Greetings. We’ve known Losant since August of 2018, but it wasn’t until June of this year we decided to give Losant a ‘go’ after the last 6 IoT/Software/AEP platforms didn’t rise to expectations (Losant being our 'lucky #7). Part of the critique here today is a bit of what we’ve seen in those other 6 platforms, especially when startups such as ourselves (we’ve been 3 years up and running in R&D, and with a 23+ years of wireless experience, so we only call ourselves startups because we’re still not commercial) are ready to go from POC to Commercial. Here’s where we see the first ‘cracks’ where information starts falling into with Losant:
- Certainly we understand (as non-developers) that an AEP or software platform is NOT an education institution of Python, or C, or Ruby, or Java, etc. We don’t expect the AEP (and we’ve had this issue before with others) to ‘free-spoon-feed’ code, scripts, etc. Yet, as an AEP/software platform your product IS software, so there has to be a better approach to ‘filter’ those looking for ‘freebies’ from those seriously looking for, as someone put it, the right ‘nudge’ but at a more serious level. And although Losant has plenty of forums, videos, training, etc, sometimes you just need a 1 hr one-on-one chat with a Losant Expert just to get the right ‘juices’ going. Which brings me to the second point…
- After only 3 days, we were able, with the resources available, to get a LoRa sensor up and running, MQTT’n data, getting thru a workflow and even sending SMS alerts - not bad for non-developers! Yet, we quickly realized in order to move forward we needed ‘logistical guidance’. This is where, we think, Losant can improve. After going to your web ‘contact’ page, filling out all the needed info, we were directed to a ‘Sales Operations Specialist’, which in turn put us in contact with a ‘Biz Developer’. 2 levels ‘before’ an actual Sales Engineer or Expert which seems ‘odd’ to us. Nonetheless, we followed thru but the ‘Biz Dev’ communication was fair at best, ‘not receiving our e-mails’, then almost missing out our phone call appointment and, after a 45 min detailed discussion over the phone, asking again via e-mail to ‘reply with brief summary of your question’. We’ve been here before, and quite frankly, don’t want to be there again.
- Finally, answer the phones! We understand you have thousands of people, customers, clients, devs and enthusiasts of all levels that would be eager to have ‘someone on the line’ for everything and anything and it would be impossible for you to serve them all. We get it. Yet, as a biz, and somewhat following on item #1, you need some better way of addressing this so you can stand out even more above the rest. As I told, both your Sales Spec and Biz Dev, we’re not looking for ‘coding instructions’, we’re looking for commercial logistical Losant guidance based on our unique biz model, that’s it. This should not be this difficult, I would assume.
We’re not looking for platforms #8,9,10… but after 2 full years of R&D, including trials with different flavors of platforms (full-on custom, AEPs such as Losant, hybrid ones and DIY), repeating the same info over and over is not what we have in mind. Hopefully this provides some insight, as we’re honestly want to help improve the already-awesome platform that is Losant. But it has to work for us as well.