By Mark Beccue, Senior Contributing Analyst, Compass Intelligence
The worldwide enterprise chat and messaging market will reach $1.9B by 2019, driven mainly by a changing structure of today’s workforce and the need to communicate effectively and immediately, while performing other work activities. The culture of work is changing. Today’s workforce is more dispersed. Mobile devices and ubiquitous connectivity mean workers are always on and flex time has become a norm. The number and sophistication of business applications continues to grow. There is too much data to digest. Email, the connective tissue of business communications, is beginning to fail in its critical mission as workers become overwhelmed in its volume. All of these factors slow productivity, collaboration and communication.
But now, a consumer-like sensibility and ease of use is being applied to modern work challenges. Focused on increasing productivity, collaboration and communication, chat platforms like Slack and HipChat are emerging as legitimate business application contenders in a market dominated by established powerhouses. How? Chat applications are providing easy to use searchable synchronous and asynchronous communications and file sharing/archiving for work teams. Further, like consumer chat applications WeChat and Facebook Messenger, these enterprise chat platforms offer integrations to a broad range of applications, enabling users to work in different applications without ever leaving the chat platform. Integrations to established and upstart business applications are exploding, ranging from calendar/meeting, project management and expense reporting to travel booking and CRM. Chatbots, smart applications that perform work functions and are controlled through chat interface, are bringing even more efficiencies to bear.
The terms “enterprise chat platforms“, “enterprise chat applications“, and “chat enabled collaboration” all refer to chat interface business applications used for communications, collaboration and productivity. They are typically cloud-based (though not all are) applications that can be used across desktop and mobile devices regardless of the operating system (OS). Some solutions will focus strictly on the communications function, including P2P (peer to peer) and group messaging, voice calls, teleconferencing and video/web conferencing. They will be referred to as Enterprise Messaging Applications.
Compass Intelligence estimates from 2015 state that 59% of the world population between the age of 14-65, more than 2.8 billion people, were using mobile messaging communications regularly. The number of regular messaging users as well as the volume of traffic for personal and business communications will continue to grow. This historic shift is causing a sea change across a vast range of businesses.
To learn more about this highly competitive and evolving market, check out Compass Intelligence’s latest research study, “Enterprise Chat Applications: Disruption and Innovation for Collaboration and Communications.” http://www.compassintelligence.com/uploads/2/6/7/4/26740724/enterprise_chat_platforms_execsummary_04042016.pdf