Cloud apps evolution - the Story so Far...

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July 25, 2014

Cloud apps evolution, a tad bit of history.

Let’s sit around the campfire and hear about the fascinating story of cloud apps evolution. Back in ‘the day’ businesses wanted to use software systems to manage every aspect of their organization: accounting, project management, administration, sales & marketing, management, …

Evidently, they only wanted to invest in one system that could cover all of these topics. As you might suspect, these were usually very expensive investments. During those early years, primarily in the 90’s, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems were extremely popular. ERP systems offered a suite of 100% integrated applications to cover every business process. However, ERP systems often needed to be heavily customized to suit the specific needs of the organization. This made them very costly for smaller businesses and therefore not suitable for everyone.

Luckily, the noughties brought the birth of cloud computing and cloud applications. The number of cloud apps has been growing exponentially the last couple of years. Many businesses jumped on these apps, especially because of the low cost and the high specialization of said apps. The trouble with cloud apps is that they tend to only cover one specific need of your business. They only solve one problem. So, to replace an ERP system you would need an ecosystem of isolated cloud apps. Problem is, those apps don’t talk to each other much. According to Gartner the Cloud is becoming increasingly more complex.

Cloud apps are starting to realize this as well, so they’ve moved to offering API’s and specific integrations with other cloud applications.

However , that doesn’t solve the problem of apps not talking to each other. You see, every cloud app is trying to solve the problem of integrations individually, while this should be solved in a centralized way.

Every single cloud app that offers an API or integration possibilities, will be and is confronted with synchronization and integration problems after a couple of months. This problem of poor integration, of apps not talking to each other properly, of data not being available throughout all your services, is becoming bigger and bigger. And once again, smaller companies don’t have the money to custom-build an integration solution for their cloud applications.

That’s what we decided to solve. With PieSync we’re strongly convinced that a centralized integration, true two-way sync platform will fix the biggest issue of the ‘integrated web’. We started by building a connection between Highrise and Google Apps and were immediately confronted with the problem of synchronization. We decided to move beyond just integrating and instead offering a true two-way sync between those two apps.

That’s when our vision of the integrated web came to life: liberating your data and making it app-independent so you can build a cloud app ecosystem that works for your organization.

Where we are now

We’ve been operational for the better part of two years now and our primary focus was building a synchronization platform. The reason for this is simple: if we want to add connections quickly and in the best way possible: we need a platform to deal with the intricate technical fuzz. Building a connection should be possible for anyone with API access.

Actually, our goal with this is pretty simple: in the very near future, we want to open up this platform to developers. This way, anyone can easily build a connector and start syncing their data. When we can open up the platform to developers we’ll be able to focus on implementing more business intelligent processes into the platform.

However, for now, we’re building our own connectors. Here’s where we are with that: we’ve got two connections up and running, two in an early access stage and 3 in an alpha version. cloud apps evolutionCheck out the Nimble – Google connection here: “Two-way Nimble-Google sync”) Check out the Highrise – Google connection here: “Sync Highrise with Google”) If you want in on any of the other connections, mail to or give us a shout on our Twitter account( “PieSync”).

Written by Mattias Puttman