Technology

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Software, only with a little coding

When the business writes the app

It is in times of crises when being able to respond quickly to new situations is really critical for a company and its IT systems. One of the good solutions is the low-code platforms that gain popularity globally.

One of the biggest hindrances in enterprise software development has always been that business users don’t understand programming, while developers (with a few exceptions) don’t understand the business and the processes. Therefore, a wide range of actors (project managers, business analysts, etc.) is needed to mediate between the two parties so that the result could be as close as possible to the original ideas.


Richard Basa, Oriana

The Oriana Effector platform was also highlighted in one of the analyses of Forrester Research, mentioning the usefulness of "prescriptive" elements and the enterprise-ready nature of the platform.

There have been several attempts to bring the development of business applications as close as possible to the actual business units that will eventually use the app. One of the most promising new developments in this field is the emergence of the so-called low-code platforms. These are tools that a computer-savvy business user can use to create business logic, processes, or the framework of a new application with a few clicks on a graphical interface. Then he or she can hand over the result to a developer, who can convert it into the final application in as little as a few weeks, sums up the essence of the technology with Richard Basa, CEO of Oriana, the developer of the Effector low-code platform.

Ready-to-use building blocks
There are several low-code platforms available on the market, but they are not necessarily interchangeable. Effector is a so-called core application development platform, as it is specifically designed to build additional applications for large enterprise back-end systems and to define new business processes. “Our strength is that we have combined the capabilities of low-code platforms and workflow management systems from the beginning. Forrester Research even predicts that the functions of professional low-code tools and process automation tools will merge in the near future. In the case of Effector, this has already happened”, says Richard Basa.

Being designed for enterprise use, Oriana's platform integrates well with existing software systems, databases, data warehouses, and the applications created with the platform can automatically initiate system calls or launch RPA processes. Effector Studio also includes pre-defined processes, application templates, and display screens, creating applications even easier. There are numerous different templates: workflow elements, a transaction display screen, or even an entire purchasing system, and these can be inserted into the application being created by drag-and-drop. The platform is also popular by seasoned developers because it can significantly speed up their work and they do not have to start from scratch when launching a new project (which is always tedious). At the same time, developers only with a few years of experience can also successfully create new applications, as the platform creates the steps leading to the implementation of the application in an easy-to-understand manner.

By this, Effector responds to several challenges that business and IT users face today, explains Richard Basa. On the one hand, it can serve as a platform for the digitization, application consolidation and modernization of a company, enabling it to quickly meet business needs - while not having to tweak the large underlying systems (such as an ERP) as often. On the other hand, by quickly solving the business needs, it eliminates the risk of the dreaded “shadow IT”, that is when lines of business deploy solutions necessary for their work without IT’s knowledge. The low-code platform is part of the IT infrastructure, subject to security, integration and deployment policies - if the user creates something in it, they won't harm the enterprise systems, so the speed of development and deployment would not compromise operation or security.

With the help of partners
The design of Effector has enabled Oriana to develop multiple business models. On the one hand, the company’s Professional Services division itself undertakes projects for the largest clients, but the business strategy is largely built on partnerships, says the CEO.

There are several types of business partners. The delivery partner carries out projects for its own customers using Effector. An OEM partner creates its own turnkey solution using the technology and sells it to its own customer base. And finally, there is the consulting partner who uses Effector’s process modelling tool to build processes, business logic, or even an application prototype for the customer, from which a delivery partner (or the customer itself) can develop the full application.

Also, there is a great interest recently in creating competence centres, says Richard Basa. In this model, the customer and the vendor (Oriana itself or one of its partners) jointly set up a team. This team then continuously delivers the functions and solutions, as required by the customer’s priorities for a flat monthly fee. This can be especially useful when a company implements its digitization strategy, as business requirements can be met in an agile manner.

Targeting the international customer base
This segment of the software development market is growing extremely fast, by 50 to 60 percent annually, and still faces tremendous opportunities. Oriana also takes its share of this, growing at well above the market average in the last two years. The combined turnover of the companies will almost triple between 2018-2020. Similar growth is projected for the future, mainly in the international market.

Last year, there was a big change in the life of the company. With capital drawn from the investment company Hiventures, a new company called Oriana International was created to drive international expansion. The new company is run by a real multi-national team and is constantly looking for potential foreign partners. Although the primary target is Central and Eastern Europe, there are already partners outside the region in Austria, Poland, England, Turkey, and Ireland. “We learned a lot from our Hungarian partners, and since then, we have further refined the methods and the well-functioning messages. Negotiating with partners and onboarding them to work with us is now a well-oiled process. We are now launching a campaign in the UK, Scandinavia and the DACH-countries, and of course, we want to set our foot in the US later. After the next round of larger capital investment, we will also further expand our development and sales team and introduce new products that can bring completely new dimensions to our partners and us as well”, outlines the future Basa Richard.