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Shareable Apps: Empowering anyone with an innovative app idea to build and ship it themselves
Shareable Apps boosted app-building speeds by up to 30% and achieved 50% cost reductions by using Google Cloud, as well as rolling out five new app development products for its customers.
Google Cloud results
- Increased client app building times by 20% to 30% with Cloud CDN
- Yielded 50% annual cost savings compared to previous provider
- Enabled client to launch five spinoff app development services, including versions tailored to music and charity sectors
- Enables 50% cost savings on hosting, allowing deeper investment into building a smarter system that serves more customers
- Inspired innovative mobile working solutions during the COVID-19 crisis
50% cost savings on infrastructure + compute instances
Before becoming a tech entrepreneur, Adam Friedman built a career in creative industries, as an advertising creative director and award-winning musician. The time came when he found himself yearning for his own music app to send to fans. Advertising clients expressed a similar need while, like him, having no coding expertise.
Adam set about tackling this need the old-fashioned way, hiring developers to build custom platforms for clients. It turned out to be expensive and time consuming. Then he had a brain wave. What if he could invent a platform that would enable people with no more than basic computing skills to develop and deploy their own apps?
Adam’s startup, Shareable Apps, was the fruit of his brain wave. He recruited a team of global developers to create an app development solution that allows customers to drag and drop the features and content they need and simply push a button to deploy. After successfully testing the system on-premises, he anticipated a need to scale and migrated to a leading cloud provider. However, here he ran into a clash of mindsets. Shareable Apps wanted a creative partner, while the provider was only interested in sales. “More than just a supplier, we wanted a team with the same vision, working alongside us,” Adam explains.
“What we bought, in essence, was a meeting of minds. And that’s fantastic. We’re connected with Google Cloud not just technically but also commercially and creatively, and that’s been a really great experience. There’s a very different sort of ethos between our old cloud provider and Google Cloud.”
—Adam Friedman, CEO, Shareable Apps
The experience led him to Google Cloud. Adam’s big dream was to “democratize” apps so that anyone could build one, regardless of their tech background, and he realized that Google teams have a similar philosophy of making technology accessible for everyone. Better yet, the results of his decision to move his entire computing and storage infrastructure to Google Cloud exceeded his expectations.
“What we bought, in essence, was a meeting of minds. And that’s fantastic,” says Adam. “We’re connected with Google Cloud not just technically but also commercially and creatively, and that’s been a really great experience.”
“There’s a very different sort of ethos between our old cloud provider and Google Cloud,” he continues. “We’re a creative outfit, and Google Cloud has the same imaginative mindset. They immediately connected the dots of what we’re doing, enabling us to paint the big picture for our clients.”
“What Google Cloud is really good at, is making complex things easy for a lot of people, so you can do it yourself. We’re also into this ‘do-it-yourself’ philosophy, where literally anybody can plunge in with minimal tech knowledge. Our shared ethos with Google Cloud drives powerful results.”
—Adam Friedman, CEO, Shareable Apps
A meeting of minds to enable anybody to make their own apps
Shareable Apps is about empowering everybody from SMEs to huge multinationals and government agencies to charities like the Red Cross. One recent success story is an Australian government app that has enabled hundreds of refugees to integrate into society and find work. The app gives them guidance on employment requirements and building their CV. Now in the age of COVID-19, Shareable Apps hopes to play a strong role enabling small businesses to stay afloat by helping customers and employees to communicate through apps.
In essence, the platform puts the app owner, not an outside developer, in charge. And because it’s hosted on Google Cloud, Shareable Apps is able to lend customers unlimited scalability, AI features, mapping tools and more, seamlessly. Adam sees himself doing for the tech novice what Google Cloud itself does for developers: making innovation simple for people with bright ideas.
“What Google Cloud is really good at, is making complex things easy for a lot of people, so you can do it yourself,” says Adam. “We’re also into this ‘do-it-yourself’ philosophy, where literally anybody can plunge in with minimal tech knowledge. Our shared ethos with Google Cloud drives powerful results.”
Imaginative synergies yield concrete results
Since migrating to Google Cloud, apps are being built 20% to 30% faster on Adam’s platform compared to its previous provider, thanks largely to low latency enabled by Cloud CDN and the subsea content delivery network of Google Cloud. As Shareable Apps’s mission is to make it easy for non-developers to create apps, a big boost in app building speed enables customers to quickly unlock the results they need, to reach the audience they want.
Meanwhile, Shareable Apps also achieved a massive 50% cost savings with Google Cloud compared to its previous solutions. That’s a result enabled by partnership with cloud services provider Kasna, which executed a lift-and-shift to Google Cloud. In recommending this approach, Kasna aimed to give Shareable Apps the quickest way to start generating savings to reinvest in its business. The lift-and-shift strategy also enabled infrastructure hardening from a network perspective, as well as transfer of DNS and load balancing setups with firewall rules.
Kasna performed a thorough audit of billing with Shareable Apps’s previous provider and ran it through Cloud Physics (a Google-endorsed cloud cost simulator) to model like-for-like usage with Google Cloud. The readout enabled Kasna to optimize costing by taking advantage of the competitive base-pricing incentives of Google Cloud, such as sustained-use discounts. Kasna was then able to extract even more savings for Shareable Apps by fine-tuning infrastructure settings and eliminating storage waste, to make sure that Adam was only paying for what he was using.
The ultimate result? Freeing up funds to finance the next stage of Shareable App’s evolution with Google Cloud. By cutting its hosting costs in half, Shareable Apps has been able to redeploy those funds into accelerating new product development, adopting more Google Cloud solutions such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and BigQuery. It has invested more deeply into human capital to gain more of the skills, knowledge, and experience it needs to make its system smarter, to serve more customers, and enable new app creation possibilities. The company is also looking at how economies of scale derived from these savings can be put toward its marketing campaigns.
“We can go further and faster. A lot of our money goes into paying developers to build new features for our platform. So if less of our budget goes into the infrastructure, such as compute instances and VPNs, with 50% cost savings on Compute Engine, that means more can go into hiring developers.”
—Adam Friedman, CEO, Shareable Apps
Releasing resources for new creative solutions
Dramatic cost reductions enabled Shareable Apps to invest in development of five specialist spinoffs of its core platform, including a version for small businesses; one that connects musicians with fans; and a not-for-profit version with a donation engine.
“We can go further and faster,” says Adam. “A lot of our money goes into paying developers to build new features for our platform. So if less of our budget goes into the infrastructure, such as compute instances and VPNs, with 50% cost savings on Compute Engine, that means more can go into hiring developers.”
Advanced data analytics using BigQuery, for example, can enable Shareable Apps to give customers specific, tailored reporting about how their apps are being used, for example creating segments of medium-frequency and high-frequency users. Meanwhile, GKE solutions can bring cost-effective scalability, compared to virtual machines, to support the rapid growth of Shareable Apps’ newer single-tenancy models, where the platform serves only one customer. That will potentially open up a new market alongside traditional multi-tenancy models, where the platform is shared by multiple customers.
“We’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do in the future with Google Cloud,” says Adam. “We’re excited about our future launching Google Cloud AI and data solutions that will help our customers achieve their dreams, as well as GKE which will help us grow our own business.”
Making a difference in the COVID-19 world
As Shareable Apps expands its business, it’s also exploring how the platform can serve the public during the coronavirus crisis. As the pandemic changes the way people work and communicate, Shareable Apps is helping businesses stay afloat by using its communication engine apps to keep in touch with their customers and staff.
Increasingly, Adam says, Shareable Apps is being used to “quell the coronavirus rumor mill,” providing vital safety information to people who can’t work from home, amid a sea of misinformation. In such moments, usage on customer apps can suddenly spike. The instant scalability of Google Cloud prevents crashes and keeps costs low.
It’s not only the small players who are benefiting. One global convenience store chain is using Shareable Apps to communicate with all of its Australian frontline staff, distributing essential COVID-19 health and safety information through their apps to workers across the country.
“We’re seeing jumps in the volume of data that’s being used,” says Adam. “And we don’t want to be charging customers huge amounts for this. Google Cloud allows us to scale up and down cost-effectively.”
Partnerships for a bright tomorrow
Adam says a highlight of the Google Cloud partnership ethos was its ability to introduce the right partner for Shareable Apps: “Had we not been introduced to Kasna specifically by Google Cloud,” Adam says, “we may not have found such an effective and creative way to get onto the platform.”
Kasna CEO Simon Poulton sums up the relationship this way: “It’s not about the Shareable Apps team doing this and the Kasna team doing that. It’s more about: what do we jointly need to do to deliver Shareable Apps customers a better service on Google Cloud? How do we all work together to make a win for Shareable Apps?”
From an empowerment perspective, the robust support and human touch from both Google Cloud and Kasna have freed up Adam as a leader to focus on the big picture for Shareable Apps, instead of being dragged into the technical headaches that had frustrated him in the past.
“Everyone from Google Cloud and Kasna went above and beyond the call of duty during onboarding, not just from a technical level, but also just from a personal and general support approach,” says Adam. “From my perspective, not having to worry about the infrastructure means I can focus on my job, which is the creative and commercial side of the business.”