Highlight Report

Unqork’s marketplace piles pressure on low-code, no-code laggards

July 27, 2021

The rapid rise of low-code, no-code makes it harder than ever for technology leaders to ignore. Now no-code champion Unqork is popping the champagne to mark the launch of the world’s first no-code marketplace, ramping up the pressure on those CTOs who have yet to take a sip.

The marketplace is part of a response to Unqork’s 277% revenue growth year on year. The New York-based business is also scaling up teams in EMEA and APAC. It has considerable headroom. Data currently being compiled by HFS Research indicates that three times as many of the Global 2000 businesses we surveyed are considering using them, versus currently using them.

Unqork is one of a group of cloud-based enterprise application platforms bubbling up, which allow anyone with a grasp of process to build robust solutions with a, now familiar, drag-and-drop interface. It was valued at $2b on a raise of $207m in Series C funding in October 2020.

Where many application-build platforms offer low-code, that ordinarily means some level of abstraction from code. Unqork is hard-core about its ‘no-code promise – claiming theirs was the world’s first no-code enterprise application platform when founded in 2017. Initially targeting the insurance industry (CEO Gary Hoberman was EVP and Global CIO at MetLife before founding Unqork), it has since expanded into financial services, healthcare, and public sector.

Entirely visual interface integrates legacy and manages data transformations

Unqork uses an entirely visual interface to support the development of complex applications, without the need to write a single line of code. Unqork says using low-code solutions to build, for example, a relatively simple online form can require a trained programmer to write more than 100 lines of code. And that’s just to build the basics. If you wanted to add important enterprise requirements such as field-level validation, success, and error messages, that would demand more coding still.

Unqork’s alternative is a library of components with which enterprises can build automated processes – such as getting an insurance quote, assessing financial risk, or managing trade exceptions. They cover integrating legacy systems and offer visual Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) functionality for data transformations.

Configurable components represent both user-facing elements and back-end business logic. Applications are developed completely visually from start to finish and run entirely from the platform after it’s deployed.

As enterprises seek the benefits of aligning IT and business efforts, responding at increasing speed – while constrained by their reliance on small teams of experienced engineers – the simplicity, accessibility, and reliability of platforms such as Unqork should not be ignored.

No need for business process design to be encumbered by coding

Unqork celebrates the benefits of removing the need to translate business processes into lines of code to design them. Unqork’s visual interface provides a language both parties can understand. In this respect, it aligns well with the HFS OneOffice vision of bringing IT and the business closer together to deliver end-to-end processes.

“Low-code and no-code (LCNC) solutions accelerate data and workflow contextualization for business users and citizen developers while helping software development teams reduce backlogs and turn rapidly changing business requirements into sustainable continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.”
– Martin Gabriel, Joel Martin,
HFS Research, May 2021

Organizations such as Goldman Sachs, Liberty Mutual, the Cities of New York, Chicago, Washington DC, and Maimonides Medical Center are among those using the drag-and-drop interface to build enterprise applications. Customers report 99.99% uptime and 600x fewer defects than traditional code-based approaches, with faster delivery and reduced costs.

Marketplace brings together service providers, creators, and technical partners

In June this year, Unqork unveiled a marketplace of prebuilt no-code tools. It offers a one-stop-shop bringing together a roster of technology partners, systems integrators, and ‘creators’ (anyone using the no-code platform to develop a solution).

Unqork’s primary user is the experienced software developer. Example projects include complex, enterprise solutions such as FX trading platforms, COVID support hubs, rate-quote-bind solutions, KYC, and customer onboarding. These typically require users to understand the software development life cycle and app development architecture best practices.

Industries currently covered in the marketplace align with Unqork’s verticals to date; financial services, healthcare, insurance, and government.

Launch solutions partners include Accenture, Cognizant, Deloitte, Infosys, KPMG, Mphasis, and Persistent. Unqork also offers its own services as a solutions partner through the portal. DocuSign, Experian, SendGrid, and SignNow (supporting email needs), and the customer engagement platform Twilio, are all current technology partners.

The Bottom Line: Marketplace maintenance will be essential if Unqork is to meet enterprise needs

Unqork’s front-and-center ‘no-code messaging is a differentiator. But its newly-launched marketplace is where it will win or lose. It offers the opportunity to accelerate and scale the number of configurable components – and therefore solutions – it can make available. But marketplaces can all too easily become messy and incoherent. To impress the enterprise, and their service providers, Unqork must resist the temptation to open to all-comers, and manage access, maintaining listings with care. Kudos for starting with submissions that demand the application of a templated approach – we’d like to see the request for a proof-of-concept become a requirement.

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