Pulpstream Inc., a company founded by serial bootstrapper Pankaj Malviya, debuted this week with a “zero coding” workstream platform that is oriented toward companies with distributed mobile work forces. The native app platform uses graphical design tools to enable business users to create workflows that integrate with existing enterprise applications and deploy them quickly.
Pankaj Malviya PulpstreamPulpstream is addressing the inefficiency of distributed workforce processes in which mobile workers often use paper forms and email rather than interact directly with applications. Among the usage scenarios it’s targeting are incident management, field reporting, worker’s compensation, injury reporting, site audits and inspections. Pulpstream integrates directly with Salesforce.com Inc.’s data, as well as electronic signature providers DocuSign Inc. and Adobe Sign from Adobe Systems Inc.
Mobile workers are expected to account for more than 72 percent of the US workforce by 2020, according to International Data Corp., but many enterprise applications were designed years ago for use on desktop computers. While vendors have added mobile versions, quality varies and the apps often don’t work well with others. “Most IT organizations are focused on keeping the lights on and the systems of record running,” said Malviya. “What’s happening at the edge of the enterprise is often forgotten.”
Not a ‘skin’
Vendors like Capriza Inc. have carved out a niche by “skinning” enterprise applications for mobile access, but Pulpstream isn’t primarily an interface layer, Malviya said. “We help companies modernize their workflows by starting with orchestration and integrating with legacy apps,” he said. “Flows can be orchestrated and integrated. They can be assigned based upon data entered in the field. We can send an SMS or email to inform an employee that a task needs to be completed.” Enterprise services must be exposed through a RESTful API (application program interface) to work with Pulpstream. Legacy applications without published APIs can be accommodated using file transfers.
Pulpstream claims to be easy enough to use that a business person with no programming experience can design workflows. The designer uses a flowchart metaphor with drag-and-drop objects. The platform can be used to deliver tasks to the field force through mobile apps, enable employees to initiate work processes from the field, assign to-dos and next steps via notifications and work both online and offline. Prices are custom-quoted based upon the number of process flows and users.
Malviya previously bootstrapped LongJump Inc., an early platform-as-a-service provider that was acquired by Software AG for $35 million in 2013. He also founded Relationals Inc., a cloud CRM service for the publishing and media industries.