Introducing the mHealth Platform as a Service: The Slides

Thanks to everyone who attended my session this week at the mHealth Summit in Toronto CA. The feedback has been tremendous! Keep it coming. You can find the slide deck I used during my presentation below:

Speaking at the Mobile Health Summit in Toronto

Tomorrow KidoZen will be presenting at the Mobile Health Summit in Toronto, CA. The session will summarize some of the lessons learned and best practices we have seen in the variety of mHealth solutions implemented by our customers. Most importantly, during this session we will unveil a new interesting concept: the mHealth platform as a service as a vehicle to facilitate the implementation of mobile solutions in the health care space powered by consistent and industry-approved backend infrastructure.

During the session, we will discuss the different components of the mHealth PaaS and the challenges and pragmatics steps to enable this type of infrastructure. If you are attending the Mobile Health Summit in Toronto or are in the area and interested in enterprise mobility topics feel free to stop by or drop me a line at jr at kidozen dot com.

Building Graphical Email Reports using CasperJS

At KidoZen we are using Logstash to save our logs to Elasticsearch. Having such a powerfull engine enables us to exploit our data and build a custom Analytics Dashboard to display the relevant information in our admin console.

Here is an example of such a Dashboard in a QA environment:

Analytics Dashboard in QA Admin Console

Analytics Dashboard in QA Admin Console

This Dashboard is displayed on a web site and heavily relies on javascript frameworks (we retrieve the data thru ajax requests, and build graphics using the jquery.flot plugin).

Then we had the requirement of sending the same information and graphics in a periodic email report, but the problem is that you cannot execute javascript code in an email. We didn’t want to build a new UI with different technologies only for the email report, so we came out with a solution using CasperJS .

CasperJS is an open source navigation scripting & testing utility based on PhantomJS. It is an excellent companion for PhantomJS because it provides useful high-level functions, methods & syntactic sugar that eases the navigation scripting process. PhantomJS is a WebKit headless browser scriptable with a JavaScript API. A web browser without a graphical user interface can be used for things such as website testing, screen capture, page automation and network monitoring.

Our solution includes running a CasperJS script to capture the graphics from the admin dashboard web site and save them as images. It also makes some screen scrapping to select tabs and also saves some pieces of DOM (in particular tables) to html files. We then use the pictures and html pieces to build an html email template.

The complete solution consists of a report engine process built in Node.js, which launches the CasperJS script for capturing the images and html pieces, then uses the nodemailer module to send the report emails with the embedded images, and the cron module to schedule a job to send the report periodically.

This is the resulting email report:

QA Analytics Email Report

QA Analytics Email Report

If you are curious about the CasperJS script code, here it is:

var fs = require('fs');
var casper = require('casper').create({
  viewportSize : {width: 1200, height: 3000},
  waitTimeout : 2*60*1000,
var url = casper.cli.get("url");  //get web site url as argument
var imgPath = casper.cli.has("imgPath")? casper.cli.get("imgPath") : "./"; //get output path as argument
casper.echo("running with options: url="+url+", imgPath="+imgPath,'INFO');
casper.start(url, function() {
  this.captureSelector(imgPath+'usage.png',"#usage-graphs"); //capture only the selected div and save as image 
  fs.write(imgPath+"usageTable.html", this.getHTML('#api-usage'), 'w'); //get the html of a table and save in file"a[href='#errors']"); //click no the errors tab
  casper.waitWhileSelector('tbody.warn-logs img', function() { //wait until the loading gif dissapears
   this.captureSelector(imgPath+'errors.png',"#errors-graphs"); //capture errors graphics and save image
   fs.write(imgPath+"failedReqsTable.html", this.getHTML('#failed-reqs'), 'w'); //capture errors table and save in html file


VMWares Acquires AirWatch. What it Means and What it Doesn’t

Big news hit the enterprise mobile ecosystem yesterday when VMWare disclosed the intentions of acquiring mobile device management(MDM) vendor AirWatch for $1.54B. This acquisition represents one of the last steps towards a strong consolidation of the MDM space into bigger enterprise management offerings.

Although the acquisition caught the markets by surprise, we can’t be totally shocked about it. I personally have some mixed feelings about VMWare’s move. I tried to summarize some of the interesting elements I found surprising and compelling about the acquisition

What was Surprising…

The price

Even though $1.54B is a high valuation, I thought AirWatch could be worth more. Based on their speculated revenue numbers and the comeback of the public markets, many people thought that an IPO with a higher valuation was a very viable option for AirWatch.

Acquiring the MDM Market Leader

I think going straight for the market leader in the MDM space was a super aggressive move from VMWare. Considering VMWare’s footprint in the enterprise, it wasn’t crazy to think that they could have acquired a player with a stronger tech proposition like MobileIron for a smaller price tag.

What Made Sense…

The Move

Regardless of the aforementioned arguments, nobody disputes that VMWare needed a strong entrance in the mobile operations management space. With the server virtualization technology become a commodity and after a few weak earnings reports, VMWare has been trying to reinvent themselves getting into new spaces such as software designed networks (SDN) with the acquisition of Ncira. MDM is a natural extension to VMWare’s enterprise management capabilities which makes the acquisition a very compelling, although aggressive, move.

The Time

Announcing the acquisition before reporting number and close to the Mobile World Congress, brilliant!

Cultural Alignment

If you have work with AirWatch and VMWare before, you can easily spot cultural similarities between both organizations. Both vendors have a very aggressive way to conduct business following very traditional enterprise software vendor practices. Wheather you agree with those practices or not (I personally don’t), you can’t deny there are very well established similarities between the two companies

What does this means for….


With AirWatch, VMWare adds the best-in-class MDM platform to a very strong arsenal of enterprise operation management technologies. Additionally, VMWare makes a strong entrance in the enterprise mobile space adding over 10,000 AirWatch customers to its portfolio.


By becoming part of the VMWare-EMC family, AirWatch will gain access to deeper distribution and sales channels and an immediate gate into VMWare’s customer ecosystem.


After the acquisition, MobileIron remains as the strongest independent MDM vendor in the market. With incumbents like Microsoft, Citrix, IBM, BlackBerry and now VMWare offering MDM solutions, it might be hard for MobileIron to stay highly competitive.

The MDM Space

Will become even more commoditized. The AirWatch acquisition has reaffirmed that the MDM space is passed its pick. With strong incumbents in the game and the rapid evolution of the enterprise mobile space, we should see the price of MDM platform become substantially cheaper.

The commoditization of the MDM space also opens the door for new players like Enterproid or BlueBox that can offer a more innovative, leaner MDM solution.


BlackBerry has been an indirect beneficiary of the AirWatch acquisition. Markets reacted to the news by raising the price of the BlackBerry stock by 8%. The acquisition was a strong validation of the value proposition of BlackBerry Enterprise Service and related BlackBerry security and mobile ops management technologies.

KidoZen and the Enterprise MBaaS Space

I don’t believe the acquisition of AirWatch has direct implications iin the enterprise mBaaS and mobile middleware spaces. Having said that, there are some important indirect factors that are worth considering. To begin with, VMWare’s entrance in the MDM space has completed the picture of the winners in the space. With the MDM clearly defined, the market will shift attention to other aspects of the enterprise mobile space. From the current categories, enterprise mBaaS and mobile middleware categories seem be the categories with the biggest growth potential and opportunity

Welcoming Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and Mubaloo as KidoZen Partners

The KidoZen partner ecosystem has grown tremendously and we are super happy to announce the new additions to our family: Mubaloo, Tech Mahindra and Cognizant. Since the early days, the KidoZen business development team has put a lot of effort on nurturing a solid partner ecosystem based on the top professional services firms in the enterprise mobile space. From large system integrators to boutique consultancies, we care about establishing strategic alliances with companies that are providing unique services-solutions in the enterprise mobile space. In that sense, we are thrilled to have Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and Mubaloo as KidoZen partners and are excited to see the early results. Here is a quick description of our three new partners:


Mubaloo is an award winning team of mobile consultants and app development experts, delivering end-to-end enterprise and consumer solutions. Mubaloo helps businesses plan, define and manage their mobile ecosystem, providing inspiration and building intelligent business solutions. Working at a strategic and operational level, we deliver apps that embrace the power of mobile.  Mubaloo has developed over 160 bespoke apps for some of the World’s largest businesses including: the Met Office, Aviva, BP, Virgin Media, Schroders, Channel 4, Hargreaves Lansdown, Argos, Allianz and William Hill.


Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise,and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 delivery centers worldwide and approximately 164,300 employees as of June 30, 2013, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world.


Tech Mahindra is a leading provider of solutions and services in the Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) industry serving over 500 global customers, including Fortune 500 companies. A USD 2.63 billion company with over 83,000 professionals, its proven global delivery models, distinctive IT skills and decades of domain expertise help clients realize their business aspirations.

Why we Are Bullish On BlackBerry

As part of our 2014 enterprise mobility predictions, we stated that we believed BlackBerry will be a very relevant player in the space. The prediction surprised a few readers particularly given the recent turmoil the company has experienced which has resulted last three disastrous quarters and the loss of confidence of the consumer market.

Despite the aforementioned factors, we still believe BlackBerry’s recent strategies show a renewed focus on their core enterprise business and a clear strategy to become a software/services company both of which seem necessary steps to get out of the current situation. To help explain our reasoning a bit better, here are some of the points that makes us believe in BlackBerry’s comeback in the enterprise:

Great Management Team

John Chen is not strange to turnarounds as he was instrumental for Sybase transformation that ended up launching the Unwire mobility platform and ultimate culminated with the $5.8B acquisition by SAP

Great Product-Technology

As technologists, we have been very impressed with the BlackBerry 10 and Blackberry Enterprise Service product lines. Both platforms are built on solid technical foundations and provide rich set of capabilities and extensibility points that enable the implementation and management of enterprise mobile apps. As BlackBerry and Microsoft has proven, having a strong technology is far from being enough to win in the mobile market but it’s a comfort to have a strong foundation to build upon.

Going Back to Basics

If you read the recent earnings report or press releases, it’s very clear that BlackBerry is totally focused on their enterprise software business, regulated industries, emerging markets and handful of other strategies that are leveraging the strengths of the company.

Making Continuous Improvement

Even though everyone understands that the BlackBerry transformation will be a long term process, the company has shown steady progress addressing some of the concerns with its balance sheet and signing strong strategic alliances with players like Foxconn which help to alleviate some of the immediate problems.  A clear indication of the progress is the fact that the stock has been performing better despite the bad earnings report.


Focus on Regulated Industries

The strong IP around mobile security, makes BlackBerry a very strong player in highly regulated industries such as financial services, defense, public safety, health care, etc.  From recent announcements, it’s very clear that the company plans tp focus on leveraging their presence in those industries as a way to differentiate themselves from other mobile ops management platforms.

Cleaning House

The new BlackBerry requires fresh minds and the company is making strong moves in that regard. After the departure of CEO Thorsten Heins, the company replaced COO Kristian Tear, CMO Frank Boulben and CFO Brian Bidulka following by the termination of the contract Alicia Keys as creative director. Also, BlackBerry announced yesterday the hiring of former HTM and Sony Ericsson executive Ron Louks to run their device business.


2014 Enterprise Mobility Predictions

2013 is ending and what a year has been for KidoZen! It’s time to focus our attention to 2014 and, with that, comes the time to make some predictions. I’ve never been big into predicting the future but I thought I summarized some of the ideas we have been discussing internally as well as with customers and partners. I know some of these predictions are very blunt but where is the fun on stating the obvious ;) .

Here is my list:

SAP SMP, IBM Worklight will Undergo Significant Transformations

We believe 2014 will see some important transformations in the IBM and SAP enterprise mobility stacks. After losing market share to leaner and more robust platforms such as the enterprise mobile backend as a service leaders, IBM and SAP will try transform their products to either be a commodity offering attached to their enterprise suites or to be able to compete with the emergent players in the enterprise mobility space.

BlackBerry Becomes More Relevant in the Enterprise

We’ve been wrong before about BlackBerry but, from an enterprise perspective, we are super bullish on John Chen and the transformation the mobility giant is undergoing. We believe that BlackBerry’s focus on the enterprise will pay off on a market on which Google, Apple and Microsoft are battling for dominance in the consumer market.

Kony Loses Relevance and, Maybe, Gets Acquired

Similarly to IBM and SAP, Kony has been impacted by the emergence of new enterprise mobile players. Differently from IBM and SAP, Kony does not have the resources to reinvent itself without losing significant market share. From that perspective, we think Kony will likely to lose relevance or be acquired in 2014.

Oracle Enters the Enterprise Mobile Space

While Oracle ADF can be consider an enterprise mobile play, the fact of the matter is that Oracle hasn’t had any impact in the enterprise mobile space. We believe that will change in 2014 and Oracle will enter the market either via acquisitions or strong strategic alliances.

A New Type of MDM Vendor Emerges

The MDM market is saturated and commoditized which also means is ready for disruption. While there are clear winners in the MDM space, most of the solutions still remain very heavy and intrusive for most organizations. We believe 2014 will see the emergence of new MDM solutions such as Enterproid or BlueBox that are providing more modern, extensible and non-invasive solutions.

Some of the Traditional MDM Vendors will go for Mercy Acquisitions

Complementing the previous point, we believe some of the early MDM vendors will have a difficult time competing with the incumbents in the space. As a result, we believe some of those vendors will go for undervalued acquisitions or simply become irrelevant.

KidoZen, AnyPresence and FeedHenry will Dominate the Enterprise mBaaS Market

2013 was the year on which KidoZen, FeedHenry and AnyPresence established a solid position in the enterprise mBaaS space. We believe these three vendors will completely distance themselves from the competition in 2014 which will make for a very exciting year.

Mobile Testing, Monitoring, App Stores will Become Capabilities of Bigger Enterprise Offerings

In 2013 the enterprise mobile market remained very fragmented with areas such as mobile testing, app distribution and app performance monitoring remaining as standalone categories. We believe that 2014 will see some of those capabilities become part of bigger enterprise mobile offerings such as MDM or Mobile Middleware. In that sense, we can expect to see M&A activity in those segments of the enterprise mobile space.

Mobile-First Business Apps Start Establishing as a Standalone Category

We are super bullish about mobile-first business apps and the fact that they will become a standalone category in the enterprise just like SaaS or Cloud Infrastructures. However, we are cognizant of the fact that there are very tangible technical and market challenges preventing this from happening. We believe some of those challenges will start to be addressed in 2014 and will see mobile-first business apps become an important point on CIO’s priority lists.

A New Type of Enterprise Mobile Platform Emerges

If you have read until this point, this prediction should not come as a surprise. The fragmentation in the enterprise mobile market in areas such as middleware, testing, monitoring, MDM, app distribution players etc together with the fact that most MEAP platforms provide a super heavy, complex and expensive solutions; makes the market ready for a next generation enterprise mobile platform that brings together some of the best technologies on each one of the aforementioned areas. There are still no clear signs of how that next generation platform will emerge but you can think about it as a natural evolution for MDM or mobile middleware platforms.

I hope you enjoyed this prediction list. As I said before, I’ve never been any good at predicting the future but we do spend a lot of time trying to re-imagine enterprise software the mobile way.

Happy Holidays and a blessed 2014!

PayPal Acquires StackMob: Some Thoughts About What The Media Got Wrong

Yesterday, TechCrunch broke the news that mobile backend as a service (mBaaS) pioneer StackMob was being acquired by an undisclosed amount. While the initial article hinted at Oracle and EMC as potential buyers, the mysterious acquirer ended up being none other than PayPal.

Immediately, the tech blogs were inundated with articles speculating about all sort of things from the impact that this acquisition could have for the mBaaS space to the health of StackMob as a company. At KidoZen, we received a few inquiries from the press asking for a comment on the acquisition which we declined to make as we didn’t have any information about the deal. Having said that, we thought it will be worth to take some time this morning to offer our perspective about the acquisition particularly considering some aspects that we think were wrongly positioned by the media (specifically the case of the TechCrunch article).

Was StackMob Failing as a Company?


Several articles speculated about the fact that StackMob was failing as a company. As a founder who has gone through the ups and downs of a fast growing company, I have a hard time making news about the failures of other companies. Honestly, I have no idea whether StackMob was failing but, from an outsider perspective, they seem to have lost their momentum in the last few months.

Does this Acquisition Validates the Space?


In some sense. It seems obvious that PayPal sees the value in an mBaaS platform which can be a great addition to their development platform but it’s hard to make any conclusions without knowing the strategic value of the deal.

Was StackMob an Enterprise mBaaS Solution?



AnyPresence, FeedHenry, KidoZen provide enterprise-first mBaaS platforms that enable important enterprise ready capabilities such as integration with line of business systems, compliance, security, private cloud models etc. StackMob was conceived as a consumer solution and eventually pivoted into some B2C scenarios but was far from being an enterprise vendor. Consumer and enterprise mBaaS are complete different models from the business development, sales and product standpoint.

Are mBaaS Platforms Hard to Monetize in the Enterprise?


The TechCrunch article refers a quote from StackMob CEO about the difficulties of monetizing mBaaS in the enterprise

“The dirty secret with backends-as-a-service is that it takes a lot of time and money, especially when you’re talking about enterprise. It takes a lot of time to become profitable,”

I am honestly having a hard time thinking how StackMob can generalize a company-specific experience as a characteristic of the entire industry. As I mentioned on my article comments, we haven’t experienced any major challenges monetizing KidoZen and, to this day, have a large number of paying customers. From what we can see in the competitive landscape, vendors like FeedHenry or AnyPresence are also monetizing their products effectively.

From our perspective, StackMob challenges monetizing their platform were mostly a result of a product that evolved I the consumer space and wasn’t really equipped with the right capabilities as well as business and sales models to be positioned as an enterprise solution.

Were Oracle and EMC Potential Acquirers?


The first TechCrunch article referred to Oracle and EMC as potential acquirers. While those vendors have obvious interest in the enterprise mobile space, there are some fundamental technical challenges that might prevent StackMob from being a good fit for either one of them. Just to give one example, the StackMob runs on Joyent which, as a cloud platform, competes heavily with EMC-Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Oracle Cloud.

Was This a Good Deal for PayPal?


I definitely think so, PayPal will be acquiring a great technology and team that could be a great asset to their developer platform. Additionally, PayPal will have access to the passionate developer community that supported StackMob during these years.

Was It a Good Deal for StackMob?


Hard to tell without knowing the details about the deal. From an outsider, PayPal doesn’t seem the greatest home for a company like StackMob and it certainly changes the focus of the platform.

Regardless of whether StackMob was going through a challenging situation or not, it’s great to see their great team and product finding a new home to continue innovating in the mBaaS space.

The KidoZen Engineering Team is Hiring

The KidoZen engineering team is growing like crazy and we have a few open positions. If you are a hard core hacker interested in the mobile space, you need to talk to us. Here is a quick description of the position. If interested, feel free to drop us a line at

Sr. Software Engineer / Mobile backend as a service

Are you interested on taking part in the future of the mobile enterprise?

As a Sr. Software Engineer in the KidoZen mBaaS team you will play a key role in architecting and developing different components of the KidoZen enterprise mobile platform as a service infrastructure. You will get the opportunity to work in a large variety of problems from API implementations to storage and security infrastructure. This position is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Extend the KidoZen mBaaS platform with new enterprise system API (connectors) to enterprise systems
  • Extend the KidoZen mBaaS platform with new mobile-first backend capabilities
  • Design and develop new infrastructure capabilities for KidoZen public, private and hybrid cloud topologies
  • Collaborate with the KidoZen enterprise app center and mobile client platforms teams to improve the developer and devops experience of the KidoZen platform.

What we are looking for:

  • Hacker spirit: Get stuff done
  • Experience building scalable, distributed systems
  • Experience with cloud computing platforms (IaaS, PaaS)
  • Deep understanding of NodeJS development techniques
  • Knowledge of NOSQL databases and it’s underlying principles
  • Understanding of mobile development tools and frameworks
  • Familiar with agile/lean development processes
  • Ability to work in distributed teams
  • Highly analytical thinking
  • Contributor to open source projects is a strong plus


  • Highly competitive salary
  • Paid vacations
  • Flexible working conditions
  • Excellent working environment

Come work with some of the best professionals in the mobile world!

Some Thoughts About Mobile Application Monitoring

Effectively monitoring mobile applications is one of the top requirements of any enterprise mobile infrastructure. The ability of obtaining analytics about the operational and business performance of mobile applications is an important aspect for enterprises looking to deliver value via mobile solutions.

While the business and operational monitoring is becoming increasingly important in the enterprise, is important to realize that the techniques and platforms supporting this effort are still in its infancy. Like any other trend in the history of enterprise software, the management and monitoring technologies related to the space fully evolve after the space achieve certain level of maturity. In the case of enterprise mobility, the customer and solution ecosystem is just starting to evolve to a point on which monitoring solutions are becoming really relevant. It’s not a surprise that, until now, the top vendors in the application performance monitoring has seen most of their traction in the consumer or B2C space.

From an capability standpoint, enterprises should try to answer two fundamental questions when implementing a monitoring infrastructure for mobile apps:

  • How is my app performing?
  • How is my app being used?

While the first questions is mostly a technical, IT-centric function, the second point intends to provide a perspective of the usage of the mobile application from a functional, business-centric standpoint. The answer to the first question rely on enabling mobile application performance monitoring (mAPM) platforms that can help to understand how an application is performing from the operational standpoint using metrics such as memory usage, response times, crash analysis, etc. mAPM technologies like NewRelic for Mobile Apps and Crittercism provide a great foundation to enable the monitoring of mobile apps from an operational standpoint.

The second question is intending to understand the usage of the app from a functional standpoint. In this case, the monitoring metrics are centered around usage patterns such as screen usage times, transition flows, click/touch rates, etc. You can think of this type of solution as a Google Analytics for enterprise mobile apps. From a technology standpoint, we are in the very early stages of finding a comprehensive solution to this problem. To some extent, enterprises are just now starting to figure out the right scenario for those type of solutions.

What do you think? It’s mobile operations monitoring and mobile business monitoring important to you?


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