What Salto’s series B means for our customers—a philosophy and call to action
Across nearly every business today there are administrators sweating small changes because they have no way to predict the impact. There are teams who’ve finally finished cleaning up a core system only to realize the rules they created there won’t translate to adjoining systems. There are business systems teams wondering how they can possibly manage yet another application when they’re barely coping as it is.
Across all of these organizations, which constitute most medium-sized or larger businesses, teams live in the shadow of a towering backlog. Attention is scarce. Planning is limited. They don’t do what they want to do—they do merely what they can.
They are in the unfortunate cycle of merely paying the interest on their business system technical debt. The whole company moves slower as a result—you can only move as quickly as your business systems—but things don’t have to be this way.
A sign of increased momentum
This week, we announced that we’ve raised another $42M, led by Accel with significant participation by Salesforce Ventures and sustained by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. That brings the total funding to $69M, and this second round comes mere months after the first. Why? It’s a combination of customer projects proving even more fruitful than expected plus increased demand. Existing Salto customers are asking for more and more systems. This new funding from our partners means we can respond quickly—hiring talent, building our engineering team, and releasing seven new adaptors.
This funding is also a clear indicator that the challenge that we are trying to solve is real and rapidly growing. Philippe Botteri, partner at Accel, put it this way:
“Salto is leading the way toward modernizing the infrastructure of cloud applications. This is a much bigger problem than it was a few years ago, and it provides a very necessary layer of automation. It’s a missing link, a revolution bringing a DevOps approach to cloud application configurations ... Salto has the potential to become a defining company for this new and large category, which addresses a significant problem faced by any company managing cloud applications."
What makes this funding so exciting is it pushes Salto into the realm of exponential time savings. Salto is unique in that it addresses multiple business systems. It’s not just one process that works wonderfully in the CRM, or just in the ERP, or just in the marketing platform. It’s one convention that can be applied to all. It is a common language.
It is also, in part, a philosophy. Our goal is to provide a methodology for configuring, testing, and analyzing business applications that remains the same across all. By extracting the configurations from existing applications and making them all available from one interface where they can be queried, compared, and altered, we unify them.
The more systems Salto covers, the farther the language spreads throughout your stack, the more interoperable it all becomes. The more auditable it becomes. The faster work happens.
Consider compliance. When you can document changes automatically, new people don’t need prior knowledge to jump in and participate. Or consider untangling dependencies. Instead of three months of investigating and then waiting for the system’s release window, an administrator can run a search and apply a change in three minutes. (True story.)
You can make a change, understand the impact, fix the impact, move it all as one to testing, move it into production, and do that continuously.
Salto is leading the ‘business as code’ revolution. And interestingly, it’s helping to advance the ‘no-code’ movement as well.
A tale of two conventions: Code or No-Code
Every business system is, essentially, a no-code platform. They allow teams to customize without building from scratch. That has its advantages. You often hear people discussing the benefits of no-code versus code, and those discussions hinge almost solely on flexibility. If someone chooses to code their application, they can implement it any way they want. But if they choose a no-code software (like most business applications), they get greater simplicity and democratize access but pay the cost of less flexibility.
The nuance that’s entirely missing from this discussion is that when you code a solution you gain an important artifact—the code itself. That code is what allows developers to fully understand the structure behind and every aspect of their system, and to document, track changes, analyze impact, and automate tasks. When you implement a no-code solution, it’s quick and powerful but it deprives developers of that access, structure, visibility, and control. Without those things, it’s virtually impossible to scale in terms of team size or velocity.
What we at Salto are building is a platform that permits code-level control over business systems. You get all the benefits of no-code convenience in your day-to-day, but enjoy all the control and confidence of code when you need it. It’s a more nuanced way to manage all your business systems. It is, I am certain, the future.
Uniting all your business systems
Next up on our roadmap is interoperability. So far I’ve discussed Salto’s present. Now we get to discuss its future. The Salto “language” will soon be covering more systems, but it’ll also soon be covering the inter-operations of those systems. It will offer one control panel for all your top business systems. Everything will be knowable. Everything will be searchable, configurable, and auditable. You’ll be able to add new team members and finally achieve linear growth velocity. In this world, the time-savings will increase even further, and it will start to change how you and others think about your job.
Here’s a vision for a world we believe this will create: You get to focus on all the “one day, we’ll do that” issues, today. You will have cleared your backlog. You will have said goodbye to merely coping, to merely paying down technical debt. You will get to meet with other business leaders and say, “I’ve heard where you want to go. Here’s a plan to get you there.”
That’s a lot of potential power.