Using information from applications and services across both the enterprise and Internet just got simpler with Kapow Software and the announced release of Kapow Enterprise 9.2. I examined the technology at the Kapow WoW user conference, and spoke with a broad range of companies that use Kapow.
Kapow software can access big data and information that resides in a multitude of sources in the enterprise and over the Internet. It helps business design and assemble new information applications that promotes interactivity and increased productivity. In my last analyst perspective on the company, I assessed the company’s Katalyst platform’s flexibility to harvest and virtualize information and applications. This form of assembling information into unified view was found to be a key shortcoming of existing technologies in 47 percent of organizations in our research; this is exactly what Kapow’s technology addresses. Optimizing the use of information is one of the key benefits our research for 2013 will uncover, along with how to get value from big data.
Kapow enables business to assemble and run Kapplets that can automate the integration of information with business processes. Development is driven by the business user and can be personalized by role and responsibility. In the 9.2 version each Kapplet can execute what Kapow calls robots, which can be executed in parallel as specific workflows, scheduled at any time and are user-defined to perform tasks that are linked by a workflow to get some end-state view of information. Selecting and unifying information from existing sources across the Internet and enterprise is no easy task to automate. Kapow’s intuitive approach to managing the input and output of Kapplets lets users adapt information quickly and design robots that can process information. The company has created a marketplace called Kapow KappZone to store and reuse Kapplets in an enterprise, so business can take advantage of existing work and operate a distributed competency center. This simplicity is important; our research finds usability is most important evaluation criteria in 54 percent of organizations, followed by reliability.
To facilitation the assembly and automation process, Kapow’s Design Studio lets users set up and configure Kapplets. At the core of Kapow is Katalyst, where the technical aspects of integration are designed. Version 9.2 addresses the need for extraction of data from spreadsheets; our research finds 74 percent of companies use spreadsheet for analysis and reporting in business intelligence, but analysts struggle to transfer the data from spreadsheets into other areas and blend it with a range of information. Kapow’s distributed runtime and configurations can operate across on-premises and cloud deployments. Security for accessing file systems ensure only appropriate access is made. I like the Katalyst Management Console, which manages automation across teams of people in an organization. Kapow has also formalized its application and information integration through its patent-pending Synthetic API, with which developers can interface to the presentation layer and application logic, where data has context, and not just integrate data from the database.
Kapow provides a new generation of information technology for business. It enables business and IT to work more closely together. Its approach to integrate big data no matter where it exists helps address the problems I outlined about why big data is broken without integration. I hope Kapow will advance to support complete cloud computing deployments where integration across the Internet can be automated and leveraged for access even from mobile technologies.
The concept of application assembly for business has been a dream for decades, but the necessary separation of technology to interoperate across business and IT has really never come to fruition. Kapow achieves this by enabling a new class of automated information integration within Kapow Katalyst that can be published and assembled by business with Kapplets. This capability can help address organizations’ shortage of available IT resources and enable business to meet its needs. Our research finds increasing workforce productivity and improving operational efficiency are the top two factors getting organizations to look to new technologies for information applications. Kapow has an opportunity to advance the agility of business with its technology. Seeing how the product works is essential to seeing how powerful it is, so I hope Kapow offers a try-and-buy approach. It has a powerful platform and set of tools that can help business assemble and automate access to information at any time from any application or system.
CEO & Chief Research Officer