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Alibaba’s enterprise chat and collaboration platform DingTalk to enter India

Alibaba groups’s SME-fouced enterprise chat and collaboration platform DingTalk has rolled out its English version that caters to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the company annouced via its news site Alizila. With this, DingTalk will reportedly expand its presence in India as well. All enterprise messaging apps are now Slack competitors, so this is another addition.

The website Alizila writes that DingTalk is rolling it out in Malaysia, and going ahead it wants to ramp up its user count in Malaysia by the end of the fiscal year ending in March.  The company is also considering launching in other Southeast Asian countries, and is also developing a Japanese-language version currently.

The platform enables one-on-one and group chats, as well as audio and video conferencing and integration with clients’ internal email systems.  The platform can also be used for cloud-based customer relationship management, approval processing and document storage.

DingTalk was started three years ago and since then it was available in China in Chinese language. The platform claims to have 5 million business and organization clients till date.

Besides the chat app, DingTalk also has a range of hardware for SMES, and also has an Open Platform that allows third-party developers to build related services that work within DingTalk and help support different business functions for SMEs. For example, there is a travel app that books and pays for plane tickets, rather than employees paying first and expensing later.

Competition

Dingtalk will be largely competing with biggies likes Microsoft, Google, Slack, Yammer, Avamoo, Flock amongst others.

Facebook: Note that, social media major and WhatsApp owner Facebook too has an enterprise based social media and chat service ‘Facebook at Work which was launched in October 2016. Facebook also has a messenger app called Workplace Chat on Android which allows co-workers to message each other individually, participate in group chats, share photos and videos, make voice calls, and even use stickers.

Google: Remember that Google already has Google Apps, which is a suite of services including domains, messaging, chat, email, sites, among other things, linked to a marketplace of paid services which are used by SMEs alot.

From an Indian perspective, a mobile-based enterprise communication platform Noticeboard raised an undisclosed amount of funding in September 2017, from former Myntra CTO Shamik Sharma and TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishna. The app essentially helps ground teams- most of them who do not have email adresses as well- to have a real-time flow of feedback, updates, share photos and files, create polls, quizzes, polls, events, and other items of notice. Managers can onboard their team members in two steps onto the app through their email IDs or mobile phone numbers.

In July 2017, Microsoft launched Kaizala, an enterprise messaging app which has been optimized for 2G networks and for users in remote locations along with offline support features, aimed at Indian market. It terms of scale, before rolling out Kaizala, the company did its pilot with Indian organization like YES Bank, Apollo Telemedicine, Republic TV, United Phosphorous Limited and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.

Chandigarh-based Jugnoo recently entered business services and communication segment with its suite of SasS apps.

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