With a mission of empowering people through technology, Kazendi are “samurais fighting against the innovation bermuda” of wasteful processes.
Kazendi is an innovation studio based in London, that creates profitable innovation processes and tangible results for each individual client. By maintaining a small core team, and bringing in various experts for every specific project, the idea is to create “minimum lovable products” within a week. They call it just-in-time innovation.
I voiped Maximilian Doelle, Managing Director at Kazendi, to ask him about their recent project, a marketing future lab, and how they used Sinch. He told me about an iBeacon based scavenger hunt and a DIY notification builder named “BlueKit”.
“We created a DIY notification builder for one of our clients that were distributing free iBeacons to the participants in one of their conferences. The participants were senior marketers and this gave them an opportunity to play around with iBeacons themselves”, Max said.
He continued, describing how they used iBeacons encrypted motion, light, temperature and proximity sensors, to demonstrate the opportunities of the technology:
“There’s a high degree of complexity involved in iBeacons – you can trigger a message with certain movements or temperature levels. For some use cases that are on the edge, this is hard to test if you’re not really experienced with using these kinds of apps. And that’s why we integrated Sinch.”
Max and his team of two experts integrated Sinch directly to the app, creating a shortcut button to enable direct calls for users to ring and report back if needed. He told me that they’d tried other solutions, such as ShowKit and remote support videos, but that none of them were trustworthy. “Sinch is the most reliable service provider”, he said.
“Oh, and I really like your website!”
Once they had tested a first prototype, the team realized their need for Sinch: “We saw a huge complexity that non-professional users were struggling with when creating their use cases.” From then, they knew they’d have to add in-app calling as an additional feature, and that’s when they came onto Sinch. “The initial implementation was very easy. It was up and running within half an hour”, Max said. But was everything really that smooth?
I wanted to know about possible issues encountered during the setup. Max told me the only issue was locating and fixing bugs when shifting to production environment: In order to call multiple devices at once, the calls were made through a VoIP provider, which implied that when something went wrong, the team wasn’t sure of what was going on.
…So they reached out to our Developer Evangelist Christian. “He got back to us within 20 minutes”, Max assured. Everything was fine with the sandbox, so the team shifted to production, where they received an error application message and had to wait to be approved. Yeah, sorry about that. Over the next few weeks, we’re improving the verification service, so that the move from sandbox to production will happen straight away!
However, Max didn’t seem bothered by it, as he assured me it was fine. “The support was really helpful – immediately available!”, he said. Phew.
Since Kazendi is a prototyping agency that specializes in the process rather than the technology, there are many interesting projects ahead. For now, one of their clients are considering to release the DIY builder to App Store, and they’re currently playing around with smart badges that can be used at events – for instance to automatically connect event participants to LinkedIn by tapping their phones!
And what about Kazendi + Sinch? I asked Max if they’re planning to use Sinch’s SDK in the future. “Yes, definitely”, he replied. “We are actually planning on implementing the remote support button as an additional offer for our customers, on all prototypes we’re doing in the future. We’ve seen how useful it is – if a customer has a problem they can ring directly from the app without having to look up my number.”
As we’re always looking for ways to improve, I wondered if Max thinks there’s anything missing in our product offering. “One thing that would be cool, in the SDK, is a UI kit”, he said. “Like a calling animation, maybe a couple of buttons, that we could just take from there”. I told him about our open source project, a sample UI kit for iOS that we’re trying out to see if there’s any interest out there. If it goes well, our product team will get right to it!
Before we hung up, I had to ask him one more thing. How would he describe Sinch in a sentence?
“One click call integration.”
From one samurai to another, good luck in the future!
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