Small- and medium-sized businesses' data needs are rarely in line with their budgetary realities - especially if they have their eye on expansion. In order to target smaller-scale companies ready to test enterprise-level functionality without committing to a solution suited to large corporations, Kapow Technologies has teamed up with StrikeIron, Inc. to create Kapow Web Data Services 7.0.0, the latest version of its web data service technology that's priced on a flexible per-use and volume basis.
Kapow Web Data Services7.0.0, which made its official debut on October 1, provides automated and structured access to web data by wrapping web sites and applications into RSS or REST web services without any manual cutting-and-pasting, via StrikeIron's data-as-a-service web platform. Bob Brauer, StrikeIron's CEO, described data-as-a-service as similar in structure to software-as-a-service, allowing smaller companies to tailor access to information technology applications in size and price.
Teaming with Kapow to fit its enterprise-scale web data tools into flexible offerings that could stretch to fit a variety of budgets was a unique challenge for StrikeIron, Brauer said. Most of its catalogue provides generic-based data-as-a-services web interfaces, Brauer said, "but what Kapow has been able to do with this product, on the enterprise level, is enable people to access data sources that may not be so generic."
According to the companies, Web Data Services 7.0.0, available through StrikeIron's catalogue, will offer access to live business data sources and functionality from sources including MapQuest, SpeedTax, Jaduka and others. Customers will be able to build customized and integrated data and functionality from external sources in standard formats like RSS, JSON and XML, then plug it directly into enterprise and web applications including Microsoft Excel, NetSuite or Salesforce, and any standard RSS feeder.
Applications can also be modified quickly to fit mobile interfaces. Companies can use Kapow's web data service tools to collect and structure services as well as data, even from behind a personal log-in ID.
"You're not limited by what people carve out and give you," Brauer said. "You have the ability to identify data sources that your company can take advantage of, starting off slow with a pay-as-you-go model, limited only by the imagination."
For Kapow, the foray into pay-as-you-go packaging came about in response to popular demand from clients, said Stefan Andreasen, chief technology officer and founder of Kapow. Kapow Web Data Services has been on the market for more than five years as a full web data service package and as Kapow On Demand, a hosted version of the enterprise package with collaboration and management features.
"We had an amazing amount of people who came in and said, we'd really like to go with this trial product, but they're a small or medium business, or a small department, and they can't afford to buy a full hosted product or server from the start," Andreasen said. "This product is trying to address those needs."
Both companies described the new launch as a way to deliver enterprise-scale web data delivery services "to the masses." StrikeIron and Kapow's clientele includes top businesses in the U.S. and abroad, but combining their services is an attempt to target what Andreasen and Brauer called "the long tail of data," tapping into millions of small businesses or departments that are looking for scalable, highly tailored solutions without major cost commitments.
"What we've enabled Kapow to do is to make their services available to people starting at an $80-a-month price point, rather than asking them to make a substantial enterprise purchase off the bat," Brauer said. "That creates a much larger universe that can use this kind of service.