Skip to Main Content

Dreamforce 2021: Your inside guide is here - EXPLORE IT


What’s the difference between an app and a platform?

March 15, 2016
What’s the difference between an app and a platform

Search for the definition of an application and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything definitive that applies to software ‘apps’ as we know them today. Even using the term ‘software’ doesn’t really jive as many of the apps that we develop don’t involve software but cloud-based ‘platforms’ access through your browser. The best definition I could find for application is ‘the act of putting something to a special use or purpose’. A platform on the other hand could be defined as an infrastructure for multiple applications to be developed upon. So perhaps that means that an application is an act of putting a platform to a special use or purpose… what the heck does that mean?!

Basically, a platform provides the infrastructure to develop applications and support multiple workflows or in our case, experience. Some platforms allow guys like me to develop applications simply, efficiently and effectively.

Traction Guest is a platform, not an application

There are many applications on the market that allow organizations to sign in guests and capture important information during the process of doing so. These are very effective applications which have probably been developed by researching the requirements of many organizations and multiple stakeholders. Those requirements are typically consolidated and a common solution designed that meets as many of the global requirements as possible and satisfies the highest number of stakeholders. The challenge is that each customer has to live with the resulting solution. Some provide a few options and integrations but none that we have seen can provide solutions to every idea that our customers are coming up with. These are what we call ‘use it how it was designed’ products. Although it may have once been an application, Traction Guest is now a platform. Here’s how and why.

A platform, not an app

Front office visitor sign-in was an important and obvious activity to manage and therefore the first application that we developed on the now Guest Experience Platform. The platform however, now includes the Experience Editor. This allows an administrator to design and configure (rather than develop) their own applications to support their specific process flows based on visitor type and use case.

Get out of the lobby!

The Experience Editor can be configured simply to support any process imaginable. Therefore the platform has the capability to manage all kinds of interactions between your organization and your network of guests. Some of the experiences that have been set up to date include, event sign-in, guest badge printing, guest WIFI enablement, field service reporting and tradeshow lead capture and contest entry. With endless possibilities, you can develop the right guest experiences that suit use cases across your organization.

IoT is SO hot right now

IoT = Internet of Things = Connected Devices

This is where is gets REALLY cool. We are working on an experience right now that will allow waiting guests to add songs to our music queue in SONOS. Pair this with the fact we have Phillips hue lighting all over our office and a network enabled beer machine, we can actually set up experiences to change the lighting and drop a beer for our guests at any point in the interaction. With Guest. This is no longer about tailoring digital experiences with the guest and sending emails and texts at the appropriate time (yes, we do this too). Control the physical environment as well as the digital and NOW, you are truly editing the entire experience.

Learn more about Traction Guest

Traction Guest - don’t buy an app, invest in a platform.

Related articles