
If you head over to the Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS), you can download the Hubbler Super App. And once you’ve done that, you’ll need to login with your unique user credentials given to you by your company. And you’ll find your company’s Sales, Service Ticketing and Payroll apps housed within our Super App.
The advantages to our platform-led model are many.
- For starters, you’ll be able to run the vast majority of your company’s business processes through a single super app.
- And your employees will be able to easily find every single solution neatly organised inside one Super app.
- When you build a new app for your company on Hubbler, you need to simply select which employees can gain access to it and then hit “Publish”. As soon as you do this, the app will be available on the mobile phones of those employees.
- Here’s a big bonus: Every Hubbler apps is linked to the Hubbler platform at your company, which means all our apps speak to each and feature deep integrations. This comes in handy when you want to share data between apps, or automate certain tasks between two apps and things like that.
6) What is the revenue model of Hubbler, and how the platform effectively helps the enterprises to reduce spending on app development?
Hubbler is offered as a SaaS platform. There is a one-time setup fee that our clients pay. And then, they are charged per month based on the features/apps they use/add. We offer a combination of pay-as-you-go and pay-per-feature models.
Our clients can choose from an assortment of readymade apps on our platform or create the ones that they want. And they are charged based on the number of users on those apps.
When companies buy off-the-shelf software, they often end up paying for a string of features that they don’t even use. Not to mention, manually coding an internal software/app is very costly, and making changes further adds to that expense.
Our pay-for-what-you-use model cuts down those costs, and clients save up to 70-80% on those expenses.
7) Can proficient developers use their coding skills to augment the capabilities of Hubbler?
Hubbler is a no-code platform, so not exactly. However, proficient developers can get a massive advantage while building an app on Hubbler.
Here’s a little secret: If the entire Hubbler backend is exposed as an API, our customers can build a custom user interface on top of it. Which means they don’t need to worry about maintaining and scaling the platform, Hubbler takes care of it automatically. By taking this approach you can cut down your app development time by almost 80%.
Let me quickly share a case study for this: One of our customers owned a premier residential complex. They wanted a customized app that could be used by the residents to manage their community and amenities. So our customer built a fully customized app on top of Hubbler. They ended up with world class UX, all the features that they wanted and a customized UI that was unique to them – all in less than a month (as opposed to months of development if they’d tried coding it by hand).
8) Could you please shed some light on your upcoming 5 years roadmap for Hubbler; what new features or products can we expect to see in the future?
In the SaaS space and looking at the current global scenario, 5-year roadmaps workout very rarely. And we like to keep plans and goals fresh here at Hubbler. However, we do have a few primary goals for 2020, and they are:
- 3x growth in revenue with new customer acquisitions
- Boost our presence across India
- Make significant inroads to the western markets
9) To what extent does Hubbler help a business in automating their tasks?
Hubbler understands what a client needs. Our product specialists provide them highly specific consultation to help them digitize their process. With pinpoint precision, all the stages of a process are mapped out. And then, the product specialists work side-by-side with the client to guide their digitization.
If you have a workflow or process in mind, then Hubbler can digitize it for you. The possibilities with this platform are almost limitless.
Hubbler can digitize tasks and functions at various levels, for any type of organization. Thus, the extent of automation depends more on what each enterprise needs. So after understanding their needs, we aim at helping them achieve the most efficient form of digital transformation.
10) Is there any AI implementation in Hubbler?
Yes, we’ve implemented AI into many parts of Hubbler. As far as AI is concerned, we’re mainly using it to automate repetitive tasks that our users need to perform at work. We want people to stop wasting time on the basic, manual and repetitive tasks like data entry or data collation. With Hubbler, bots step in and take care of these tasks so that people can focus on work that matters. Enterprises can subscribe to Hubbler to gain access to a large list of bots that can be used to automate a wide range of tasks that are common at most enterprises. These bots can save enterprises millions every year and speed up their process cycles in a radical manner.
11) What is the unique USP of Hubbler, due to which once an enterprise or business should try your DIY platform?
The unique ways Hubbler stands out from other apps are-
1) Build your own business apps in minutes, without writing code
2) Iterate or reshape apps in minutes
3) Create a connected digital ecosystem: Hubbler can bring all your disconnected 3rd party apps onto a single, connected platform. Whether it’s a legacy system or a popular enterprise product, Hubbler can connect them all.
4) Turn your employees into citizen coders: Your business teams will be able to independently build and reshape apps. The result? Aero tech dependency and a huge boost in your software development speed.
5) Device Agnostic: Works equally well across iOS, Android and Web. Hubbler lets you switch between devices and pick up from where you left off during your last session.
6) Vertical Agnostic: Hubbler lets you build apps for any function or vertical: Whether its Sales, Customer Service, HR. Procurement, Warehousing, Field Operations or anything else. Build an app to make the process more efficient,, deploy bots to handle manual tasks and speed up your process cycles.