November 20, 2020

What makes channel partners turn to low-code platforms?

Low-code unlocks the power of innovation for channel partners. When it comes to application development, we are seeing IT Channel Partners amplifying their conventional development strategies by adopting no-code and low-code methodologies. In this episode of Partnercast, we interview Algoware founder and DronaHQ partner Yash Gandhi and understand the underlying factors that are driving IT channel partners to use low-code frameworks for their clients.

Tune in to understand:

  1. The speed of delivery channel partners can expect
  2. How flexible low-code can be to build innovative solutions
  3. Low-code features that partners love
  4. The impact of the pandemic in client’s readiness for low-code

Aneesh D (00:00):

Hi, everyone. This is Aneesh. I lead the Global Partnerships and Community for DronaHQ. Welcome to another episode of PartnerCast 2020. Today we have a special guest on the episode. Yash Gandhi is the founder of Algoware and also a DronaHQ partner. We wanted to get someone who could tell you what it means to partner with DronaHQ.

Aneesh D (00:32):

So the agenda for today on the call is to ask him about his journey, how he came across no-code, low-code, and what transpired. So without any further ado, let’s start the PartnerCast.

Aneesh D (00:47):

Thank you, Yash for being on this episode.

Yash G (00:51):

Yeah. Thanks a lot. I’m really happy to be here. Thank you very much for inviting me to the podcast.

Aneesh D (00:59):

Okay, great. We’re also equally excited to have you on this episode. Just wanted to tell you how the session will flow. I’ll ask you some questions and you’ll answer them.

Aneesh D (01:11):

But keeping jokes aside, we would love to hear about your journey and your vision. So, I have a few questions lined up and if you’re all set, let’s begin.

Yash G (01:22):

Okay. Great

Aneesh D (01:27):

Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself, your journey, so far, and then we’ll move into the other questions.

Yash G (01:37):

Okay, great. So yeah, I am based out of Nagpur, the center of India. I have grown up here, while I was starting I developed a keen interest in computer science. Did my bachelor’s in computer science, went on to study further, I did my masters too, in the US and I had the opportunity to work at Microsoft. And that was 10 years ago. Since then I moved back to India. I wanted to pursue my entrepreneurial journey and, over here, like after we got to India, I spent quite some time with the SMB small and medium businesses mostly in business operations.

And I had a keen interest in technology intervention and how we can improve the efficiency of businesses, how we can, how we can adopt, basically technology software to, take the business ahead of that I’ve had a keen interest in now, over the years.

An intriguing avenue for the software development landscape: Low-Code

Yash G (02:48):

I mean, I’ve faced a lot of challenges in terms of, what was available or how approachable, or how easy, or how difficult it was for the technology to be adopting.  , either the solution would either be too bulky or too time-consuming or sometimes this person might not be sure of after, giving up so much time and money, whether the solution would be useful or not.

So, I mean, I face this problem quite often, and again, while scouting for a software solution, I came across the no-code ecosystem. I was really intrigued by it and it had just started gathering steam. this was, a year back, maybe it had started gathering steam. Noticed that most of them were catered towards the US and the European market. And I specifically wanted to look for Indians, a no-code solution.

Yash G (04:00):

I came across DronaHQ too. And coincidentally, I actually got in touch with both, Divyesh and Jinen, the founders, and I found them to be fairly helpful and amicable and, somewhere down the line, it just, it just struck me that I have the right skill set in terms of understanding the technology, in terms of the entrepreneurial side, the business aspects of things, where I can actually put all of this together and actually build solutions, which are much more approachable and applicable immediately to businesses. So that’s how I conceptualized, Agloware.

Aneesh D (04:43):

That’s brilliant, that’s very inspiring. And, how long has Agloware been out there?

Yash G (04:49):

So, Algoware, well, envision it has been there for quite some time, but, on paper, it started almost four, five months back.

Aneesh D (05:09):

You know, since we are on that point, tell us a little bit more about Algoware, it’s your baby, and what is a vision that you have for this sector?

Filling the gap between technology adoption and what is available

Yash G (05:20):

Sure, sure, sure. So, the main idea behind starting Algoware was, as I told you earlier, that I could see there is a gap between the technology adoption and what is available.  I thought with the power of no-code, this can become real, I mean, this is something that should be out there and people should be able to and I should be able to provide that bridge between that technology adoption and how easy it is.

So it would be, it would be a cliche to say how the world is evolving, how the software the whole software landscape has changed in the past few years. As I told you, in terms of traditional software development, and you look at no code these days and how, especially like post COVID-19 pandemic, how people have started to accept or adopt technology in every sphere of life, be it personal head work retail deliveries, everything like.

Lego block solution

Yash G (06:23):

SoI feel, I mean, this is the right time for every business to adopt that technology. And With Especially with, if you look at it almost, most of the local solutions, especially with DronaHQ, I feel it’s like a building block or it’s like a Lego block of solutions. We can, you can actually put them together and build something really simple, really fast, or even like if you look at what is available today, you can build really complex solutions, complex workflows.

So it actually bridges, I mean taps a lot of different places, the whole, ecosystem. And that’s what I’m trying to do with, Algoware basically. I mean, as, as an entrepreneur, as I told you earlier, I saw a lot of gaps between what maybe, those consumers wanted in with respect to the software solution and let the classic software engineering problem the requirement gathering there always used to be gaps between, the software provider and what the client expects out of the software.

And it usually would turn out to be a very time-consuming and expensive affair to really find out the solution, like what is happening, where the ideas are not meeting up, and I see no code or really bridging that gap or shortening the time and reducing that aspect.

Aneesh D (08:04):

Yeah. And, you know, since you mentioned this, the thing that comes to my mind is I read somewhere that no code is basically democratizing coding. So earlier you have been on the other side, and one of the things that I’ve realized is, the language that a business person speaks vis-à-vis, what, you know, a coder would speak or someone who’s from a tech standpoint is very different.

If you’re a small entrepreneur,  if you’re an entrepreneur got a smaller company or something many times, it ends up happening that, you know, your needs can be evolved. So if the whole lead time from the idea generation to actually creating a solution is pretty long. By the time you have a solution in your hand, the needs have changed.

Aneesh D (08:58):

And This is, this is getting, earlier It would be true for some cases, but today, everybody is trying to create something.  , you know, people want to create something which is quick. They can see whether they want to increase the Go-to-market time. So they want to ink in the sense that they want to go to market as quickly as possible, see what is working, what is not working. I’m back to make changes. And you have got into that loop which is, which is just so true right now. So completely agree with you in terms of how the landscape is changing and wish you all the best for your vision for Algoware.

Aneesh D (09:37):

We’ll move onto the next question that we have for you, which is you’ve, you’ve answered this partially, right when you said that, and we’ve covered it in the last point when we spoke about why it’s the preferred medium low-code, but one of the things if you can just give us an example of what it meant to code in the past, vis-a-vis what it means now with, with the low-code/no-code method. If you can just throw some light on that and how times have changed, that would give us a great perspective.

For any paradigm shift to happen, or some, some new technology to be adopted or new innovation to be adopted, you need an entire ecosystem. I feel that the entire ecosystem is just right, like right now for low-code, no-code to evolve.

Yash G (10:13):

So, I remember reading somewhere that for any paradigm shift to happen, or some, some new technology to be adopted or new innovation to be adopted, you need an entire ecosystem. I feel that the entire ecosystem is just right, like right now, for low-code/no-code to evolve. it’s not that this is fairly new. It has been there, but it has been there on a piecemeal basis.

But  , if you look at how, as I’ve mentioned, all the other software development or in what you ask software development has changed a little beyond that.  There have been a lot of SaaS models that have developed small solutions being provided where you don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritties. And, at the same time, you see, the internet, the internet penetration, internet speeds have increased.

Prime aspect of low-code: it adds a layer of abstraction

Yash G (11:18):

And again, I feel I strongly feel so there has to be a motive for people to really adopt the technology. And I think that this pandemic has really pushed it, surged it ahead for people to think we would want more automation included so that entire everything has come together to really push, no-code/low-code ahead And as I said, in the past one year, you’ve seen a lot of local solutions coming up and traditionally one had to really worry about everything.

Like I’ve been on that traditional side of things. it would take a lot of time to set up like one would think about security and data warehousing. So what one really the prime aspect, what a no-code does, is it adds a layer of extraction. So you as somebody business developer or the no-code citizen developer, you just have to worry about the business logic.

Yash G (12:25):

You don’t have to worry about the underlying technology. It can secure all the other parameters. You just have to focus, okay, this is my business logic. This is what I want to implement. And it gives you a very easy visual interface to actually implement your ideas, or traditionally it would require you to learn the language. So basically whatever’s happening on a low-code/no-code platform.

It is writing code in the background, but you don’t have to really understand the nuances and you don’t have to wait like you invest time in that rather you invest time in implementing your business ideas. So I think that is the whole change between no-code low-code. And I feel that is one of the major reasons for the movement to take some steam.

Aneesh D (13:24):

So interesting. You mentioned that because more and more, we are also looking at you know, our partners are coming to us with automation requirements. So you have organizations that have systems and they want to run a dashboard, or they want to create these mini-apps or processes or automation, the CRUD apps you call them, right. On top of that for a specific purpose. And then it just makes it so easy.

You don’t have to worry about you know, there, I need more resources for this, with, with the low code, I’ve seen that with the load code, I’ve seen that, you know, people are able to get their ideas, too, life and see how they are working in a very short period of time. And that’s been one of the things, so yes, completely agree with you on that front.  we have a lot of questions to catch up on so I’m going to get to the next one, which is, Tell us the kind of projects that you’re working on right now where you’re leveraging, low-code no-code tools.

What do customers want? Process Automation

Yash G (14:36):

Sure, sure, sure.  As you mentioned that a lot of clients are coming in for basic, process automation. I’m working on a couple of clients and again, their basic requirement is, process automation and a lot of traditional work traditionally, what they’ve been doing manually, they would want, they wanted to implement it or basically get it done faster and have a better understanding of real-time understanding of how things are like one of the clients is a manufacturer he has a hub and spoke model, multiple factories and the head office.

Initially the basic, order generation, and, this thing like accounting, this thing happens through software, but then, what happens in between till the time the order goes to the factories for manufacturing its update, and till the end result comes in, the factory is not in the know of what is happening because multiple places are working at the same time. It becomes very difficult to really get hold of all the numbers together. What they want is a solution where they get real-time data. We’ve been able to develop something for the lame and the factory floor or to actually input data so that the head office can get real-time information of what the status is, which otherwise would take weeks. Now it’s there immediately. And so, yeah, that is one of the clients we are working on and one of them,

Aneesh D (16:17):

So, you know, if you can just throw some light in terms of how much time did you end up taking to create this and how much would it have taken in the normal scenario? Vis-a-vis a low-code scenario.

Fastest delivery channel partners can provide customers

Yash G (16:31):

Sure, sure. It took us, around,  so that this, this is quite interesting on the later points, some of the points we had said earlier that a lot of times what the customer expects, as you said, the language between what the consumer is talking about and what the software developer, or is understanding there is a gap. So it presented an interesting challenge. The consumer tried to explain it. 

We tried to build something initially and because it was a local platform, we were very very, very fast. We were able to modify it because there was some misunderstanding in the requirements. So having said that it took us around two, two, and a half weeks to be able to come to a product, which is about to be launched. And Traditionally I believe it would have taken not less than, six to eight weeks.

Usage-based pricing, a brownie point for consumers

Yash G (17:34):

So that is the, I mean, the power of low-code. And more than that, the costing, I mean, DronaHQ, they’ve come up with a consumption-based pricing model. So that helps the consumer because initially, they don’t have that much of a load, but very soon they will. I mean, that was one of the key factors for the consumer you want to really get on board because they’re there at the initial costing was not that much. So, both saved costing in terms of time. And in terms of the pricing model that there was,

Aneesh D (18:16):

So you, you mentioned this, and that was one of the reasons, right? Because many times we get clients of different sizes and a real user pricing, normally doesn’t meet everyone’s requirement. So there might be apps that might be used on a frequent basis, or there are apps, which I use just once in a week or once in a month, once in a fortnight, et cetera. So we wanted to make sure that we meet the requirements of all people out there. And so far the response has been great for the usage-based plans. Sorry. You were saying something. Yash.

Easily build MVPs to validate ideas

Yash G (18:54):

I said, yeah. So that I mean the whole this particular aspect of it, in terms of costs, I mean, that makes it very, the no-code a very go-to platform for say developing, MVP or a proof of concept, so that you quickly are able to, like validate your ideas, whether it’s going to work or not, instead of spending a lot of time, effort and money in developing a bulky solution, which later on you realize that it doesn’t work.

Aneesh D (19:28):

Oh, I am with you on that. I think. So that makes a lot of sense. And these, at the end of the day, you’re dealing with real-world problems. So you have to be flexible. You need to be able to turn the ship around with a small arc small radius. Well, we want to ask the next question.  So apart from this example, there anything else interesting that you would want to talk about? I mean, addressing that you’ve executed on low code?

Built-in workflow modules for task approval and assignments make life simpler

Yash G (19:58):

Well again, so I can talk about again, a proof of concept that we made for there was a request and especially mentioning this, it was property management. The client was the property manager and they were tenants and the property owner and the property management person is, maintaining the properties and attending ticket requests. So it was fairly like an intense kind of approval task approval, kind of assignment, kind of a whole ecosystem for a property manager and for everyone in the ecosystem to get the view of how, where things are unhealthy. This may take this because, as I said, proof of concept, we were able to get something ready in less than a week.

I mean, so-so at this talk about DronaHQ, like, it has a particular task approval and task assignment kind of a module built-in. So that made life really simple. And it kind of so we were able to almost replicate what the client eventually once, in a week’s time, that is something I feel is nobody.

Aneesh D (21:24):

And that’s the, and that’s a pretty interesting use case if you look at it. So the next question that I have for you,  you’ve been using the Studio for a long time. Yeah. So one of the things that you mentioned by now was about the, asks, which are there, but for someone who’s new to, DronaHQ and the Studio platform, what are some of the best features that you have found, very helpful,  you know because having it has given you a lot of comfort in terms of designing stuff.

Navigation becomes really fast, even with multiple screens and spreadsheets

Yash G (22:06):

So I’ve been using the studio platform for quite some time. I’ve seen it evolve like in the current phase, I really appreciate the studio UI in general. It makes it, things are very easily segregated on the information on one side, all actionable items on the other side when you are developing something, you have multiple sheets that we have to sheets on multiple screens that you have to report to multiple controls that you have to look at.

The current interface makes it very easy for anyone to immediately get hold of details. You don’t have to really skip screens and try to look for information. I really appreciate that means how I’ve seen the whole platform evolve, and I really appreciate this particular aspect of it.

And the other thing that I’ve seen is the database, the sheets, database, again, it can store, it is so versatile. It can store a lot of information like geolocation to images, to JSON files, um very soon,  I believe they had launched or action items within the spreadsheet and I’m yet to explore it, but I’m really excited to know that they’re increasing the capabilities plus again,

Aneesh D (23:39):

You know since I have a sneak peek in to know what is happening on DronaHQ,  there are a lot more features that are in the works which you’d be able to see. And So we’ve just launched a PDF creator also, and that’s something that’s catchy, so, but yes, sorry. I think I just wanted to speak about the interesting features lined up.

DronaHQ’s workflow management is a killer feature!

Yash G (24:11):

Even The product announcement of late has been really fast. They’ve been so many of them have yet to catch up with all of them, but so I mean, if you look at, talk about the studio in general, I believe the workflow or workflow management and the capabilities it presents in terms of third party integration, in terms of the code, your own custom portal. That’s also really interesting from one of the clients we had to present the data in terms of a 2d matrix. I mean, we could write our custom code and just present the data the way we wanted. So it really opens up the flexibility to do whatever you want. 

As I said, workflow management is killer. I mean, with that, you can release all complicated issues, operational issues. So, yeah, that’s, that’s great. And I’ve already spoken about the pre-existing task approval and task assignment. I really find it as a ubiquitous thing. It is something that is required in every organization, in every business process task approval. And the, so I, I mean the kind of detail you, you get who the task is assigned to if it gets reassigned, what all information is passed in between tasks if you want to gather information. So it’s really wonderfully developed.

Aneesh D (25:38):

Thank you so much. I’ll make sure to pass on your feedback to the team. And I’m conscious that we have a few minutes left, then I’m coming to my last question, which is any words of wisdom that you have for someone who’s keen on exploring low code, no code, and also throwing in something about your experience working being a partner with DronaHQ. So maybe combine these two questions and tell us a little about it.

Yash G (26:17):

Well, first of all, the no-code, the low-code journey is very exciting. I think it’s the right time to dive into it.  I’ve seen the platform also evolve.  I remember the time when the pricing, even the pricing was not updated. It was all on a trial basis. Since that time I’ve been trying to explore the platform.

And So what really intrigued me into a joint like working, starting to work with DronaHQ was how involved like when I spoke to the founders, both Divyesh and Jinen, how involved they were, how helpful and forthcoming they were I like helping, not me, not just a partner, but as somebody who was interested in the platform in developing a solution and like slowly, I’ve seen that, that, that effect trickle down in the whole I mean, all everybody else who I’ve interacted with from DronaHQ everyone, like it, ensures that if you’re stuck on a problem like it is resolved.

The low-code ecosystem is evolving fast, a perfect time to dive in

Yash G (27:24):

And so I really appreciate that about the DronaHQ platform. And as I said the no code, low code ecosystem is, is evolving. It’s evolving fast.  , I mean, gone are the times, I mean, it was thought of to be very restricted, maybe just internal apps or business apps. It’s not just that you can, I mean, the possibilities are growing by the day. I mean yeah, just, I remember losing one customer because it didn’t have public access. We don’t want to, we didn’t want a login interface.

And the person had a lot of users. They just wanted to look at the data that wasn’t possible, but slowly and steadily with time, it is evolving. DronaHQ right now has a public interface.  it has a consumption-based model, so you don’t have to go for user licensing. So as I said, the whole ecosystem is evolving more than that. There are so many other third-party applications that are developing and everybody’s on the same lines. And with API integration and webhooks, I mean, it just opens up the landscape to, to your imaginations. So I think for anybody who’s keen on exploring low-code no-code right now is the perfect time to just dive in and explore a bit more and more stuff. And that’s how you get to learn it.  , know, the whole ecosystem much better,

Aneesh D (28:58):

Like a, you know, you’ve, you’ve put it in a perfect way meaning that it’s, it’s, it’s growing right now. And, you know, I know that you’re also active, you’re active on Twitter and conversations on a daily basis in terms of low-code/no-code.  We both know how interested and invested people are in that,  from one of the points that you mentioned about, you know, our, the team rallies around the partners who help resolve the issues. And that is something that the organization is looking at, that we want to make our partners successful because we know that our success will be through them.

So that’s the end time.  , that’s how we have ensured that we keep growing from a cultural standpoint, that partners are kept, on a pedestrian so that in all their queries, et cetera, because they give us the best feedback they are bending the client, they using the platform, they know what works, what doesn’t work. So we’re really with you on that.

And, you know, it seems like so much information that you’ve shared in the last, it’s just been amazing to hear it about you, about your journey. You’re always informed and aware and some interesting anecdotes and nuances about the whole no-code/low-code space.

Aneesh D (30:31):

Can’t thank you enough. I think. So this was a very interesting conversation but before you go, before we go, any parting comments that you’ve which you would want to share with the viewers,

Yash G (30:43):

Well, first of all, thank you. Thank you for inviting me over. And like, I mean, taking time out to hear my comments and hear my thoughts.  Finally, I would just like to say that it’s a wonderful journey to start, and I believe DronaHQ as a team, is a wonderful association. So, I mean, I would want more and more people to join in, and if I could help anybody make a decision or a key or some thoughts, I mean, I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to do that. That’s about it.

Aneesh D (31:22):

Thank you. Thank you so much. Yash, it was a pleasure interacting with you and we’ll stay connected.  , thanks once again.  And with that, we come to the end of episode two of Partnercast, and we will be back with another session last week of September and everyone has a great weekend. Bye-bye, thanks. Bye.



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