Kunal Kislay, Saquib Khan, and Kumar Raman have combined the power of the cloud and AI to launch enterprise mobility for corporations and integrate legacy industrial systems into a software-defined world.
At a glance:
Startup: Integration Wizards
Founded in: 2014
Where it is located: Bengaluru
Revenues/funding: $2 million in revenues and self-funded
The problem they solve: Their software converts legacy applications to work on modern IoT and mobility standards and uses data to make business teams to use assets efficiently.
Software is taking over everything. But why, when and how did that happen? Over the past few years, businesses figured out that going digital was no longer about information capture; it was about business outcomes. Their need for outcomes has been driven by the proliferation of the internet. They have also figured out that the old IT services business model, of maintaining and developing custom applications, does not hold or generate value anymore. The power of the cloud and compute has made software much more important than applications that record data. Businesses have also realised that business teams must be close to their customers and clients. But as a Dell-EMC report puts it, only 15 percent of the world’s organisations understand AI or the power of digital transformation.
In India, the problem is perennial because of the reluctance to spend money on digital-based outcomes. To rid small businesses of that fear and to disrupt industry globally by ridding them of worries about replacing legacy, Integration Wizards swishes its wand to bring change.
“We started operations in January 2014, from Bengaluru. Our initial focus was primarily the enterprise mobility segment as we had developed good expertise in this domain,” says Kunal Kislay, Co-founder of Integration Wizards.
The startup was founded when Antenna, a company where they were working, was acquired. “With Antenna being acquired, most of their clients were left in the lurch and were in need of an immediate, easy, and affordable solution. Since we had worked with these clients closely in the past and had earned their trust over time, we decided to reach out to them and present our solution. This effort paid off and helped us win big accounts such as Xerox and Johnson Controls within our first year of operations itself,” Kunal says.
What does IW do?
Enterprise Mobility: They empower customers to mobilise their business processes in a “swift, scalable, secure and seamless manner”. Their solution provides the capability of rapidly designing, building, integrating and managing enterprise mobility solutions. Their prebuilt mobile templates allow customers to deploy an enterprise mobility solution in a matter of weeks as against months.
IIoT: They enable seamless integration of various industrial devices that communicate in legacy protocols like MODBUS and OPC. Their cloud solution provides the capability of assimilating terabytes of data every day, processing and delivering it to end-users on their laptops and mobile devices. A platform-agnostic solution, it can run seamlessly on cloud solutions like MS Azure, AWS, and Google as well as on premise.
AI: Integration Wizards processes large amounts of data into meaningful predictive models that enable customers to forecast the life of an asset. Their integration methodology and machine learning workspace allows collection and seamless processing of data to provide end-users with actionable insights. Their NLP-enabled smart assistants provide a conversational interface to end-users to help them obtain the right information at the right time.
Kunal says: “We have constantly been upgrading our product/solution since inception to incorporate more complex operational modules. Eventually we also ventured into the IIoT segment in 2016 with our first client, Dover Energy Automation.”
Here they noticed that the basic operational structure in both IoT and the Enterprise Mobility segment was almost the same and so building the module from scratch was easy.
Integration Wizards has managed to stay profitable, the team says, (it does not disclose numbers), and has grown from a team of 4 people to a 30-member team. They are now a global business with operations in the US and Europe.
In the beginning
Kunal is a B Tech from IIT Mumbai and has been a part of the enterprise mobility and IoT industry for a long time. He started his career with Builders Soft as a consultant and it was here that he met one of his co-founders, Saquib Khan. At Antenna, they were responsible for building critical software; it was here that they met their third Co-founder, Kumar Raman.
“We serviced several Fortune 500 companies and got the opportunity to really deep dive into this industry,” Kunal says.
By the time Antenna announced its takeover by Pega Systems, in 2013, the three of them had decided to start their own venture, Integration Wizards.
“We noticed that the usual solutions available in the marketplace generally worked in silos and lacked cross-connectivity and networking. Companies often had to subscribe to multiple solutions to finally generate decipherable data that was useful. With the vision to build a ‘Google’ for enterprises that helps them ‘generate’, ‘organise’, and ‘consume’ enterprise data efficiently and more meaningfully,” Kunal says.
In 2016, they went on to support the IIoT industry as they figured that the basic operational layout of legacy machines was very similar to enterprise mobility. Since then, they have acquired several Fortune 500 clients, including Pega Systems, Novo Nordisk, Dover, Xerox, Johnson Controls Inc and more across Europe, the US, and the UK.
The business model
IW generally uses a per user licence approach for their platform and also supplements this cost with time and material-based pricing for customisation and development for customers.
They provide IIoT solutions that require low-level integration with sensors and edge devices over industrial protocols like MODBUS/CANBUS. Now, all this is in the cloud.
“Our platform supports all legacy protocols and helps successfully derive meaningful data from sensors,” Kunal says.
IW provides a comprehensive solution that caters to most of the requirements of an organisation, which has a cloud platform and user configurable dashboard. They allow the CTO and his team to manage and configure customer assets like compressors and oil wells, etc. Their IoT suite solution further extends to the machine learning suite to interactively predict future failures.
“Our state-of-the-art data lake successfully gathers and interprets thousands of records shared by the sensors every second. With the flood of data points generated by an IoT system, it can receive millions of records in a single day. Our solution provides a comprehensive store that is able to insert and retrieve data from these systems and further utilise it through AI and machine learning,” Kunal says.
Integration Wizards has successfully enlisted over 16,000 enterprise users on their platform from over 16 countries.
Saquib Khan, Co-founder, says: “With a background in hardware, we understood the opportunities and the limitations in this industry and were confident of building and scaling this product.”
Of late, the company has started work on developing AI on their platform so that “we can enhance our enterprise mobility and IIoT solutions further”. The startup aims to be a 360-degree solution provider with a platform that is as user-friendly as it gets.
“We have already developed our platform so that just the basic knowledge of technology enables any user to easily handle and customise the platform without any additional technical support,” Saquib adds.
The company claims they are profitable and will soon cross revenues of $2 million. There could be a bigger piece of the pie awaiting them.
According to consulting firm Statista, the market size for IoT is going to be $457 billion by 2020.
“The market for IIoT and enterprise mobility is huge globally. There are a lot of challenges and limitations that still need to be addressed. One only needs to get creative to discover new opportunities,” says Kumar Raman, Co-founder of IW.
However, there are challenges that IW thinks of as opportunities. The most common concerns that their clients had were about connecting the multiple data channels to make operations seamless, deciphering data into meaningful content, and the need for the capability to predict future failures.
“We found that there were many such concerns out there in the market which required solutions,” Kuman says, adding that they are working on solutions in a timely and efficient manner.
V Ganapathy, CEO of Axilor Ventures, says: “The ability to scale is the key challenge for all startups. But, the experienced ones scale up faster.”
Integration Wizards is looking to scale yes, but does not aim to walk the VC route and raised any investment as of now. They’re keen to continue at their own pace to help more and more customers across the world.