Rebuilding Appointy: A decade later, for the next decade.
September 2016. Conference Room, Appointy Office.
I was sitting across two very happy interns from our team. They had just finished their first project in Appointy.
They were proud that after six months, a piece of code developed by them could successfully go live in our product.
But I wasn’t proud.
All I could think was: Is it normal for people to take so long to develop a feature for our product? Is it right that our code has such a long learning curve? Are we doing something wrong?
These questions were really alarming.
When Appointy was launched back in 2008, there was a strong need for a simple scheduling solution in the market. Our initial customers loved the fact that we were listening to them and developing the features that they needed at a fast pace.
This set us apart from the competition and was the main reason why we were able to scale our customer base to over 130, 000 customers.
But over the years, our pace of development had slowed down. Evidently, it was taking our team too long to introduce new features and we weren’t able to accommodate all our customers’ feature request like before.
This was our cue to take a step back and rethink Appointy from the scratch.
We looked deeper.
Our challenges were more than one.
1. On further investigation, we realised the problem was not just with the code. The basic framework was still up and running, but it was meant for a much simpler version of Appointy. Ours was a product that could serve as a scheduling solution for many different industries, ranging from salons to transportation services. Over the years, we kept adding more and more features from customers across very different industries, making Appointy overwhelming for an average user.
A feature, such as the option to sell gift certificates, relevant for salons was unimportant for other professions. This made Appointy seem complicated to a lot of potential customers.
2. We were one of the earliest companies in the scheduling space back in 2007-2008. Ever since then, there has been a dramatic shift in the technological space. Even though there was still nothing wrong with the basic functioning of Appointy, but the latest platforms were very advanced and much more sophisticated.
The present technologies would give our product engineers even more ammunition and allow them and create a very powerful product.
3. We weren’t Enterprise-ready. We did have an Enterprise plan on our Pricing page. But it was basically a multi-location plan for large-scale businesses. After having completed our first Enterprise project around the same time, we realised that Enterprises needed more than features; they needed assurance on Product and Company level Security, SLAs, Support, Compliances, Accessibility, etc.
With more and more Enterprises showing interest in Appointy, we needed to make sure our off-the-shelf product was optimised for Enterprises and could be easily customised.
Our vision was always to help our customers (we have always been a 4.5+ star app). But with the above challenges, we were somehow not able to help every potential customer out there.
In order to solve these issues and build a powerful product fit for today’s world, we started rebuilding Appointy in November 2016 from the ground up. It took us countless discussions, hours and hours of working, and a lot of patience to put together the concept of Appointy 9.
There was a shift in our vision.
Earlier, we used to visualise ourselves as an online scheduling software tool. But after 10 years of accumulating customer intelligence, there has been a shift in our vision for Appointy.
Having acquired a number of diverse features over the years, we realised we were no more just an appointment scheduling company. We scheduled rooms, resources, and even staff.
We had transformed into a time management company. The core value of Appointy is that it saves time. Both for our customers (business owners) and their clients (end-user).
Appointy 9 was designed keeping this in mind.
From the user experience to specific features, you’ll find time management being manifested in multiple layers within Appointy.
It could be the way you reschedule appointments on the calendar with a simple drag and drop gesture.
Or the ease of taking payments by integrating Appointy with your favourite payment gateway.
Basically, everything about Appointy will save you time and increase your productivity. You can also expect us to launch features or new products that would help you manage your time better in the future.
Appointy 9: A Future-proof, intuitive design, with better engineering
10 years back, the concepts that Appointy was build on had become obsolete. But we were afraid that after 10 years, today’s concept might become obsolete again.
Hence, while designing the architecture this time, we made sure that we take into account the changes that might occur in future and think ahead of time. This approach has made Appointy future-proof and you can be sure that from now on, we’ll always be in tune with the latest trends and technologies.
Making an app look beautiful takes a lot of work. But making that beautiful app intuitive and work faster is an art. We strongly believe that a seamless user-experience is an important element of design. Appointy 9 has been made beautiful keeping in mind the same concept. It delivers an intelligent user experience which can truly help you grow your business.
Built on the same technology which empowers Google (Angular 5, Kubernetes etc.), Appointy is all set to define the benchmark in the scheduling industry for the next decade.
It also uses a unified architecture which will give our customers a similar user experience across various devices or future product lines. (Think how Gmail, Google docs offer a similar user experience).
Check out this exclusive sneak peek of Appointy 9 in under a minute!
What you can expect?
1. Near-zero downtime: All future upgrades and maintenance procedures will take place seamlessly without any downtime whatsoever.
2. Easy-to-use, blazing fast app: The new Appointy is intuitive, accessibility-friendly, and works really fast. To make it work faster, we employed multiple concepts like streaming, storing static data in the cache to reduce load time, and loading only minimal data-set that can be seen at once from the naked eye.
3. Infinitely scalable: Our system can handle any number of appointments now and has the potential to grow with you. If your business becomes an overnight success, Appointy will still not have an issue handling your appointments.
4. Faster feature development: Our modular architecture allows fast development and you can expect to see more features more frequently. From now on, we’ll also be able to accommodate more feature requests from you. You say it, we’ll build it!
5. Single API that powers Appointy web & other devices: Appointy will look, feel, and work the same intuitive-way irrespective of the platform: Web, Android, iOS, etc. You’ll love it on any device you use!
6. Easy data transfer between apps and a growing marketplace: Cutting edge integrations like Webhooks and various data export formats (CSV, Excel, etc.) will allow easy data transfer between all your favourite apps. It’ll also equip us with the potential to build more and more integrations to simplify business management for you (Analytics, Payments, etc.).
After the beta-launch, we have a lot of exciting things planned for you. Here’s a sneak-peek into what awaits you in the near future:
1. Redesigned Client side: We are rolling out the new update in phases. Hence, currently, you’ll be able to see an upgrade in the admin-side of Appointy. Nevertheless, a remodelled client-side is all ready and set to launch soon.
2. The launch of new feature/app integrations: We already have a lot of feature updates and new app integrations in the marketplace ready. Subscribe to our blog to get a regular update about feature launches.
3. The ability to choose your own database and shifting on an entirely new platform (for Enterprise customers).
4. Shutdown old/legacy Appointy code: We plan to switch completely to the new code in the future. However, we the shut down will also occur with advance notice and in multiple phases, so that you have enough time to adapt to the new interface. 🙂
Want to try the new Appointy 9 (now in beta)?
We are excited to launch Appointy 9 for all our customers in beta mode today. Our team has just rolled out the update and is eagerly awaiting your initial response. If you want to try Appointy 9, here’s what to do :
Existing Customers: Go to business.appointy.com and log in with your Appointy credentials.
Login screen: business.appointy.com