Enterprise mobility solution provider KidoZen sees channel momentum

KidoZen, a very young startup with a mobile app platform which facilitates the development of enterprise mobility solutions, is seeing customer acceptance as it goes against well-known brands like IBM and SAP.


Ben Elliott, VP of Business Development for KidoZen

KidoZen, a very young startup with a mobile app platform which facilitates the development of enterprise mobility solutions, is going against the grain in a couple of ways. First, for a company only two years old, it is seeing customer acceptance as it goes against well-known brands like IBM and SAP. And secondly, it has made a very early channel commitment, which is typically the exception rather than the rule in this early stage of a vendor focused on the enterprise market.

KidoZen – Kido suggests magical healing capabilities in both Japanese and Korean, and was chosen as the name in part to help them in the Asian market – has developed a Mobile Data Virtualization platform which creates a virtual representation for all the data required for consumption by enterprise mobile applications and presents it as a common Data Source Catalogue. This eliminates much of the complexity mobile app developers face, because they no longer need to invoke APIs and have that requisite backend system knowledge. Instead they can use a consistent API to query data from enterprise backend systems.

“Our role is to provide the enterprise customer with the ability to quickly build mobile applications by leveraging back end connectivity,” said Ben Elliott, VP of Business Development for KidoZen. “Since we started we have also expanded out and are providing more in terms of offerings – increasing the number of back end systems, to warehouse systems, ERP, and CRM – and also being able to monitor them. There is a lot more around dev/ops compliance concerns that we have been addressing. We have moved from just connectivity to being able to offer quite a bit more around enterprise mobile applications.”

There is significant competition in this space, notably from IBM Worklight and SAP’s assets which were rebranded into SAP Mobile Platform in 2013.

“The issue with these was that only large enterprises could afford them due to the price point, and the alternative was to build their own,” Elliott said. “In 2012, when cloud offerings in this space came out, we entered the market as well. This gave those who didn’t want to invest as much in this the ability to come into the market.” Interestingly, Eliott said their direct competition on deals is typically these large vendors, IBM and SAP, who tend to be incumbents, rather than the other newer companies.

“Global 1000 customers are probably 90% of our customers, but we do go lower than that,” he said. “Our real customer profile is companies that don’t want to change their business process for off the shelf solutions. We are seeing some midmarket interest. Based on our pricing model, we do have different entry points, and we have one that goes down to the 500 employee company.”

The company’s go-to-market model was designed from the start with partners in mind.

“Our founder had run a professional services company doing enterprise mobile consulting, and he knew that going direct would require professional services,” Elliott said. “However, we decided early on not to develop a professional services offering, because it would pose distractions, and scalability and customer support issues. We started direct sales of the platform, but as we knew they would require professional services support, we started with partners from the beginning, who could provide that support.”

KidoZen publicly announced seven partners earlier this year, and now they are announcing seven more: Aptera, Apptivation, Brillio, Calance, Innovecs, NationSky and YellowLink. This gives them 25 partners who collectively operate in 50 countries. Aptera, Brillio, and Calance are American. Apptivation is based in the U.K. Innovecs is headquartered in South Africa, NationSky is Chinese and YellowLink is a Mexican firm which serves Latin America broadly.

“Our partners are some of the top enterprise specialty firms and Sis, and we leverage them to excel in verticals,” Elliott said. “We work with them on a lot of joint marketing and organic lead generation opportunities.”