SIMBA Chain aims to democratize blockchain
Date Updated: Monday, February 10, 2020
Blockchain technology is relatively new, but decision makers in all sorts of businesses and public and private institutions are beginning to recognize its potential benefits. You might think, “Smart contracts sound smart. We could benefit from something like that. Beef up our supply chain, get more visibility into what’s going on. Run on a fully secured data layer. Raise quality, be more efficient, more responsive, more proactive—what’s not to like?” You have developers familiar with Microsoft technologies, and you know Microsoft offers a blockchain service. You decide to get someone working on it straight away.
Trouble is, you don’t have any blockchain developers. Among the many, many requirements you had for your last IT hire, and it was a great hire, you didn’t anticipate designing and implementing blockchain solutions.
Fortunately, CEO Joel Neidig and his team at SIMBA Chain have built a point-and-click solution that developers with little or no specific experience can use to design and build blockchain solutions.
SIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, “smart contract as a service” platform that makes it easy to build, deploy, and integrate blockchain DApps (Decentralized Applications). You don’t need a blockchain developer, or even a full stack developer; the platform generates dynamic APIs, based on your requirements, that can drive the applications you need. Niedig says, “Of course, there is an “expert mode” for those with experience who want to dive in and do specific customizations, but we designed SIMBA Chain to help anyone and everyone create solutions tailored to their business requirements, novices and experts alike.”
It makes sense that some big players would understand the need for tools like this to get the best out of blockchain. Initially developed for the United States military, SIMBA Chain runs on the Microsoft Azure Government cloud platform. The US Navy and Air Force use it. The Dow Chemical Company is a customer. HealthSpace, too. One of SIMBA Chain’s Fortune 500 customers had no in-house blockchain experience, yet its development team went from concept to live in about 30 days. Without SIMBA Chain, that would have meant a year-long cycle of hiring, training, and development. Instead, within a month, the company began reaping the benefits of a new data and analytics solution in an error-free workflow that now takes minutes rather than days.
SIMBA Chain benefits from the powerful Microsoft blockchain service and adds simplification and automation to help build smart contracts and work easily and quickly in the application layer, making it one of the fastest and easiest routes to getting a blockchain application from proof of concept to deployment. The platform grew as the SIMBA Chain team spotted opportunities to productize the work they had been doing to speed and simplify the end-to-end blockchain development process. They recognized the broad collection of organizations that could benefit from validated workflows, comprehensive audit trails, and increased data resilience—organizations that would find the barrier to entry for internal blockchain development prohibitive.
Still in the startup phase, Neidig says his company faces the challenge of reaching potential customers with his message that the SIMBA Chain platform can bring a custom blockchain solution at off-the-shelf prices. He turned to Azure Marketplace to help with reach and visibility, and now self-starters can easily configure the freemium offering to get up and running quickly. Another challenge, he notes, is finding and hiring great people. But with a nod to his team, he says that so far that’s going really well for SIMBA Chain, too.