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The no-code trend and how I went from being a lawyer to work in the most promising SaaS company in Latam. | by Natalia Pedroza | Jul, 2020


Natalia Pedroza

Trust me I am an expert in the matter of low code. I graduated from Law School and decided to pursue a career in business, so I came to the US and got not one, but two master’s degrees.

None of which were related to data science or coding.

My closest relationship with programming was my roommate back in Boston, which at the time was obsessed with R and Python and spent most of his days running code on his computer.

Despite my ignorance about coding, I was contacted by the most talented team of developers that MIT, Stanford, and The University of the Andes Colombia could offer. French people would call them the “crème de la crème”.

So, there I was, tech-less, talking to the equivalent of The Avengers, but nerdier, and sitting in a room across the street of the MIT labs, wondering if I was good enough to be able to market Twnel not just in the US and Europe, but in Latin America as well.

Twnel is a SaaS company based in Boston, MA dedicated to facilitating the communication of companies and the members of their extended supply chains. The way to do so is by giving users the option to download Twnel Messenger or to use a PWA (progressive web app) from which users can exchange messages with either a human agent or a SuperBot.

The key behind Twnel’s success besides the ability to automate many of the daily interactions and requests between companies and suppliers/clients is its ability to have a 360 view of all the interactions from a centralized dashboard. As if this was not enough, now the platform is allowing companies to build their own Superbots using an easy to use Bot Framework.

In the beginning, I was hired as an intern and I devoted my first days to understand each concept they used during the daily calls. The head of the product became a sort of translator and human dictionary during the first week. After a couple of calls and fast google searches, I became more familiar with terms like back-end, front-end, JSON file, specs, APIs just to name a few.

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

As time passed by and I participated in more of the product development calls I became more and more familiar with what they were talking about. As a matter of fact, after a couple of months, I was able to produce video tutorials and webinars about Twnel and its latest features.

1. Building a Discord Bot for ChatOps, Pentesting or Server Automation

2. 8 Best IT Workflow Automation Practices to follow for Chatbots

3. How to prevent chatbot attacks?

4. Adding a conversational interface to your app with Dialogflow

The reason behind the videos was to educate our clients so they could build their own SuperBots using our brand-new Bot builder. Little did I know that the team was planning to test the builder with someone that had no experience in the matter, someone that used intuition to figure out how to fix a computer or a phone, me.

After the practice run of the second webinar, Jonathan, Twnel’s CTO asked me if, after his explanation, I would be able to build a bot myself. After an awkward silence I realized that as a matter of fact, I might be able to build something by myself.

Let me be honest, I am not going to build the next supercomputer, but the fact that I can, in fact, build something, is pretty reassuring on the intuitiveness of the tool.

But why would a SaaS company with the most talented programmers I know want me to test the product?

Well, as Alex Nichols and Jesse Wedler said in an article published in TechCrunch recently,

“No code is empowering business users to take over functionality previously owned by technical users by abstracting complexity and centering around a visual workflow”.

I see it this way, the less code required to use a product, the more value to the company that is using that product. In our case, the less code and technical skills required to build SuperBots, the more value we are providing to our more than 1,000 company clients. Each one of them is now able to build SuperBots that are customized to a particular need or business unit. That is something that no other vertically integrated messaging tool in the market is able to do right now, not without requiring additional integrations.

If you analyze the no-code trend from a business perspective (something that I am fully qualified for) you might see how this approach allows companies to adopt technology in a faster way than before and at a lower cost.

The average time to build an App is 6 months, assuming that everything runs smoothly (which will probably not). To the time required to build the App, add the cost of building that App and maintaining it. You might need a dedicated team of developers which can probably cost you around $120,000 a year each. Add the cost as well of hosting the app in the cloud and you end up with a huge bill at the end of the year.

After all the investment, ask yourself how scalable is the solution you just created, are your partners and suppliers open to using it? Do they know how to use it?

So, taking into account all of the costs and in order to save you time and frustrations, technology and SaaS companies like Twnel are creating solutions that require little to no coding skills to be used.

The implementation time ranges from days to weeks, additionally, since it uses an intuitive UI, agents and users can easily be trained in less than an hour. Moreover, the flexibility provided by the Bot builder allows companies to create in a short period of time any conversational flow 100% customized to the company’s needs.

For all the companies with an extended supply chain that have seen exponential growth in size and have been struggling to communicate with clients and suppliers, Twnel is the messaging platform dedicated to connecting the company with them by using the mobile messaging format enhanced by SuperBots that automate the most commonly used tasks and giving access to the metric dashboard for companies to control it all. Companies that trust Twnel to communicate with partners have seen an increase in the productivity of human customer service agents and have identified automation opportunities that doubled their service levels only days after implementing Twnel.

Did you notice how comfortable I am now talking about tech?

If you are like me, you might want to check more about the no-code trend and you can check how Twnel is helping companies scale their operations around the globe here.

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