Explo Expands Into New Markets With Replicated

The Company

Explo is revolutionizing how innovative software companies build and present analytic dashboards for their applications. With just a few lines of code, Explo users can create visually attractive, customer-facing dashboards. Their powerful reporting platform provides customers with a straightforward way to showcase data and insights that provide more value to end-users. Developer and data analytics teams cut precious time spent building dashboards and reports to focus on their core business initiatives.

The Problem

Explo’s SaaS-based offering serves a diverse customer base that spans e-commerce, human resources, education, industrial, transportation, and logistics. But highly regulated industries such as healthcare, where privacy and security are prime concerns, previously remained out of reach for Explo’s SaaS offering.

When an urgent proof of concept (POC) request came in from a prospect in the healthcare industry, Explo couldn’t deliver. This prospect collects sensitive patient information (such as data on when medicine pickup times are at their highest volumes) for practitioners so those healthcare professionals can make reliable, life-saving business decisions for patients.

The prospect needed a flexible, multi-prem deployment to customer-controlled private cloud and on-prem environments that would address the strict data residency and regulatory requirements around patient privacy. Specifically, the prospect required a private deployment into a locked-down, customer-controlled VPC within the customer’s AWS account. The environment would give them greater control over applications and data to ensure privacy security and meet PII and PHI compliance. The hardest part of accommodating this customer was that it wanted assurances that data would not leave the country of operations and the agreed-upon environment.

Explo sought a way to satisfy these security requirements while maintaining a frictionless administrative experience, making it fast and easy to manage upgrades and changes with as little back-and-forth with the customer as possible. On top of that, Explo had a mere five days to submit a POC to land the contract, or else they wouldn’t be able to accommodate this high-value opportunity.

With the clock urgently ticking, Explo had a problem on its hands. Traditionally, delivering SaaS to on-prem was a laborious process that required months of planning and lots of internal engineering resources to address on-prem’s unique needs for configuration, licensing, installation, updates, and more. Gary Lin, CEO of Explo, was previously with Palantir, where he worked on contracts requiring on-prem or VPC deployments. “In the most demanding on-prem scenarios, such as air gapped installs, you’re practically flying from point A to point B with a new version of software on a flash drive,” he explained. Firsthand, he knew the complexity of the problems Explo would encounter for application packaging, installation, and maintenance in these unique environments.

The Solution

Explo sprang to investigate its options, initially considering an internal build of the tooling needed to distribute on-prem. Gary was aware of the technical complexity involved and decided not to take that route. Looking back at his experience with on-prem headaches, Gary knew of the many nuanced challenges that even a seasoned engineering department could encounter.

Even if they developed a solution for on-prem delivery that worked on day one, it would be hard to predict the problems that might arise weeks or months later. With any number of config, permission, or security policy changes, and upgrade and maintenance issues, Explo might not have enough capacity to support the customer through all the upkeep scenarios.

Explo needed a solution fast. Enter Replicated.

Explo realized that they needed to find a partner to distribute their Saas–only app on-prem. Their search for a third-party solution led them to Replicated.

Explo’s developer team and two Replicated solutions engineers forged forward with what Gary described as a “Herculean” effort. They pushed the POC over the finish line within four days, meeting the customer’s aggressive deadline. Explo outmaneuvered the competition of legacy providers and SaaS-only competitors and won the deal with their prospect.

With Replicated, Explo could package and distribute their app to their new customer’s environment – and fast. In just a matter of days, the app was up and running in the healthcare provider’s environment, enabling them to push dashboards out to their users quickly and securely, with minimal service disruption.

The Future

With Explo’s immediate problem solved and the healthcare customer satisfied, Explo could focus on delivering its software anywhere, anytime, without constraints on where customers can consume their service. Gary embraced Replicated’s capabilities to navigate the complexities of installing Kubernetes apps with ease. With their new ability to distribute on-prem, Explo has expanded its appeal into new industry verticals and scaled its total addressable market (TAM).

As analytics become more crucial in the healthcare space, Explo intends to continue working with Replicated to grow its healthcare customer base alongside other highly-regulated industries with very demanding data requirements. In the future, with on-prem available, the Explo team anticipates TAM growth with new customers, and expanding and upselling existing customers.

“We definitely plan to continue our relationship with Replicated so that we can further support our customers' needs and get them set up very quickly,” Gary states. “It’s fantastic for us because an on-prem solution by nature is going to be more expensive than our cloud solution given the type of dev support that we need to provide from the Explo side. Replicated helps us to avoid those costs with efficiency while exactly delivering what our customers need.”

To learn more about how Replicated can help you ship your software to the most secure customer environments, please click here to schedule a demo.

If you’re looking to provide dashboarding or reporting to your customers, feel free to book time with the Explo team here or email them directly at support@explo.co.