The Gospel of MBaaS- According to Anypresence Co-Founder (Part 2 of 2)
Part 2 of InfoQ’s exclusive virtual interview with Anypresence cofounder Richard Mendis (RM)…
This statement seems to open up a potential privacy and or security issue with what might happen should Anypresense ever merge or be acquired by some other entity, one that may not maintain as high standards as presently personified in your answers.
In a worst case scenario, because of our unique no lock-in architecture, they can take all the source code and cease to use AnyPresence. An option that Parse, Stackmob, Kinvey, and other platforms do not provide. (I imagine a few Parse developers are not too thrilled about the potential privacy changes that Facebook may adopt.) Customers can stop using AnyPresence, and still run their app. We are the only vendor I know of that offers a "no lock-in" guarantee. In addition to the technical run-time separation mentioned above, we also offer customers a "buyout" option in the license agreement, which enables them to cease using the AnyPresence designer, and maintain the run-time source code on their own. Think of what this means for customers who are worried about a Parse-like situation where their MBaaS vendor gets acquired: with AnyPresence, they have access to all the run-time source code, so they can maintain the entire solution on their own, without any dependencies on the vendor.
InfoQ: If it is that easy, (as claimed in this Stackmob link regarding switching from Parse to Stackmob) to migrate from Parse, that doesn't sound like your competitors' clients are as locked in as you assert?
It's never that easy, unfortunately, and especially not in the enterprise world. Think about this instance: someone rolled out an app using Parse with user authentication and has hundreds of user names and passwords. Now you need to move to Stackmob. How are you going to migrate users and their passwords, which should be encrypted if you are following proper security standards? All your users would have to re-register. If you have any systems integration to source systems, all server-side customizations and interfaces that assume Parse-like APIs would have to be re-written.
Migration in this manner is not equivalent to continuing to run and operate under your own terms. It may be okay for someone who is using an MBaaS to store high-scores in a game or some other non-mission critical app to take on the risk of migrating to another vendor, but this is not tenable for an enterprise-class solution, which is what we are focused on.
If a customer is using AnyPresence and we get acquired and they no longer want to subscribe, they can exercise their license right to buy-out the source code, and continue maintaining and running it on their own without any interruption. We can even transfer account ownership of the hosting provider to the client. This is completely unique in the market.
Our pricing varies depending on (the) number of apps that are being built on the platform, and also length of subscription. We have some clients that are paying less than the price quoted in the TC article, (According to Rip Emerson "Co-Founder & CMO Richard Mendis says that the startup’s pricing begins between $15K and $20K per year, and scales up based on usage from there.") and some that are paying more.
What we try to do for our enterprise customers is take the guesswork and uncertainty about usage out of the equation. We are the only one that provides our customers with an option to stop using the service, and still run and maintain the app and source code without interruption. Incidentally, we are also less expensive than other enterprise mobile platform solutions (even with the buyout fee). The buyout fee is a one-time fee, typically equivalent to a one year subscription, but negotiable based on how many apps a customer is building on our platform.
A recent press release by Anypresence claims that the company’s selection as a “Hot Vendor in Mobile” by Aragon Research validates its status as a leader in enterprise mobility. A more impressive validation comes from one of its competitors.
A Google search revealed this ad that deceptively uses an apparent Anypresence link to the site of competitor Stackmob:
Ad related to AnyPresence
StackMob Helps You Develop Your App In 50% The Time. Get Started Today!
This type of strategy reminds me of my days in retail consumer electronics. When sales associates from competing big box chains would pretend to be customers and ‘accidently’ drop their business card on our big box chain’s sales floor.