Platform fueling the gig economy built on Google Cloud
It’s the “Now” in “Now:Group” that tells what the company is all about. Building a platform for services that meet needs on-demand, and allow buyers and sellers to find each other and draw up agreements.
Now:Group will transform the gig economy with its new platform.
Now:Group is about to launch its first service: ask:now, which connects individuals and companies with experts from different professional groups. With ask:now, Now:Group will take the sharing and gig economy to the next level – and beyond – enabling individuals and smaller companies to buy spare capacity from experts in different sectors. The company has developed the platform in collaboration with The Cloud People based on the Google Cloud Platform.
ask:now aims to connect people and small businesses that need on-demand assistance with expert consultancy and service providers.
Inspired by a digital doctor’s visit
John Minkhe got the idea when he consulted a doctor digitally via the Kry platform. “Why are doctors the only professionals you can contact for immediate needs, on demand? Why can’t you do the same with lawyers, civil engineers, Java developers, architects, HR experts and others,” he wondered. This was how the Now:Group was established in 2020, comprising Minkhe, Fredrik von Homeyer and David Hellström.
In a few months, the start-up company, which is based in Idre in Dalarna in central Sweden, will launch its first service: ask:now. ask:now aims to connect people and small businesses that need on-demand assistance with expert consultancy and service providers.
“For example, small companies looking for help with recruitment can consult experts at ask:now and we will draw up an agreement on prices, services and delivery times. ask:now connects the supplier with the customer and arranges an agreement and payment services,” explains Fredrik von Homeyer.
“Many services offer to connect you with consultancy and services providers, but none of them handle the entire process from A to Z. But we do.”
Companies looking for help with recruitment can consult experts at ask:now and will draw up an agreement on prices, services and delivery times.
Von Homeyer says that all the suppliers on the platform are quality-assured and vetted. We have senior consultants and experts in various fields. ask:now covers most types of needs for on-demand help. “The service also enables consultancy firms such as CGI to sell available capacity on an hourly basis, easily and efficiently,” von Homeyer continues. Anyone can use the service, but he believes that the concept will be of more interest to local authorities, small businesses and individuals.
Spotter - The swiss army knife
ask:now will be the first service to be launched by Now:Group. While developing ask:now, the Now founders identified a gap in the market for more on-demand services. They decided to bundle all the services on one platform and developed Spotter – a toolbox platform that can be used to develop a number of future-oriented services.
ask:now is based on the Spotter platform, which Now:Group has developed together with The Cloud People based on the Google Cloud Platform.
Jimmie Odelius, functional architect at The Cloud People, explains why the Google Cloud Platform was the natural choice for Now:Group and the Spotter platform.
“The Google Cloud Platform is a highly functional and flexible cloud platform. You can take top-level services in many different directions, without us having to spend a lot of time connecting everything up,” says Odelius.
“We checked out Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform and concluded that Google Cloud was the best fit for our needs. It was Google who recommended that we work with The Cloud People,” says von Homeyer before adding:
“The Cloud People are a fantastic, highly professional and personable team. We also discovered that we share a similar corporate culture, and the way The Cloud People supply their consultants – using the Smart Resourcing concept – is similar to how we develop our services, such as ask:now.
“Right from the start, we have enjoyed a very close partnership and an open dialogue. This has helped us develop our digital platform and the business,” Homeyer continues.
– What new services can we expect from the Spotter platform?
“We are currently launching meet:now on the market through a pilot with a Swedish insurance company. And we are working on a third concept, square:now,” Homeyer answers.
Meet:Now is an on-demand video conferencing service similar to services we are all familiar with such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. The big difference, and what makes Meet:Now attractive to many users, is that users do not need to identify themselves, nor is any personal data stored. This avoids a major privacy and GDPR headache for many businesses and public-sector organisations.
“You get a link to the conference by e-mail, QR code or text message, which you click to join the meeting. When the meeting is over, all data is deleted. There is no need to worry about privacy legislation and GPDR,” explains Homeyer.
“Our simple and GDPR-compliant way to communicate via Meet:Now appeals to both non-IT-experts and organisations that do not want to process personal information,” says John Minkhe, CTO of Now:Group.
He explains that Square:Now focuses on free space and allows people who have available space, land and premises to find people and companies with an on-demand – short-term and immediate – need for the same. For example, a contractor who needs land for temporary modular accommodation, a boat owner looking for somewhere to store their boat or someone searching for a temporary warehouse.
Square:Now focuses on free space and allows people who have available space, land and premises to find people and companies with an on-demand – short-term and immediate