UK video challenger set to take on the collaboration big boys
atap2chat is a web real time communication collaboration software product. The owners describe the collaboration challenger as fast, reliable secure video meetings that are only one tap away. The product requires no download and starting a video meeting is as easy as sharing a link.
Within atap2chat, you can record meetings, revise documents, share your screen and capture signatures in a secure video meeting room all without clunky downloads. Built in a SIP interface, you can make calls through the atap2chat by linking into your current phone system.
The free version of atap2chat includes audio, chat, video & file uploads. Pro and enterprise versions are available and include screen sharing, annotations, signature capture, SIP connects to cloud phone systems and white labelling.
The app is available to resellers where phone system suppliers and managed service providers can instantly add a video conferencing app to their portfolio. End users across all verticals are able to purchase atap2chat too via the website.
Webbox Ltd, which is co-owned by Fabio Mazzieri and Jon Hunter and based in Macclesfield, have created atap2chat which is a real time annotation and video collaboration software product.
Webbox Ltd won the NECBA Silver award for Start-Up Business of the year 2018. Webbox Ltd made the Web Summit Alpha Program in 2018, where 2000 worldwide start-up businesses were selected from 20,000 applicants. Webbox Ltd specialise in SIP, VoIP and WebRTC software products.
I met with Fabio to hear more about atap2chat and see how the startup differs to competitors in a market full of heavy hitters like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.
I asked Fabio why now is the right time to enter the Video Conferencing as-a-Service (VCaaS) market and what atap2chat was offering that was different to the usual suspects.
“There are a lot of big players throwing money at video conferencing. We’re built and hosted in Britain which provides us the right format to enter the marketplace”
“There are so many companies that are large players but we’re coming at it from a different angle. We’re not just an out of the box product that is highly regulated by the big boys. atap2chat is not restricted and we can customise and add bespoke aspects to your video conferencing software.
We’ve done a lot of research and know WebRTC is in its ascendancy. It’s only a matter of time before it booms in the UK, like it has in the US. The price point, freemium product and the unique feature of signature capture make us stand out”.
I reflected on the crazy reality that sales teams could share their screen on a conferencing app and agree in principle that everything was okay, only to have to email the contract or order form, then wait for the signatory to check their email when you had them on the phone. Signature capture is a truly unique selling point.
The big boy mentality is a reality too. Just because you choose Microsoft or Cisco doesn’t mean these platforms are bulletproof. But, it does mean you are restricted to functionality that they can either roll out of phase out.
Zoom is generally considered as the biggest pureplay video vendor challenging Microsoft and Cisco. I asked Fabio what the aspirations for atap2chat were. Proving there is no harm in dreaming big, Fabio referenced a future state where team members use the phrase “tap2chat me” like how Skype and Slack are informally used as verbs.
“It would be great to be recognised as a real challenger to the dominant players in the video market. Flattery aside, that’s what we’re aiming for”
Starting as a freemium product, atap2chat has a niche route into large businesses where people start using free tools because their value the user experience. As shadow IT becomes the norm, apps like Slack have transformed from the disruptor to the selected tool for collaboration in even the largest of companies. Fabio said “Having a freemium option gets people used to the look and feel and the features available. It seems madness to give away the product but then there is the option for pro and enterprise when the use cases arise for additional features”.
I asked Fabio why atap2chat is focused solely on WebRTC and if there is there a danger of not having a mobile app. Personally, I’d rather use the Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Meetings app than get to it on my mobile browser.
“We’ve heavily researched app usage across industries. Generally, people don’t like having to download and use new apps. With HTML5, you can save the link on your home page of your iOS or Android device. It becomes a saved product where you can setup the meeting. We wanted to come away from a world where people needed to rush around and be late for a meeting just because they were on the move and didn’t have sufficient connectivity to get connected”.
Ultimately, joining a meeting at 2.59pm for 3pm is going to result in starting at 3.10pm or without you if you need to mess around with downloading apps, resetting passwords and contacting your admin. With the HTML5 benefit, you can almost create your own DYI app store without using up valuable storage on your device.
I asked more about the research and customer feedback that atap2chat has gained. “We’ve had feedback from a group of 100,000+ freemium users. This is vital for product development. When you’re the user as well as the developer, it’s easy to get lost and use workarounds. But we’ve had the honest feedback and gone through iterations to get to the point where we are today”.
Learning about atap2chat through Fabio, it’s refreshing to see a UK challenger in the VCaaS space. I’m going to register and have a play around now. Visit their webpage for registration details.