Complete overview of the SKUID platform for customers, analysts and investors: covers history, product-market fit, tech stack, pricing and ecosystem.
SKUID, which stands for Scalable Kit for User Interface Development, is a one of the growing platform providers in the Rapid Application Development (RAD) market, also referred to as low-code and no-code app platform market. SKUID is a special type of platform, in that it sits on top of other platforms: Salesforce’s Force.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and other data sources residing in public clouds, like AWS, Google Cloud, or in relational databases. What SKUID does is make it one level easier for app developers to build, and for users to interact with the app.
SKUID started in 2013, focusing on the Force.com platform. The pain point the founders noticed, was the amount of clicks and pages that it took certain users of Salesforce and Force.com applications, in order to fill out information, in other words they invented a tool which accelerated the productivity of app users, and made it easy for developers to adopt this tool. Over time, the company expanded the number and variety of data sources that it can connect to, as well as the use cases it enables. From a primarily desktop environment, it now supports mobile apps natively, and hybrid deployments between public clouds, private clouds and on premise data residency.
The SKUID Platform
The platform is comprised of four components:
- The data model: SKUID does not store data in its application, but acts as broker between the user side and the data side. From a data standpoint it renders information stored in existing data sources. SKUID apps can be read-only, or read & write.
- The UI design allows developers to write their own templates, like you would use CSS for a site or app. They can also leverage Salesforce Lightning components, in the case of a Force.com app, or also take pre-existing design templates that SKUID makes available to its customers.
- The fourth component is adjacent to the three elements above. It is the underlying Action Framework, where developers can create automated events and workflows.
SKUID prices their product similarly to other platforms with a per user per month option, requiring an annual commitment. The entry price for SKUID is USD $45 per user per month, for one data source. More data sources can be acquired at additional cost.
Ecosystem and Use Cases for SKUID
You could see SKUID as a three-sided platform, as outlined in The Mind Share Market. These multi-sided platform are popular in open source, and in marketplace exchanges, like shopping malls. In a shopping mall, one side of the market is the amount of stores, the other side represents the consumers. The more consumers come to the marketplace, the more attractive the marketplace becomes for store owners. The more stores and interesting choices exist on the marketplace, the more customers will come. This reinforcing cycle has a name in economics: the network effect.
Consider the SKUID ecosystem:
- Data sources. Customers can connect an increasing amount of data sources. The more customers, the more data partners will be interested in working with SKUID. An increasing amount of data sources also brings more customers and use cases.
- Customers and internal developers: the company makes programming easier. This is the premise of low-code and no-code platforms, to create citizen developers. In practice, it means that technically savvy sales operations (sales ops) teams, business analysts and budding programmers who understand code but won’t code an app from scratch, can complete an app from start to finish.
- Consulting partners: a growing amount of data sources, app sophistication and customer count will create new opportunities for system integrators. Likewise, a large partner ecosystem helps attract bigger deployments and enterprise-type customers.
So, why SKUID and where does it fit? The company shared with us two points:
- As an app developer you can reduce your project time, start to finish, from 6-8 months, to 6-8 weeks.
- As an app user, you benefit from a workflow which minimizes the amount of clicks, of mouse movements, and changes in pages. In other words, you can go from a baseline workflow where your workers click 50 times in 5 different pages, to clicking 20 times, faster and with fewer errors, on a single page. A user can get so much more done during the day, helping more customers, be more productive. This is significant.
We often hear SKUID being mentioned in analyst reports and co-mingled with players like Salesforce or Appian, but now you’ve read this post, you understand these vendors don’t play in the same category. For example:
- SKUID vs. Appian represents another apples to oranges comparison. While the two companies produce a low-code platform, Appian runs on its own, does not have a Managed Package on the Salesforce Appexchange, and has its own programming language called SAIL, as opposed to SKUID’s standard approach and upper level positioning of “platform on top of a platform”.
You can get started with an app today here.