Yapmo, short for “yap mobile,” is a mobile software company providing work-flow tools to help businesses communicate more effectively and efficiently. Its flagship offering, also called Yapmo, is an internal communication program designed to replace inefficient group communications methods with something that captures the modern simplicity of unified communications and improves overall communications within a company.
TMC recently had the chance to talk with Paul Everton, CEO and co-founder of Yapmo, to discuss the mobile communications tool in greater depth.
TMC: To start, can you tell me a little bit more about Yapmo as a company? What did Yapmo set out to accomplish for enterprises when it began? Have those goals grown or changed over time?
Paul Everton: We set out to be the next generation of social enterprise tools, meaning we could create the most effective and efficient group communication for businesses. We were looking at the competitors in the space and saw their likenesses to traditional social media like Facebook and Twitter. Traditional social media sites intend to waste your time – quite frankly that’s their business model. This setup isn’t conducive for business communication. We knew we could do it better.
Our product has changed immensely from our original launch. We started out with an app designed to improve general collaboration. We’ve since learned that we need to tie into some particular business process that requires collaboration – for real estate, it’s sharing listings; for IT sales, it’s the complex customer evaluation process; for direct sales, it’s allowing corporate to communicate out to its sales force. We’ve learned key features that we need to have, such as easy external user integration, and fully API driven to integrate into any existing systems. We still aim to be the next generation of social enterprise, but now we do it in a way that is relevant and impactful to a business’ bottom line.
TMC: The latest addition to Yapmo’s offerings is a way to streamline business email, arguably one of the primary ways workers communicate in the enterprise. What problems did you find companies facing with their email systems?
PE: The average employee spends 650 hours per year on emails, and only 27 percent of those emails are relevant. Employees waste 474 hours per year, or 20 days, filtering through and reading unnecessary emails while losing sight of the most important communications. Email overload is real, with email distribution lists, replay all, and mass “’cc” as the worst offenders.
So what do you do? You can’t ban email. Email will always exist in some capacity in the workplace – it’s engrained in every employee. It’s appropriate for particular types of conversations – those that are pertinent, private, and concise. Companies should implement a resolution that more effectively communicates widespread, public, collaborative information through a more productive medium, such as a collaboration tool. We move conversations previously held in email to a more transparent environment.
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TMC: How can Yapmo help to fix the inefficiencies of email? What are the benefits?
PE: The biggest inefficiency of email is the lack of relevancy to the recipient. Yapmo targets communication to each user so that users only receive relevant notifications. Additionally, it moves some communication to a public, searchable forum for the benefit of other users. Often, if one user has a question about a policy or request for more information, other users have that same question. By moving this from a private to a public application, all employees are able to search for and learn from that post. Duplicative emails are diminished.
TMC: Considering the BYOD movement, and the shift to mobile devices in general, it makes sense for companies to find software that can help streamline mobile enterprise communications. Why is mobility so important for businesses today?
PE: Mobility is important because organizations are doing more with less people, and efficiency is paramount. Employees are bringing their personal devices into the workplace because management is expecting them to function at a high capacity in and out of the office. Employees need to be able to perform at the same level on their mobile device as they would be at their desk. BYOD is forcing employers’ hands.
TMC: Yapmo offers different versions of its solution to a variety of industries, including real estate, IT sales, direct sales, and the general enterprise. In a nutshell, can you describe how these services differ from each other? In what ways are they tailored to their markets?
PE: We have the same goal for every company that we work with, and the underlying application is standard across these industries; however, the software is malleable enough to be tailored and customized on the front end for each industry. Additionally, implementation and business process tie-in is different for each industry.
In real estate, we make it easy to share listings, vendor recommendations, referrals, and properties needed. In IT sales, we help automate the complex sales process and easily integrate external users such as customers and partner vendors. In direct sales, we make it easy for companies to push time-sensitive information such as sales incentives and product updates to a globally disperse sales force who don’t have internal email addresses. The underlying software is constant, but the application comes out of the box tailored to that particular industry solving specific business needs and saving companies millions of dollars in services around competitive solutions in order to achieve the same level of usefulness.
TMC: What results have you seen for companies that adopt your product? What has been the feedback so far for the newest email offering?
PE: With every customer that we have fully deployed, our adoption rates are 70 percent and above. We typically become the most used piece of software in their environment. We’ve been told that we have been the “most successful initiative [our customer has] ever had.”
Because Yapmo targets information for the individual, users are finding that they’re receiving significantly less notifications each day, yet each notification is directly relevant to them. They’re able to respond quickly to time-sensitive information without wasting time sifting through emails or chat messages.
Customers who received the new platform have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. We took their direct feedback from our first product and used it to make integral design and product decisions in our new release. Overall, they’re pleased with the progress we’ve made. Our results and feedback make me confident that we’re filling a need in the marketplace.
TMC: Looking ahead, where do you see Yapmo making the biggest impact? What direction do you see for enterprise communications in the future?
PE: In the enterprise communications market, email and instant messaging will remain as key players for corporate communication. But there is a middle ground between these two that companies will need for group collaboration. Applications like Yapmo will emerge as necessary mediums to increase workplace efficiency. Yapmo will make the biggest impact by adding group collaboration to business processes and other software to help streamline and make a faster feedback loop.
As the business world continues to adopt mobile technology, it becomes increasingly necessary to find mobile applications and tools that can help businesses pull all of their communication channels together. An email sent from an employee on his or her desktop should be just as accessible to an employee receiving it on a mobile device, and vice versa. With companies like Yapmo, the connected world of business is getting a lot easier to manage.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker