In response to the emerging threats coming along with larger tech giants, Teambition chose to survive at the cost of giving up all the advantages in the enterprise instant messaging area. If there is a common worry to most OA and IM providers, and even the SaaS industry in China, it must be the internet supergiants keeping offering free instant-communication tools.
DingTalk, an intelligent multi-sided platform created by the Aliabab Group, announced multiple smart devices on Nov. 19, 2017. And in order to keep the very beginning mind itself, as what the CEO Chen Hang said, DingTalk will help all enterprise customers upgrade to the intelligent mobile office systems, importantly, free no charge.
Enterprise instant-communication service was still a wasteland until the Slack real-time collaboration app and platform was launched in February 2014, which attracted 8,000 companies to create accounts in the first 24 hours. Seeing the huge market opportunity, many Chinese SaaS companies started jumping into the spree of developing communication modules.
In December of that year, DingTalk 1.0.0 (beta) was released.
“How Teambition is differentiated from DingTalk? This was what we had to keep explaining to our customers as well as ourselves,” said Qi Junyuan, the CEO of Teambition.
Free enterprise instant messaging software become a huge threat to other smaller OA and IM companies, or even the SaaS industry.
“The instant-communication industry has been in winter for a while. And only a small part of SaaS providers in some vertical industries successfully survived from the fierce competition,” according to the CEO of an enterprise information management software—Ming Dao.
Facing the strong internet companies continuely killing the market space, China’s small to medium SaaS providers have no choice but to blaze a new path.
In a spoiled market, investing in software differentiation seems to be the safest way out. Understand this, Teambition opened the source code of its team communication tool—Jian Liao. In other words, it gave up the competitive advantage in enterprise instant messaging area, for better focusing on the development of collaboration tools.
“It’s not easy to do the decision. But considering the potential opportunity for IM and OA systems to be a standard for most enterprises, and which is unlikely to be commercialized, we believe that developing collaboration tools like Treambition’s Asana, Jira and Trello is more possible to get succeed in the long run, ” said Qi Junyuan.
Winning the market by simply pouring money into it is shortsighted. SaaS market has its own internal rules of development, and only a company with quality products and services can has the last laugh. Different from consumer-goods market, SaaS industry features a slower iteration, averagely reaching 2 or 3 years. Namely, a SaaS service should balance demands from both new customers and old users. So, companies have to invest more time as well as efforts into the product logic and design.