Ubikwiti is, despite a really unfortunate name, a very cool service. In a sentence, this is what I’ve always wanted to do with business mashups, combine off the shelf componentry at the business user level to achieve highly personalized business process models that still accommodated the need for master data and workflow integrity.
This is a huge challenge for any company because this is not how business users are accustomed to interacting with business applications. It’s also not clear that an significant number of business users want to do this but IT definitely wants more control over business apps in a manner that is abstracted from writing code, so maybe IT is really the front door in to business users.
The company is correct to assert that big enterprise apps don’t scale down well and large vendors have economic issues that obstruct a shift to pay-as-you-go pricing. The a la carte selection of business processes is something traditional enterprise companies will never do on their own but considering the waste that is in modern ERP systems from seats and functionality bought but not implemented, this is a good move aligned with the best interests of customers. Having said that, it’s also clear that there is a big functional gap between the top and bottom of the market so comparison to traditional enterprise software isn’t appropriate all the time.
Ubikwiti pricing is not pure a la carte though, it’s all you can eat for $4.95 a month per user. This is roughly half of the price point for Quickbooks Online but I am not in a position to evaluate the functional footprint relative to QB Online so I’ll reserve any judgement on their pricing model, but suffice to say, it does make it easy to get on to the system.
This is an intriguing service, I will be watching to see how they progress.