A series of new releases by an Apple-owned company seek to aid small businesses in creating custom apps to help digitize their processes.
FileMaker, Inc., a wholly owned Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) subsidiary that develops and delivers software to create custom business solutions for individuals and organizations, has introduced the Service Business Toolkit and Idea to iPad Bundle. Both offerings seek to help small businesses create custom apps to eliminate the pains of paper-based processes when trying to go digital and mobile.
The Service Business Toolkit is free and the Idea to iPad Bundle is available for sale at local Apple Stores and directly from the FileMaker website, the company said in a press release.
Build Custom Field Service Apps with FileMaker Service Business Toolkit and Idea to iPad Bundle
In a statement to Small Business Trends, a media representative for the company said that the new offerings “provide an easy, fast start for small business owners that want to go digital, but have no programming experience or can’t afford to hire a programmer.”
“It’s often hard for IT businesses that don’t have the budget or resources to streamline their businesses,” Dara Treseder, global head of Demand Generation, FileMaker. Inc., told AppleWorldToday. “We wanted to help them because many of FileMaker’s customers are small to medium sized businesses.”
The Idea to iPad Bundle enables small businesses to jumpstart their app idea with help from an expert FileMaker developer and Customer Success Manager assigned to them, while the Service Business Toolkit provides tips and tools to help small businesses plan, create and deploy a custom app that works seamlessly across iPhone, iPad, Windows PC and Mac platforms — and the web — in order to enable the business to drive growth, maximize customer satisfaction and increase profitability.
Key Features of the New FileMaker Business Software Offerings
The free Service Business Toolkit includes:
- “How To Transform Your Service Business,” a free eBook that walks companies through the process of creating a custom app designed to address specific pain points, with the goal of increasing operational efficiency and improving the customer experience,
- The Service Business Starter App, a basic app to help businesses start addressing the most common pain points. It supports both in-office and remote staff while they are meeting customers, creating estimates and processing invoices. This starter app, provided by FileMaker Business Alliance Platinum partner Richard Carlton Consulting, is designed to work with the FileMaker 15 Platform across iPad, iPhone, Windows and Mac.
The paid Idea to iPad Bundle, on the other hand, offers:
- An annual license of FileMaker Pro Advanced software to create custom apps,
- An annual license of FileMaker Server to deploy custom apps,
- 10 hours of consultation with a FileMaker Business Alliance professional developer,
- The support of a Customer Success Manager to maximize the value of your 10-hour consultation. (The developer will offer expert advice and hands-on help to enable clients to realize their vision.)
“By making custom app development easier, FileMaker is bringing IT to Main Street, enabling teams and companies to operate more efficiently. That’s why we’re seeing a huge uptake among customers with service businesses,” said Ann Monroe, vice president, marketing, FileMaker, Inc.
FileMaker Platform Seems Expensive but Powerful
The FileMaker Platform is offering various ways for teams of five or more people to license its Idea to iPad Bundle, although the licensing cost isn’t cheap starting at $888 per year for up to five users.
That being said, the focus of FileMaker, Inc., which has been around since the 1980s when it was called Nutshell, appears steadfast as ever to enable teams to build and make it easy for people to use custom apps for the kind of unrepeatable processes for which off-the-shelf apps from app stores aren’t quite right.
Seems like FileMaker is leaving the small Mom & Pop businesses behind. What about offering a really small solution that uses FileMaker Pro to host the database & peer-to-peer sharing ot connect to less than 5 mobile devices using FileMaker Go? I know this is not ideal, but it does work. And more importantly it is affordable for a small business. Ideally, FileMkaer could make future improvements to a similar system that would be more robust for small solutions. I think that this would make good business sense in that FileMaker would have considerably more installations and gain familiarity in the business community. And the sales would add up over time. I know it is not kike landing a bog account where FileMaker is selling a thousand licenses at a time. But those thousand licenses were heavily discounted due to volume pricing, where as the small business licenses are not.