Why use a white label app builder?
The short answer is White Labeling is the fastest way for ISVs to add powerful low/no-code app builder and, digital transformation capabilities to their portfolio under their own brand, without R&D.
Is low-code and digital transformation needed for all types of software?
While major ERP and CRM systems dominate expenditures in the enterprise software market, there's no denying the groundswell of activity around Low-code Application Development (or LCAP) platforms.
Gartner forecasts low-code to account for 65% of all application development by 2024, and Research and Markets estimate its value to be $187 Billion by 2030. Taking these projections into account, I'd be somewhat suspicious as an end-user customer if my principal software vendors didn't have a plan for low/no-code app functionality in their technology roadmaps, which's going to allow me to rapidly build mobile app solutions linked into their systems.
And to further highlight the reach and cross-market applicability of the low/no-code app juggernaut, this recent article by Dr. Setrag Khoshafian clearly lays out the many shapes that low-code can take. There is also another distinction in low-code app platforms that Dr Khoshafian doesn't explore, and that is whether such platforms are intended to build complete stand-alone solutions including database structures, or if the web and mobile app solutions any platform enables are aimed at extending the capabilities of existing (often legacy) software systems.
If you're an ISV, I would argue that you're more interested in the latter. A fully managed easy to use app builder environment for your clients to create activity-centric, for-purpose solutions via drag and drop tools that empower work teams and customers alike. A platform to drive their own digital transformation and mobile app initiatives while connecting with and extending your installed software.
Benefits of white-label mobile app builder
The benefits of white labelling a low-code mobile app builder differ depending on the alternatives you consider.
If the alternative is in-house R&D on mobile apps, then you have probably left your run too late. Most major participants in this sector have a 10+ year head start and there's lots to learn when it comes to native apps vs PWAs (progressive web apps), offline operation and caching on mobile devices, and the finer aspects of integrating with core business systems. The more likely scenario is you are going to ignore the customer requests for custom mobile app development and accept that customers will do their own searches and analysis on easy to use app building tools, and come back to when they require you to build out restful APIs and supported web services for their mobile apps.
If the alternative is to simply participate in an existing low-code vendor's app reseller program, you will make a reseller margin and you can start to see these payments relatively quickly. But there is no guarantee the vendor's pricing, contracts, warranties and policies (eg SLAs) are in step with your own. Nor have you introduced your clients to an ‘integrated app solution' in terms of unique features for tight connectivity and extensibility of your installed products, instead you have just introduced a new (and potentially risky) dynamic that your customer may be swayed by.
So that leads us to white labeling. A way to start in the market very quickly, with your own branded solution ideally tied to your existing pricing, contracts and policies, and receive a higher share of revenues than you would from any reseller program. Yes, you need to take on more sales & marketing responsibilities, but these structures are largely in place already.
OneBlink White Label Mobile App Builder
But is this enough? Or do different vendors have a different approach to white labeling and see it as a true app business partnering opportunity.
At OneBlink we see white labeling as not simply a way to pick up some extra revenue, but as fundamental to our rapid international expansion and the future success of our mobile app business. That's why we have gone beyond the industry's simple view of a white label app platform relationship and created a truly unique program. A program that gives Partners:
- Direct access to, and input into OneBlink's ongoing innovation roadmap for low-code app development:
- Quite literally a seat at the table for ongoing development to ensure that partner product and any vertical market trends or customer feature set are discussed, agreed and included in the timeline;
- Their discrete and exclusive White Label platform established in dedicated cloud infrastructure;
- A NoOps back-end that allows them to focus on selling apps and won't burden them or their customers to manage services across complex server-side operations:
- Contracted commitment of a local dedicated Account Manager and dedicated OneBlink engineering team. Instead of just rebranding:
- Partner can go to market with a true digital transformation layer, their own custom app building platform based on strong API and web service integrations with Partner's own products; via
- Domain experts who can also advise Partner on best practice for any app integration work required on Partners' products;
- Security of a proven program with established processes, flexible pricing and contracts to fit with Partners' existing users and support programs, plus access to shared marketing materials and reseller program learnings, all backed by SLAs and Business Associate Agreements.
And this is the icing on the cake of the already significant financial and business benefits, where you can start not just enjoying a new app building revenue stream in a matter of weeks, but make major moves to protect the revenues from your existing clients, and reduce the likelihood of churn to competitors.
Clearly the thought of a White Label relationship is not for everybody. And that's OK! As the level of engineering support and key company resources we apply in support of a white label version of our platform is significant, and is only sustainable for a few key business partners.
So, beyond the financial and technical/logistics benefits, what else goes into ensuring a white label relationship (at least the way OneBlink seeks to manage such relationships) results in a win-win for all?
One factor is size. An ideal white label partner would be a mid-sized ISV with a well-established core software solution, but with clients that increasingly want app building features to accelerate their digital transformation (either via more efficient internal processes or customer experiences, or both). A 'goldilocks' white label app partner will appreciate the fact that as a mid-sized company their need to create apps may be considered small beer to a large organisation like Microsoft or Google, but with OneBlink they would be highly valued and enjoy a much more intimate and influential relationship.
Another factor is values. The best relationships will come from ISVs who share OneBlink's values of transparency, professionalism, fair honest and prompt business dealings, all underpinned by exceptional support and customer service. And they will regard such factors as key criteria in selecting a business partner with which to start such a significant journey.
White Label Apps - your future
Finally, let's go back to the core of why having your own branded Low-code App Builder solution makes sense for you. It's about making sure that another platform vendor or someone simply selling apps doesn't beat you out, and you stay central to your customer's key business software and support decisions as they embark on critical app development and business transformations. With OneBlink as your White Label solution partner, you'll be able to offer them the feature rich tools they need to rapidly create new mobile app business, easily linked into both your (and third party) software, and you'll continue to play a major part in support of the next stage of their journey.