In doing so, they pioneered the trigger action framework that is now standard across the industry (IFTTT was similar but never focused on businesses). It’s the same framework that you’ll find in native automation functionality in Airtable, Monday, Asana etc. It’s not the only approach! Wokato, Hubspot, Integromat prefer the “scenario” approach with a canvas to visualize your automation.
Now since Zapier’s launch in 2011, our usage of cloud tools has proliferated
. It’s no longer enough to connect this app to that app whenever something happens. We now want—nay need—information to be synchronized across applications. I need all
of my video analytics information—from Wistia, Youtube and Vimeo— to be in one place or contact & organization details—from Salesforce, Intercom and Hubspot—to be in sync.
Sync is the new game in town.
And just like Zapier had, and has, its competitors, there’s no lack of entrants in the sync game: Parabola
, Alloy automation
. I’ve toyed around and spoken to a few of the players in the space and what I marvel at every time is how everyone’s approach is different! I wrongly thought that this was going to be a pretty lame space: we’re all go to the same tool to sync all of our information. That is not how it seems to be playing out. Let’s look at some examples.
is a playground for power users with the option to leverage any API out of the box and put your business logic directly in the tool. The downside of giving users that power is that Parabola has a steep learning curve. Even if there’s a direct connection between the tools you want to sync, you’re responsible for formatting your data into a way that matches the output database’s schema.
Others like Polytomic
are pure sync plays (for now). It forces you establish a schema upfront by picking the fields you want to sync from one (or multiple) tool to others. This establishes a new standardized schema that you can then map to other tools when information changes or on a schedule. It’s extremely intuitive to get a sync up and running. That simplicity reduces what you can ultimately accomplish. For instance, you can’t add business logic or sync from tools that do not have a direct connection (for now!).
Then there’s Alloy automation
and a host of others who are deeply focused on one specific vertical (e-commerce in the case of Alloy). Their deep understanding of their vertical means no setup costs, they’ll provide tailored recipes/automations that you can plug and play.
And that’s not all! All these sync options all competing with existing automation players and native syncing functionality!
Sync feels like such a big space that I don’t really expect there to be one big winner. I’m excited to watch how it all evolves. And I’ll be there testing every tool along the way to find the one that fits my needs. With the way things are going, I’m sure you’ll find a tool that fits your needs perfectly too!