The Open Cloud in Action: Rhomobile

Not surprising to me, much of the talk both on and off the presentation stage at the Open Source Business Conference yesterday focused on the economy: when and if the rebound is coming, and how open source companies may or may not be poised to benefit the most from the recovery.

But it was a meeting with a SugarCRM user that turned out to be the best experience of the day for me. Adam Blum, CEO and founder of Rhomobile actually spoke at our SugarCon event last month, but we did not get a chance to talk at length. I am glad we talked yesterday. Adam’s vision is perhaps the perfect example of how the next generation of companies is driving value into the development and deployment of applications in ways that would not have been possible years ago.

In a nutshell, Rhomobile offers a mobile framework called Rhodes. But its model is really where the cool factor lies. Developers can easily create either native mobile apps from scratch, using simple HTML, or port existing web applications with ease to the Rhomobile platform (and the company even has a data synch tool called RhoSynch to bridge the gap between the core enterprise applications and their mobile counterparts). The best part – the newly created mobile app runs on nearly any device – iPhones, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile devices, Symbian and even the Google Android phone.

What this model does is break down the time and cost of development for those looking to build mobile applications – this could be developers looking to bring new products to market, existing application vendors looking to extend their solutions, or even large organizations seeking purpose built solutions for their mobile sales or field service teams. I can see a lot of possibilities for using this platform.

Rhomobile has a very open model, and the framework is highly accessible to developers.  I really like the concept – and the value proposition is huge. Rhomobile is the kind of entity that really proves the benefits of an open cloud. I mean, a developer could develop cool tools via the web, which can be used on any device, sold via online models like Apple’s AppStore – essentially building a business without any real assets or big upfront investment.

Very cool. I will definitely be keeping tabs on Adam and Rhombile going forward…