Let me start to answer that by defining a few things. Central’s foundation is what Gartner categorizes as Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). iPaaS is a relatively broad category with products of different shapes and sizes. There are a dozen or so iPaaS products that we track on the market, and of that list maybe 2 or 3 that Central competes directly against. So why build another one and start a company around it? Well when we started the product in 2016 the reason was more tactical. Our parent company (Centric Consulting) needed an internal integration solution. The products on the market did not really meet the criteria we were looking for, so we built one.
As we started that journey, and still way before we decided to start a company, there were a few things about the world that were starting to pick up steam that we were analyzing, and ended up being key drivers for the product we started to build. One the distributed data problem was becoming a really big problem for companies. It is not uncommon for even tiny companies to run their businesses on 10+ SaaS based services. Second voice and text AI technology was becoming more democratized by Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Amazon. Third collaboration products like Slack and Microsoft Teams were becoming not just chat tools, but ways to deliver solutions.
The opportunity that we saw in the market was that there was an abundance of “no code data mover” products, but not a single product in the space looked at the whole stack from Data, to Services/Integration, to Business User Experience as a single automation solution. So the answer to the question of why is pretty simple. The iPaaS is and always will be at the center of what we do, but it is not really the product. It is just a means to innovate on an infinite number of automation solutions. In future posts I will go into more of the architecture, but the vision we are working towards does not exist in a single product today. A product that is light and easy to implement and includes the fundamentals of Master Data Management, Data Synchronization, Workflow, Alerts/Notifications all consumed via voice and text in the Collaboration tools you work in every day.
I appreciate you sticking around on this really long post. We are excited about our brand new website, and space to talk about our products, opinions, and ideas, so please stay tuned!!