It’s self-evident that most organisations have already rolled out their own email and personal information software (PIM) to their workforces. Are internal apps, however, the next step in productivity and mobility? One Johannesburg startup believes this trend is already underway, paving an opening for mobile to step into the next phase.
Device Magic’s product Mobile Forms follows in the wake of the company’s launch at the beginning of the year. The product works by allowing a business or organisation of any kind to create its own data-gathering application for a mobile device. In explaining what it is, the company says, “We’re a SurveyMonkey for smartphones”.
“We’re going to make it really easy for any size team to get a return on day one”, says Dusan Babich who, with Mike Welham, co-founded the company with the backing of angel investor Rob Horton.
The co-founders claim they have what it takes to solve an issue many organisations and departments face. The difference: The solution is drastically lower in cost than is currently the case.
Babich is a developer with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand also plays the role of CEO at the company. Welham — who is also Chief Technical Officer — is a developer expert with a BSc Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. He is also a co-founder of Red Five Labs.
The team is confident that are filling a crucial gap in the market. “Current enterprise mobility offerings either involve an expensive product solution like SAP or Sybase“, claims Babich, who says alternatively a custom application needs to be written.
“Our solution is really easy to get up and running and costs a lot less than the other alternatives,” he said.
A key feature of the service is that it works offline, running on iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android tablets. Babich says forms built with their company solution can capture text, selection lists, images, barcodes and GPS co-ordinates. “It’s really easy to connect a form to an e-mail address or Google Doc”, he adds. An API for developers wishing to do richer integration is also available, and includes pushing forms and work items for specific devices.
Asking DeviceMagic about an international strategy seems somewhat futile. As the company is an SaaS web and mobile offering, most of their online customers are from North America and the UK, and the company has been accepting all major credit cards since its launch.
With such a strong global reach already — relative to the stage of similar startups only a few months old — the founders aren’t wasting any time. Five years from now DeviceMagic has the clear intention of serving as the SurveyMonkey of enterprise mobility, while counting “all of the Fortune 100″ as their clients.