Kony Review

Easy to learn and use its many features, but the licensing fees are too expensive


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is the cross-platform development of mobile applications.

Nowadays, it's all about mobile apps, and they need to provide the omnichannel experience that the users want. In providing this experience, there are many mobile platforms that have to be considered, such as iOS, Android, and Windows. We need to develop apps for all of these platforms.

If we start developing applications in each of these platforms, separately, then it will take ages to complete. This solution provides a single platform where we get a single code base, and that code base is good enough to develop applications for all platforms including tablets, kiosks, and interactive channels. 

How has it helped my organization?

One of the ways this has helped is that we can concentrate on the business end, which is the functionality that the customers would like to use. One of the best features is that Kony is always up to date. If a new version of an operating system, such as iOS, is about to launch, then within one week, all of the new features will be automatically downloaded and available to use. In this way, we keep ahead of the other platforms. The only thing you need to worry about is functionality.

Generally, it has helped our organization to keep up with the ever-changing customer requirements and give them the best solution in a very short span of time. I'm not talking about the waterfall model; it first perfectly with agile requirements.

What is most valuable?

The best feature is the Kony Studio, which is the product that is used to develop interfaces. It has support for mobile interfaces, desktop-based interfaces, and kiosk-based interfaces. We have a lot of different widgets available like text boxes and other UI controls that can easily be put onto the screen and start working right away.

The next feature is the Kony Fabric application, which is an integration tool. This helps me to connect to the backend. For example, if I have a backend for SAP, or an ASP.NET layer that provides me services, or a custom application that provides some kind of endpoints such as business endpoints, then Fabric can easily connect to these endpoints and provide different drag and drop features. Once it connects to the backend services and it shows what kind of data model the backend is providing, I can easily map to my front end interface using drag and drop controls in the Studio.

The third feature that I really like is the teamwork that it offers. I have an online mobile app, which I can present my application to. While I am working on the development, I can simply publish my app on that, online, and the customer can easily download that app and test it in real time. The means that the customer is fully engaged. They know what we are doing, so it builds up a lot of confidence in the customers.

What needs improvement?

This is an expensive solution, and it is the biggest challenge that we face when we present this platform to customers. They love it, but when they start asking us about the price, the questions are about the bare minimum requirements.

It restricts them based on the number of users that the mobile app is going to have. For example, 10K users will accept my mobile app, or 20K, 30K, 100K, etc. One of the problems is that in this world, estimating the number of users is tough. You don't know how many you are going to have in advance of it going live and public.

I think that the licensing should be changed to a more relaxed model for enterprise customers so that they are not worried about the number of users. They should just have a fixed price. This kind of flexibility might give more revenue to Kony and its partners, as well.

In terms of additional features, I would like to see more widgets and more flexibility in the widgets. Perhaps we can develop widgets of our own and the usability is just there. We would like to have widgets for graphs and analytics, as well as the integration of machine learning. If I can integrate machine learning to my mobile app, out of the box, then that would be great. AI capabilities are something that I would like to have in the platform. Right now, it's just a raw platform to develop apps. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If this solution is deployed right, and you have good hardware to support, for example, the backend services, and you are properly implementing caching on top of the solution, then the solution works well. But if you have bad hardware or bad networks, then you will definitely face real errors at times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good but when it comes to the configuration, scaling up is a little bit tough. From what I've seen, deployment on the enterprise level and scaling up is a little bit complex. You might face a couple of days of downtime, or perhaps at best, you can get a day or two of downtime when scaling up this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

In terms of technical support, I think that they are lacking. We faced hard times initially, and although they have videos, there are things that only Kony can provide. Things are getting better now because we have experience with the platform and we do not need their support as much. Also, their technical support is slow. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward if you want to develop a sample application. You can develop it and get started in a very short time. In a couple of days, you're up and running for the initial, sample app.

If you want to go on to more advanced topics, Kony provides an academy where you can leverage the videos that they have created for learning. In general, it is easy to start but it can get very complex.

The deployment can take a week or two, but from our experience, it does not take more than a week. Once it is deployed, it is very easy to take it over.

The deployment team, at a minimum, might require two UI developers who can develop a good interface and one backend developer who can connect the backend services, target services, and the frontend entity.

For maintaining the deployment, we need one backend resource. This is a Linux platform and the resource needs to have database experience, as well as experience with software platforms and configuring them.

So overall, I think, a team of five can easily develop and manage an app on Kony.

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation and deployment of this solution for our customers.

Deploying this solution has differed based on our client's requirements. If it is an app intended only for company employees or shop customers, then it is very easy to host the app and deploy it locally. Then, once the number of customers increases, they can think about cloud solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The costs are calculated per user and per month but can be paid annually. It is a recurring license. There are no costs or hidden charges in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Kony Studio is free. You can download it and start working on it. The Kony Fabric platform and the enterprise platform are what they actually charge for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the SAP Mobile app platform, and then Xamarin. We worked with these two platforms, but Kony is the best one for getting you up and running in a very short time. It is easy to learn, and you aren't bogged down with heavy documentation. If you want to get to market in less time, then this is the best solution and the reason that we chose it.

What other advice do I have?

There are many users for this solution, such as in the financial industry. Many banks are using it and many holding companies as well. We have worked with big customers in the Middle East, in the Pakistan region.

Overall, Kony is the best mobile platform on Gartner, where it has been at the top for the last seven years. We only deal with the best, but if there were any reason for us to switch then it would be the licensing part. In the end, our customers need the best solution, but at a low price. So this is one area which might cause us to switch, but as of now, we are good with Kony.

This is not a product for startups. Students can learn from it, but it's a product for the enterprise level.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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