Corporate mobile messaging may get makeover
BYOD is a favorite topic of anyone involved in mobile IT, especially discussions about whether it's a passing fad, here to stay or already DOA. Jim Patterson, formerly of Yammer, believes BYOD is so vital to the way we work that he's built an entire business around it.
Patterson recently launched Cotap, a startup that allows co-workers to message each other across their own mobile devices without sharing personal contact information. One way he's getting buy-in from companies is to poke holes in many of the common myths surrounding BYOD in the corporate environment.
Patterson says that the fundamental issues surrounding BYOD are irrelevant when it comes down to brass tacks. Platforms don't really matter, whether the phone is company-purchased or bought by the individual isn't an issue, and so on. At the end of the day, he says it's all about making communication between devices possible.
"In 2008, we saw the emergence of social networking and its important place in the future as a powerful way for people to connect," Patterson tells Forbes. "Today, there's a similar narrative in mobile messaging. Mobile apps are starting to look a lot like social networks." Patterson is banking on that idea--thanks to a $5.5 million Series A round of funding.
Some estimates put the number of BYOD organizations upwards of 80 percent so it's great to see enterprise apps getting away from being so platform-centric. There are surely a few hurdles to overcome, however, before apps like Cotap gain widespread adoption. Once issues like how to protect against spoofed email addresses (Cotap requires a company email address to set up), get past corporate firewalls and guard against data loss are addressed, corporate messaging could take on a whole new look.