Market Segmentation in Business Communications
From the ‘necessary evil’ of email, to the right collaboration platform: our choices today
According to Rasmus Holst, the Chief Revenue Officer at Wire, we still can’t get away from email entirely, in 2019.
“There are really two federated systems in the world. One is SMS, and the other is email”, he explained. And email is the human-readable, searchable unique identifier, which allows us to contact anybody in the world. “That’s both the curse and the blessing of email”.
However with its 40 year legacy, email has its problems.
“75% of the web is spam email, because anyone can find your email address”
“91% of cybersecurity attacks, from phishing to malware to ransomware, they start with email… So while email is there to communicate, it’s also become a massive threat”.
So the way that senior executives think about communications for both external and internal interactions is definitely changing.
We have to have a way for people to reach us from the outside world, but as Holst points out, we have had to put so many layers and filters and firewalls on top of it that were never part of its original design, and compromise both the usability and functionality of our email clients.
New tools for a new era
Collaboration platforms came along relatively recently and have better security technology built in from the start, but even they are subject to generational effects in this rapidly-moving space. Wire learned lessons from other online security breaches and shifts in public awareness about privacy and behavioural surplus, and built to specifically target the security-first mindset.
Because what we are seeing now is a natural – and welcome – evolution of the collaboration platform marketplace, as providers carve out different specialist territories, in the face of ever growing uptake.
“If you want everything bundled in one place, you go the Microsoft Teams route”, Holst explained, “which is always going to be right for some organisations. Or, if you want something all-inclusive which integrates with everything, that aims to replace email entirely and have a million add-ons, then there’s Slack.
“With Wire, cybersecurity and compliance are the fundamental drivers. Absolutely minimising the surface of attack. So there’s room for at least 3 different value propositions right there”
Wire is, unsurprisingly, building market share in industries where secure collaboration is the top priority, including the ability to extend guest rooms and temporary licences for external interactions – moving people away from that risky email space as quickly as possible.
Ernst and Young (EY) are white-labelling the service to their clients via an on-prem deployment hosted in EY France’s private cloud infrastructure, because it’s ideal for the highly compliance-driven M+A space.
Additionally, “lots of federal governments and their agencies, in Europe and the US. Private banks, and humanitarian organisations who have a need to obscure the locations of their workers in dangerous areas.
“Also technology companies, who recognise that their IPR is their main competitive advantage – and employ decision-makers who are particularly security-aware.”
So while we may presently be unable to escape email as the initial point of contact, the choices for organisations to manage the ongoing conversation thereafter according to their own priorities are continuing to open up and specialise.
And perhaps in the future we will finally escape the tyranny of the spam and phishing hell of our inboxes, as SMS messaging becomes truly interoperable and federated. “The MLS protocol could change everything – and at Wire we want to contribute to the industry, be involved in the standardisation of a new secure infrastructure layer”.
The changing face of business communications continues to evolve at a pace, responding to a blend of consumer demand, trends and awareness, and the boundaries of what is technologically possible.
A world without email? Now that would truly be progress.