After Facebook announced that its Workplace product now has over three million paying subscribers on the platform Comms Business decided to track down boutique Workplace provider Coolr to see what their CEO and founder Adam Clyne had to report
Comms Business Magazine (CMB): What is this huge growth in Workplace users down to?
Adam Clyne (AC): The growth of workplace is down to a few different key aspects.
It fulfils the promise where I think many other companies have rolled out systems, with the best of intentions, which didn’t live up to the promise. Workplace lives up to the promise of amazing communication, collaboration and creating this network effect.
The second thing that’s driving a lot of the growth is connecting the disconnected. One of the big questions in the market is how you reach workforces who have often been ignored or who are just not part of the internal communication ecosystem, because they didn’t have email addresses, didn’t have access to Office 365 or their job is not in front of a computer screen. When you think about the people in retail, people in manufacturing, people in restaurants, cleaners in hotels etc there are these huge numbers of employees who are what we call disconnected., We are now able to connect them to Workplace, and it’s a completely different experience for employees.
The third thing is the momentum on the product, I think that when people are thinking about whether to go with a new platform, they want to see if it works for a similar business in their sector. Workplace is now proving again and again that it works in every different category vertical and sector. All kinds of top tier hero brands are playing on Workplace and it has captured people’s interest.
CBM: What does the Facebook brand bring and how important is Workplace to the Group?
AC: Workplace has the added benefit of the Facebook brand behind it which comes with all those key learnings about how to make a product people want to keep revisiting and that does what it’s meant to. I think that the Facebook aspect is a huge advantage because you’ve also got this universe of engineers, some of the best on the planet, working on the product.
The product is strategically important to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg spoke about it at F8, the big developer conference, last year. He spoke about it being on the roadmap for Facebook, so it’s not a thing that they are playing around with.
CBM: Are you coming up against Microsoft Teams often?
AC: I think they do different things. Part of the work that we do is figuring out, for large organisations, how they use Teams versus how they use Workplace. Most of our customers are on Office 365 in some form or another. Whether they use Teams, or whether they use Teams for a specific function is often the conversation. Going back to the disconnected workforces, they may not be on Office 365, they will not have an Office 365 licence. Sometimes we find that some departments want to run a project on Teams, or another collaboration platform. But what we often say is when the company comes together as a whole, and to have a conversation as one, the network effect happens on Workplace, you don’t get that anywhere else.
CBM: Should the Channel be more aware of Workplace?
AC: I think people should be curious about Workplace, I think that if they’re not quite ready or they don’t know what it is, they should find out and have a look at it. The Channel should know about it, what I mean by that is that customers will be hearing about it, they will be hearing the big buzz, and the Channel has a responsibility to know and understand that buzz and what kind of conversations their clients are having. While they might be pushing or talking about other products, the end customer might be thinking and exploring Workplaces. I think they should be interested about what it is and what the differences are, how it works, and what the opportunities are.
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