Kuzzle wants to productize consulting firm development services

Is this just another MBaaS or does Kuzzle have some serious experience that lends it extra credibility?

Kuzzle wants to productize consulting firm development services
Unsplash via Pexels

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is usually used to launch new hardware—from laptops to mobile phones, from Wi-Fi routers to connected toasters.

One thing it doesn’t see much of is the launch of software products. But that is what we’re seeing today with the launch of Kuzzle, a new backend platform that sees itself as the route to “seamless software development across all devices, services and platforms.”

That’s a pretty lofty claim (OK, a very lofty one), especially since Kuzzle goes up against a range of tools: Salesforce’s platform, pure mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) solutions like Kinvey, as well as mobile development platforms. So, what is Kuzzle about, and what gives it the confidence to claim differentiation?

+ Also on Network World: 7 mobile development skills that mean higher pay

Kuzzle is a spin out from French consulting firm Kaliop Group. Two years of R&D by the Kaliop team and $2 million in seed funding sees Kuzzle claiming clients such as global media, tech and government organizations. The company is based in Montpellier, France, and it has decided it's time to break into the U.S. market—and is using CES as the launch event.

Of course, this is a good time to be talking about a platform that helps enterprises create software faster. We’ve all had Marc Andreessen’s “software is eating the world” view rammed down our throats for a few years, and while many may argue that particular point, the fact is that increasingly organizations are looking to technology to help them provide innovative solutions, gain an agility edge on their competitors and stave off ever-present threats from smart new companies.

Kuzzle suggests that backend development consumes 40 percent of overall project budgets. And in an assessment that will have CIOs spluttering into their double decaf soy cappuccinos, IDC predicts that half of all applications will need to be rewritten by the end of 2017 to accommodate the ever-evolving landscape of the platforms hosting the applications.

Hence the timing for Kuzzle, which aims to both streamline and future-proof the backend infrastructure of software, in addition to help companies move to the eventual cross-stack era where all apps will be built in concert across platforms.

Kuzzle works with any platform

In terms of the technology stuff, Kuzzle is platform-agnostic and can work with virtually any other platform to build or extend a backend. Its multi-protocol design allows software stacks or devices that aren’t designed to work together to do so, including:

  • HTTP protocol: for web, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications
  • Web sockets: for “real-time” web, mobile, IoT and M2M applications
  • Socket.io: for “real time” on older browser versions (enterprise desktops)
  • MQTT: for “real-time” IoT and M2M applications
  • Custom protocol plugins, such as Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) for messaging, TCP/UPD for console gaming and M2M, and any custom need

In terms of its success to date, Kuzzle points to one 5,000-employee customer that apparently used Kuzzle’s capabilities to build its own internal Slack-like moderated chat system in two weeks for 500 simultaneous users. The company is bullish about what its tech offers, and in this strong assertion, it is arguably missing its real offering:

“Across all industries, companies are struggling to deliver on today’s urgent demand for digital transformation, let alone prepare for future initiatives,” said Pierre Deniset, CEO at Kuzzle. “Early Kuzzle users have experienced significant time and cost savings for their backend development, freeing them to focus on innovative new front-end possibilities and experiences for their users.” 

My POV

Agility is as much (in fact, I would argue more) about culture as it is about technology. Without diving deeply into Kuzzle's platform, I would be bold enough to assert that the company's real offering is the experience they have via Kaliop of delivering software projects, and the requisite culture shift, within existing enterprise customers.

While one can wax poetic about how awesome a technology platform is, the real test is whether the company selling said tech has the skills, experience and appetite to help its customers truly transform. This is an unknown when it comes to Kuzzle. For sure, Kaliop has the experience. But by spinning out Kuzzle and seemingly letting it go on its own, they perhaps miss a bigger opportunity to use Kuzzle as an internal tool delivering benefits to its own customers.

In the long run, I don’t see a massive opportunity or a standalone Kuzzle in a market that is already pretty busy. Watch this space, I guess.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in