Of course, investors, always very versatile, could easily fall in love with Slack. Slack still needs to generate profits and is facing competition from Microsoft's Discussion Service, Teams, included in Office 365, Microsoft's flagship offering in workplace productivity, as well as to its more competitive competitors. little ones like Flock and Mattermost.
But Slack's public listing followed two less successful but equally successful business-to-business IPOs, Zoom in Videoconferencing in April and Network and Security Company Fastly in May. Together, these IPOs suggest that even the consumer technology market is dominated by Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.
When Slack launched its chat application in 2013, its most direct competitor was HipChat, manufactured by Atlassian, which had a successful IPO in 2015. The use of Slack quickly surpassed the use of HipChat and Atlassian HipChat with shutters last year focus on other products. But he has also competed with many other workplace communication tools, from e-mail to social networking, to old intranets. The zoom goes hand in hand with Cisco's well-established WebEx. We quickly found a market despite the competition from Akamai. It is difficult to find similar examples among mainstream technologies, where new competitors tend to sell their products to large groups or to remain perpetual.
For example, Facebook has purchased Instagram and WhatsApp before one or the other of these applications represents a real challenge to Mark Zuckerberg's empire. In 2010, Facebook launched Check-In, which looked like Foursquare. The service did not work, but Foursquare has not ended up being a real rival on Facebook either. More recently, Facebook has added the Similar to Snapchat The stories contain information on Instagram and Lens's similar features to the traditional Facebook service. While online dating sites such as Tinder or Bumble are becoming a common way to connect, Facebook has been deployed dating features in some countries.
There are many mergers and acquisitions in the B2B market, partly driven by Google's cloud divisions and Amazon. But the apparent success of Slack, Zoom and Fastly shows that this is not the only option for companies in the technology sector of the company.
One of the features common to all three is their business model. None requires potential customers to go through a complex sales process to start using their products, or through a large sales team to sell these products. Slack and Zoom offer free versions that everyone can start using immediately. You only need to pay when you start to need a lot of users or advanced features. You can sign up for Fast with a credit card, not to mention a sales representative. This has facilitated the creation of buzz, especially with startups. Perhaps most importantly, the low barrier to entry allowed individual employees, or employee teams, to start using services, often in place of a product purchased by another person from their company.
Beyond the IPO system, other companies are using open source software to tackle the tech giants. Docker, for example, offers its free alternative to the traditional "virtual machine" software offered by VMware and Citrix, allowing developers and other technicians to experiment and build products with it, before paying for services. , support or proprietary software. . Similarly, cloud management software vendors such as Chef, Puppet and HashiCorp take companies like BMC with open source software.
Of course, the products and services of these companies must come to the point of appearing, that is to say that they will eventually pay to their bosses. Slack did this by making a workplace chat app that people actually liked to use, even though there were cheaper or better options on the market. HashiCorp and similar companies beat big players in the market. But they got their chance by speaking directly to people who use their technology, instead of purchasing managers.