Iceberg on Demand is declaring war on software, according to Co-Founder and head of product development Wayne Byrne. Iceberg is a private beta startup that provides a Web based platform for building, sharing and selling powerful business applications, without the need to do coding. A user at Iceberg can create applications using simple DIY Web tools. Virtually any process can be emulated, utilized, created or cloned using Iceberg's simple user interface. This innovative approach to development does not render code or software useless, but simply unnecessary for the Iceberg user.
Tip of the Iceberg
Iceberg is similar to DIY applications like Coghead, but as the name implies, there is much more beneath the surface. Coghead is really more like a widget maker, while Iceberg is a true enterprise level DIY platform. Salesforce's AppExchange is probably Iceberg's closest competition, but it is not agnostic to software or code and it can be quite expensive. BungeeLabs (profiled in April by Read/WriteWeb) also has similarities to Iceberg, but it is more for programmers - using solutions, projects and classes. Iceberg uses business objects without any coding.
Basic Included Applications
Iceberg intends to release free, single hosted and per-user versions. Some of its features:
- Human Resources Äì Includes best practices processes to manage the entire HR lifecycle
- Advanced CRM Äì Functions and processes for leads, opportunities, calls, scheduling, appointments, deals, competition, forecasting and contracts
- Project Management Äì Scheduling, assignment, escalation, timeline, tasks and resources
- Rostering Äì Build shifts and auto hourly billing or payroll based for clients or employees
- Knowledge Base Äì Centralized knowledge base with customized control and search
- Recruitment Manager Äì Manage collecting CVÄôs and interviewing with tiered approval
- Booking Engine Äì Manages any booked or limited resource from hotel rooms to flights
- Timesheet and Billing Äì Task/Time management with payroll, invoicing - profitability
- Bug Tracker Äì Roll assignment and bug tracking with designated control
My simple personal home at Iceberg
Iceberg uses a DHTML interface to create Web or network based applications - it currently supports both Fx and IE. Flash based workflow generation and point-and-click tools help users create modules for deep reporting, unlimited calendars, graphing, quick start pages, full function email and file management to list a few.
IcebergÄôs enterprise friendly features include: key object tracking, advanced calendar functionality, scheduled processes and many more. Essentially, it has all the function without the coding or support requirements of other platforms. Wayne Byrne claimed that "there is really no longer a need to create software or code to utilize what already exists, we have re-invented the wheel several times over."
Beneath The Surface
The power of Iceberg is in the creation and integration of applications. Services like WebEx Office and Coghead are useful (and even prettier), but at the end of the day they are relatively limited in scope.
Iceberg utilizes Web service APIÄôs to automatically create, update and delete services generated for user applications. These ÄúcallÄ? events essentially create ÄúhybridÄ? processes tailored to user preferences. The best way to illustrate this is with an example using Google Adwords. In the following sequence a site administrator/owner needs to optimize their Adwords account/bid process.
User creates a business object for estimating/tracking Adwords
Essentially what we are doing with Iceberg is communicating with a user's Adwords account via a call event and then setting up parameters (bid criteria) for firing points. The end result can be as simple as a notification or as complex as carrying out automated bidding events. A user can literally have their Iceberg handle Adwords or other accounts for them.
Here we define rule decisions for our Adwords interface
The simple result below illustrates how a user can effectively call Google Adwords, get minute by minute CPC data, establish process variables, notifications and ultimately "teach" Iceberg to optimize Adwords' cost and peak effectiveness. It does not take much imagination to visualize Iceberg interfacing with any API and integrating those processes with a user's applications.
Process development UI showing toolbox and an example of Adwords process loop
Iceberg is not yet as refined as some business applications, but it is only in private beta testing. However, the platform can essentially do any function its competitors can without using code or software.
The big surprise under the surface is that Iceberg can do much more than create business applications. I mentioned Twitter to Wayne and he told me that someone could essentially "clone" Twitter with Iceberg. Right now the interface is not overly simple to use for the novice, but Wayne assured me that more discoverability is on the way.
This service is taking a big step in allowing users the capability to imagine and create very advanced applications and processes. In a nutshell, by the time a programmer maps out and plans a development, it could already be created and functional with Iceberg. This is potentially a powerful service for business and personal applications.