DIY vs SaaS

Build vs Buy: What to do for your In-App Communication Needs?

Huh! To Hell with it! I Don’t Need In-App Communication! Well, we urge you to think again.

80% of mobile time is spent on apps. Mobile has become the primary medium for User Acquisition, Monetization, and Engagement/Retention for businesses. In fact, many businesses have also rolled out mobile apps for internal team collaboration and management.

Given the enormous popularity of personal messaging apps – WhatsApp, WeChat etc its clear that messaging is the preferred mode of communication. Taking the concept of messaging a bit further to mobile chat, a recent study reported that 79% of mobile app users would engage with the brand inside a chat. This presents a massive opportunity for businesses to engage with users and increase brand loyalty.

If You Need A Machine And Don’t Buy It, Then You Will Ultimately Find That You Have Paid For It And Don’t Have It: 

Engineer multi work

While we all agree that the in-app messaging has become the utmost necessity for user engagement, most businesses find themselves at the crossroads “Buy it OR Build it”. The danger in building internal tools is that it needs constant parenting and incremental cost. The makeshift homegrown solution turns into a few weeks of “getting it just right” which later turns into couple of months of distraction for your engineers as they tweak all the random edge cases no one considered.

The bottom line – you end up spending literally hundred of hours building a tool which is neither core to your own business, nor one that helped you save any money. Even worse, you utilized your engineering resources elsewhere, while they could have been used to improve your core product which would have ultimately driven revenue for your business.

Quantitative Analysis of Build vs Buy:

The overall expenditure involved in developing a homegrown Messaging Suite for your mobile app, illustrated below, proves that even monetarily DIY is a bad use of your resources:

  • The price to develop a similar app like WhatsApp on iOS platform is approximately $26,400.
  • The price to develop a similar app like WhatsApp on Android platform is approximately $26,400.
  • Enabling CMS and Web Services, would cost approximately $16,800, thereby making the total investment approximately $69,600.

Congratulations! You spent 69,600$, an amount that could have given you access to Applozic’s Growth plan for 16 years at 369$/month. 

Surprised, well it doesn’t end just there. While your engineers were busy making the Messaging Suite they were actually not concentrating on making your own core product any better, and sadly this continues for 3-4 months which is the average time required for developing an In-App messaging feature.

Now lets say you had a recurring revenue of 20,000$/month and growth at a rate of 10% month-on-month, will amount to recurring revenue of 63,000$/month at the end of a period of 12 months. However utilizing your engineering resources in building a core platform capability, that could reduce churn or expand your market size, could have bumped your growth to say 11%. That would have meant 70,000$ worth of recurring revenue in an year.

Thus building your in-house In-App Messaging solution not only resulted in saving an insignificant amount of Cash, but also stifled your growth and future cash flows.

Qualitative Analysis of Build vs Buy:

Apart from the obvious monetary and resource implications, there are many more decision points that one should look into, before zeroing in on the final decision of Build vs Buy:

  • Completeness of Messaging Features: Building In-App chat that enables companies to build highly engaging mobile apps is a non-trivial task. Limited forecast of the scope, and
    non-familiarity with available chat protocols might result in overlooking any of the requisite Use Cases like offline notifications, background app processing, addressing Customer Support, surveys etc. Each of these new capabilities can result in extended development & testing timelines, hence it is important to assess the in-house expertise before embarking on a Build Strategy.
  • Multi-platform Support: Any in-app chat capability you build must support both iOS and Android, which means familiarity with the features and quirks of APNS and GCM respectively. Most businesses tend to hire and manage two separate teams for each platform, which can get costly especially if they each now have to also learn how to build messaging capabilities. Furthermore, this process gets more onerous if you add support for web messaging to the mix.
  • Scalability:  A cloud based SaaS solution like that of Applozic can help you to scale and pay as you grow.
  • Integration with Enterprise Systems: Most backend system such as CRM or ERP require custom implementation, hence need in-house expertise. Thus it is important to to utilize your in-house development resources – on delivering seamless back-end integration rather than building a standalone messaging capability.
  • On-going development and Support: If adopted, messaging and chat capabilities can go viral very quickly and become a core component of your users’ experience and a driver of business growth. Thus development of a Messaging Suite for your mobile app is not the end, it needs to be maintained just like any other core product capability that offers you competitive advantage. This would require additional recurring resources both monetary and human, unlike in the case of a SaaS solution where every new release will automatically upgrade your platform capabilities.

The Role of Messaging in the overall User Experience:

When time to market is critical, you need to decide if it is more important to focus your developers’ time on designing the best possible user experience or on building standalone in-app chat capabilities. If in-store app reviews and net promoter scores are a KPI, then user experience wins every time!

It is very important to have a strong understanding of the Business Goals and a deep assessment of the technology needed to achieve them before making a Build vs Buy decision. Ask yourself, “Do I work for a technology company that builds systems software or is my core business something else – manufacturing, retail, healthcare,eCommerce etc., and where should I invest my resources?”

If you belong to the second category, it is advisable to outsource and be done with all the worries for ever.

At Applozic Inc. we offer highly customizable and easy to scale, White Label SDK that helps to integrate chat in Web and Mobile apps be it on iOS or AndroidSign Up with us, and enable your web and mobile apps with our end-to end Communication Platform. Visit our Feature’s Page to learn more about our offerings. Feel free to contact us at contact@applozic.com for any queries and we would be happy to help.

Help us serve you better by providing your valuable comments and feedback in the section below.


Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 3.57.51 PM

Customizable Web SDK for Chat-Messaging

 It was our customer’s use cases that encouraged us to write this article. We are going to highlight our Web SDK abilities and use cases that you can leverage with Applozic platform.

We introduced our Client API’s and Native SDK’s in Sep’2015, enabling developers to build cross-platform messaging for mobile, web and desktop. Since then, we have seen our platform being used in 100+ businesses but the most amazing part is that each of these implementations are unique in its own way. Each business has their own use cases and UI customizations, some with lengthy work flow and some even more complicated. Our highly simplified API’s and UI toolkit made it all an amazing experience.

Our Web SDK enables a variety of cross-platform messaging use cases:​

Match making and Dating services

On-demand delivery services

Community building and group chat

Online events and Social networking

Cross device messaging for Delivery – Recipient, Customer – Agents

Marketplaces connecting buyers and sellers

Be it Bubble, SideBox or Full view, we have you ready to use UI: https://www.applozic.com/docs/web-chat-plugin.html#customization

fullview

sidebox

We offer you the freedom to build a great messaging experience in any product. Our Web SDK will keep evolving with our extensive roadmap but your feedback and suggestions would always help us reach new highs.

The documentation is available as part of our developer portal, along with example apps: https://www.applozic.com/docs/web-chat-plugin.html#first-level

Sign up for Applozic developer account and get started: https://www.applozic.com/signup.html 

If you have any questions about integration and customization, please connect with us over live chat and we will be happy to assist you.

 


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WhatsApp Encrypted: What should you do next?

We all know, WhatsApp, an Instant Messaging app has revolutionized one-to-one and group chat since its inception in January 2010. Soon, multiple Start-ups and SME’s understood its potential and made it an imperative part of their everyday functions. Organizations started utilizing it for chat/messaging and in increasing customer engagement. IP messaging has become the new norm for real-time customer support, product/brand promotion, announcements and offers business intelligence through analytics.

In the past, WhatsApp said that they would work on tools to help enterprises interact with their customer but with their recent announcement, it was told that they will protect their users’ privacy with an end to end encryption on all messages exchanged through their platform. This, in my opinion, is a clear signal for businesses to find alternatives of WhatsApp.

Why you must be thinking?

  • WhatsApp rulebook says “it is likely to ban your accounts if you: Send messages to people who don’t have your number in their phone book – Start many chats to people who have never written to you before”.
  • WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum has clearly stated that WhatsApp is going to remain a standalone, person-to-person messaging app with no intrusions. He wrote this in a blog post after the Facebook acquisition. So it is likely that it may not open its API which can be used by developers.

A startup iCliniq, an online doctor consultation platform started in 2011 had to migrate from WhatsApp, as WhatsApp has blocked their account in the mid way of their expansion and they had to scout for alternatives.
(Source: http://yourstory.com/2015/07/icliniq-whatsapp/)
It was quite evident that there was a big challenge in deciphering out the right distributing channel. While migrating they lost users as WhatsApp still remain a default messaging application for millions.

But it leaves us thoughts to ponder upon:-

  • Should a startup depend on other platforms?
  • Should a start-up focus on multiple distribution channels?
  • Should instant messaging be an inbuilt option of an application?


Let us try and find the answers!

  • This one is easy as we always remember.
  • Business School professors always ask its budding managers to focus on “Omni-Channel Approach”. So, one should neither depend on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram etc but have multi-channel sales approach that provides the user with an integrated user experience.

  • With the rise of white label and fully customizable native chat/messaging SDK‘s; any business can now easily integrate WhatsApp like real-time communication on their website and mobile applications in just a few minutes.

So, now if you are thinking about adding chat/messaging to your mobile apps and website, you may consider using Applozic a feature-as-a-Service for complete communication solution. Think about any type of conversation 1-to-1, 1-to-many, group chat, context based chat etc, you have it all at one place. It is a platform that offers application to user messaging, cross application communication, SMS and Email fallback support along with Dashboard option that has rich insights and analytics.