The Heart for Information Innovation spoke with Ashraf Samhouri, co-founder and CEO of Activepieces, a enterprise automation software program firm primarily based in San Francisco. Samhouri mentioned the advantages of constructing automation software program open supply and defined why some firms have but to automate their workflows.
Morgan Stevens: What was your motivation for beginning Activepieces?
Ashraf Samhouri: I used many automation instruments in my earlier firms, akin to Zapier and Make, and was all the time bothered by the concept these platforms are making a closed ecosystem that can not be additional prolonged. For instance, once I bought caught by not discovering some functionalities on them, I had no choice by any means to jot down code and recover from the limitation. That made me dream of an open ecosystem that builders from all around the globe can contribute to and have full management over.
Stevens: How does Activepieces differentiate itself from different enterprise automation instruments?
Samhouri: The openness. We’re open supply, licensed underneath MIT, which is among the most permissive open supply licenses out there. That is simply on the floor, however its affect is that we had been capable of develop a group of contributors, customers, and companions who fell in deep love with the product and the ecosystem. We imagine that this side will permit us to continue to grow together with our group, providing the very best free and open supply automation instruments to particular person customers, and empowering enterprise purchasers to automate their organizations at a bigger scale.
Stevens: Why did you select to make Activepieces open supply and what are the advantages of doing so?
Samhouri: Whereas attempting completely different fashions, my co-founder and I noticed that we really feel empowered once we empower communities. Open supply is all about group. You construct, develop and enhance with the group. In my first Reddit put up about Activepieces, we had been capable of take suggestions about our license even earlier than releasing the product to the market. The open supply group is superb! The advantages are large. Have a look at instruments like MongoDB, Postgres, Airbyte, Metabase. All of them began from the group and have become very massive firms supporting particular person builders totally free and including large worth to organizations. That is a formidable technique to us.
Stevens: What are the largest challenges firms face in automating workflows?
Samhouri: The most important problem is definitely not in automating workflows. The most important problem is that firms are nonetheless doing guide work that should be automated as an alternative. One motive is that doing a repetitive process retains folks of their consolation zone, in order that they don’t fear a lot about difficult and altering it. One more reason is that individuals assume they have to be programmers to automate their work. Whereas that would have been true prior to now, it’s not the fact. You possibly can automate an entire division with out touching code within the majority of the circumstances. Instruments like Activepieces make automation accessible to everybody. Being an open supply app would possibly sound too geeky to some, however it doesn’t imply our consumer interface is tough to grasp. We optimize our interfaces for customers who don’t wish to write code or come from nontechnical backgrounds.
Stevens: What does the long run seem like for Activepieces?
Samhouri: It’s a query about Activepieces but in addition in regards to the world’s progress on the similar time. Previously, the world was offline, however everybody labored laborious to rework it to grow to be digital. To be sensible, we made large progress with that. Now, consequently, out there applied sciences have modified. If you happen to had been capable of construct a cell app in a month, now you can construct an AI-based system in the identical time frame. We’re on the onset of an enormous wave of transformation with synthetic intelligence—a time period I all the time say is the brand new model of “digital transformation.” Activepieces gained’t be simply an automation builder, we’re engaged on shaping and positioning our software program to be one of many leaders on this thrilling transformation.