Kony Makes Free BaaS Available on AWS
Time and again solution providers have witnessed vendors build an ecosystem around a free piece of software that was monetized later by providing additional services. Now that same concept is being applied to cloud services.
Kony has announced that it is making instances of its backend-as-a-service (BaaS) applications for building mobile applications available, called Kony MobileFabric, which includes a free version that can be deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS). While Kony already providers a BaaS service that it manages on behalf of mobile developers, Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president of products and strategy, said the free edition of the Kony BaaS software is intended to increase the size of the ecosystem surrounding the Kony MobileFabric application development platform (MADP).
Announced at the AWS Summit conference in New York, Kony is also making other commercial editions of its software that can be installed on AWS as well. Kony already provides a managed service around its software running on AWS so enable developers and integrators to deploy and manage that software themselves is not much of a stretch.
The challenge that Kony faces, said Kawasaki, is that while the number of mobile applications being developed is clearly exploding most organizations don’t have a particularly disciplined approach to developing them. Rather than making use of a platform designed to make it simpler to reuse multiple backend services across multiple mobile applications, Kawasaki concedes that most organizations still approach each mobile application project individually. The hope is that by making it possible for developers to embrace Kony MobileFabric on their own, more organizations as a whole will discover the value of BaaS in the cloud.
While there’s no shortage of BaaS offering aimed at mobile applications, Kawasaki says that growth of the overall market has been stilted because deploy BaaS requires a lot of backend IT operations expertise. The free version of Kony MobileFabric is designed to enable developers to start invoking backend applications and services on AWS with little to no help from an IT operations team.
Whether a free version of Kony MobileFabric running on AWS increases adoption of Kony as platform for building mobile applications remains, of course, to be seen. Solution providers, however, should take note of the fact that in a cloud age where recurring downstream revenue is what from a business perspective matters most, getting customers initially up and running in the cloud is critical. Increasingly, that means a lot of vendors with that goal in mind are going to embrace a “freemium” model in the cloud just to make sure the chance to generate that downstream revenue ever exists in the first place.