I scan over 1,000 news headlines a day when I am not traveling and without a doubt the most popular tech topic in the mainstream media these days is Twitter. David Pogue from the New York Times has even devoted TV airtime to the topic on CNBC and it seems everyone is experimenting with using the service. Then there is the talk of leading social network Facebook modifying its homepage to take on Twitter and Google purchasing Twitter to show ads on all those tweets people send regarding their hunger status and other innocent facts which you wouldn’t imagine anyone would take the time to share or read about.
It makes you think long and hard about how companies are integrating consumer technologies like Twitter into their marketing. Dell for example credits Twitter for millions of dollars in sales. Many companies in fact have embraced Twitter and the trend is not slowing down. But it isn’t just Twitter which companies must integrate with. Just as Twitter is an outgrowth of text messaging, companies too must adapt to the new world where their employees will use texting to communicate with the teens and twentysomethings making up the world’s big spenders.
One company, Tango Networks is focusing on helping companies with the integration task of getting text messaging to work more seamlessly with corporate IM and phone systems. On a recent trip to the company’s Texas headquarters I spent some time with Al Leo – Vice President Business Development and Sales and Bill Young – Director of Product Marketing to get an update on what the company is up to. First off it is worth noting the company wants to be known as the best FMC solution in the world and they are one of the only companies looking to solve the integration challenges of fixed-mobile convergence from all angles. They focus on the benefits to carriers, the enterprise and the end-users as well. Most other solutions out there focus on one or two these areas.
To be quite honest it is a major challenge to do FMC well if you don’t focus on all parts of the equation. After all, to get mobile devices to work with corporate PBXs in a way which increases functionality, lowers costs and doesn’t complicate the user experience takes lots of planning and integration. This all-encompassing approach however is also a challenge to the company as carriers are notorious for bleeding tech companies dry and leaving them stranded to wither away and die.
That is perhaps why the company is also working with equipment and software providers like Microsoft and Cisco to make sure their solutions work with solutions prevalent in enterprise environments.
Similar to what the company does with SMS, it also allows enterprise calling line ID to appear in the place of Caller ID and messaging. In addition they have integrated presence with device location which opens up the ability to provide enhanced services which are based on phone location. For example, ensuring calls do not ring the phone between 12:00 AM and 7:00 AM regardless of time zone or the ability to locate the nearest doctor to an accident.
The company is looking to multimedia and the femtocell markets as natural places to grow and although this is a tough financial environment for startups, they company seem confident about their future. Based on today’s funding news it does seem companies with good ideas can still get money.
Asked how the economy is affecting them they responded that they have seen decision processes slow but they haven’t been shelved.
The way I see it as more companies embrace the latest technology to stay competitive, FMC should be on more and more short lists. In addition, one can only imagine companies will begin to realize that they need to deal with rogue texting going on between their employees and their customers. They will need to take control of corporate text messaging the way they have done with corporate voicemail and email.
As these trends continue, the need for FMC and corporate texting solutions should only increase. Agree or disagree? Be sure to check me out on Twitter and send me a tweet.