Pillir’s redesigned platform combines their original ability to translate SAP legacy code into modern low-code with a lego block system that greatly speeds up the process, and the channel is the focus of their Go-to-Market strategy.
Low-code/no-code platform provider Pillir has launched EdgeReady Cloud, a rapid application development platform that lets SAP users significantly reduce their costs in moving their ERP systems to the cloud. They do this using a lego block concept invented by MIT most associated with scratch coding for kids. Here, however, Pillir becomes the first to take this building block concept to the enterprise back end.
“I have been in the enterprise software industry for 30 years, and used to run another company before this one,” said Vaidya Aiyer, Pillir’s CEO. “Building applications around ERP, especially SAP, had two specific challenges. First, large enterprises are customized, so building around the ERP is tough, especially since it required hiring more resources. Second, the larger the company, the more customized the business process is, and the ERP is, and the more custom code is required.”
Aiyer said that the requirements of customizing code for ERPs also puts a heavy burden on IT resources.
“One of the ways to solve this is making ERP code low code,” he indicated. “It’s a way of getting people who have no programming languages to be able to address this, especially as scarce new talent goes to hot areas.”
Companies have addressed this problem created by legacy ERP apps in several ways.
“One is rebuilding the legacy application again, but rebuilding what you did 10-15 years ago is a lot of effort,” Aiyer said. “The other is to implement a new ERP, but most companies are stuck there, because while the pandemic has pushed them to transform faster, it also requires that they reduce the risk. So it’s a dilemma. Many companies respond by doing nothing, rather than building from scratch.”
In 2013, Aiyer created a company, AppsFreedom, to address these issues, and spent four years designing a platform to do so.
“As we realized we were becoming more of a foundation for big changes, we renamed the company,” he said. “Pillir stands for that foundational pillar, with the second I standing for innovation. The rebranding took place in 2019, before the pandemic.”
While the company had a product to market in 2016, what they have just announced is a major reworking of that, as well as a rebranding required by the company’s new name.
“This EdgeReady Cloud launch is really the coming out to market of the full capabilities of the platform,” Aiyer said. “Our first version came out at the end of 2016, reacting to problems customers had told us that they are facing. But this is the first big version where it brings the legacy solution in with the lego block concept. This is really the first version to bring it all together.”
The legacy capability of the platform translates the original programming language written into the SAP ERP system within its complex environment and converts it into low-code programming. The addition of the lego block concept speeds the process up, and prevents mistakes.
“The logic is that since it’s a lego block, you can’t make a mistake,” Aiyer indicated. “In the enterprise space, it lets you move faster. Instead of having to write code, you drag and drop the lego block and it does the work.”
The platform has a natural bias towards enterprise customers, but not an exclusive one.
“We have some smaller customers, including small manufacturing firms who face the same problems, but larger companies do have larger complexity, so the magnitude of their problem is much larger,” Aiyer noted. “As a result, most customers are large enterprises.”
Pillir’s strategy is channel focused.
“I grew up in the channel,” said JR Butler, Pillir’s CRO. “I was an EMC reseller, although I’m newer to the SAP space. Our platform takes advantage of the fact that there are few companies with large benches of SAP talent.
Butler sees two parts in the channel opportunity.
“The first is SAP consulting firms, whose challenge coming out of the pandemic is that companies don’t want to spend $30 million for a new database, which is what S4 is,” he said. ‘We make the migration experience much simpler, and allow non-programmers to make business process changes. This is a real advantage to these SAP consultants in making this kind of project more accessible for customers.”
The other partner benefit is for those who are not SAP specialists.
“You now have all these partners with great analytics practices, but not great SAP skills or talent,” Butler said. “Our no-code integration lets us democratize the data so it applies through other ERPs like Oracle, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.
“We have great partners, including Navisite, Lemograss, Onica, and RackSpace, and converged tech partners with a big presence in Canada,” Butler stated. “Our goal is to drive to market 100%, and have channel partners drive the professional services. We would like to go all the way through the channel.”