Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, … Internet giants' ambitions to the telecommuting market

来源 / 雷锋网

作者 / 杨   丽

Every trial of Internet giants in the To B field will make the service providers on each track nervous.

Uh uh ... "We don't do SaaS business, let our partners do it ...", "We will do SaaS in our own field, but it does not mean that we are not really working with other SaaS vendors ...", "We Don't touch the application without touching the data ... "

The epidemic caught everyone off guard, but at the same time it confirmed the fact that there is nothing giant can't do, only what it doesn't want to do.

In February, Baidu opened its internal collaboration tool "Baidu Hi"; Dingtalk launched the 5.0 version and opened the private domain traffic pool; ByteDance's  Feishu successively launched Feishu conferences and Feishu documents; on March, Kingsoft Office announced that its monthly active users exceeded 239 million; Sohu's "Xiao E" and Pinduoduo's "knock" also entered the telecommuting market; Tencent Meeting opened the API interface; on April, Huawei Cloud also announced smart screen on the basis of the main enterprise collaboration Welink; Alibaba Cloud video conference app is also launched.

After the holiday, there are 300 million people that start to work from home in the first week. If the epidemic has boosted a short-term boom for telecommuting, which changes company's work and communication model, then an unexpected wave of traffic dividends has once again stimulated the Internet giant's ambition to expand in the To B field.

Focus on the video conferencing market

From the perspective of market, Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei seem to put their focus on the video conferencing market.

Facts also prove that under various Internet marketing methods, these giants' SaaS products have gained a large number of fans in a short time.

Take Dingtalk as an example. On March 10, major universities across the country started classes online. The Dingtalk server collapsed, and users switched from one-star reviews to five-star reviews.

Subsequently, UNESCO recommended a list of applications and platforms to elementary school students around the world, and Dingtalk became the preferred platform for video conferencing, live teaching and team collaboration.

However, Dingtalk does not only seek C-end user traffic, and the focus on private domain traffic made Dingtalk 5.0 successfully enter the market. According to Luo Feng, the person in charge of Dingtalk, the origin of the circle is to help small and medium-sized teaching institutions to complete teaching tasks.

But in fact, the circle does not limit the industry to the education field. It scope is expanded to different industries, different people, different fields, and even anyone can conduct efficient and transparent private domains, traffic precipitation, management, operation, and sharing in the Dingtalk circle, such as customer operations, business extensions, and even making friends.

At the end of December last year, the upgrade of WeChat Work 3.0 also promoted the three functions: customer contact, customer group and customer circle of friends. WeChat Work can directly add WeChat friends, employees and customers, which can complete cross-border communication on different platforms, while also provide customers with professional services.

In this set of actions, both of them use the most direct and best way to amplify the B-end ecological potential energy.

Establish a relatively strong cooperative relationship

Another strategy of the Internet giants is to try to establish a relatively strong cooperative relationship with the ISVs through the ecological alliance.

Since Alibaba launched the SaaS accelerator and Tencent launched "Qianfan Plan" in 2019, Huawei and ByteDance's Feishu have also followed in the recruitment of ecological partners. Huawei Cloud has built its own cloud service through Kunpeng ecosystem, and launched Kunpeng Lingyun Ecological Partner Program; Feishu has started online recruitment since February this year, attracting many lightweight tool product innovation teams.

In fact, these Internet giants who focus on To B field call it as ecology is because it is impossible for them to gain all the enterprise service markets, but whether they do well or not is determined by the ecological rule-makers.

Take Dingtalk as an example, as the ace player of Alibaba's To B, it has won 10 million users in the China's SME market.

Dingtalk belongs to the Alibaba Cloud intelligent business group. According to the report, Dingtalk has close cooperation with the group departments of Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba DAMO Academy, Alipay, and Alibaba Enterprise Intelligence. Meanwhile, it also acquired some SaaS companies such as Umeng and Teambion, and strategically invested some companies including Tsign.

Taking Dingtalk as a platform and leveraging Alibaba's rich ecology, ISVs can achieve a complete commercial closed loop from R & D to deployment.

In contrast, whether Tencent without the To B gene can serve To B has attracted much attention. Even Wu Jun, a former Tencent executive, has expressed similar views.

After the adjustment of Tencent's 9.30 organizational structure, it has always understood how to use its resources. To B emphasizes sales-oriented values, customer-oriented and even personal services, which is completely different from the previous C-end product-oriented values.

Serving the B-end customers is not just selling products, it is more about educating customers, providing IT and consulting services.

This is why Tencent is trying to introduce something new in the SaaS ecological alliance. So far, there are 18 types of SaaS which have joined the "Qianfan Plan", including retail e-commerce, medical, logistics, catering, education, real estate, hotels, industry and other fields. And those companies include Kujiale, QTrade, Chaojidaogou, Xiaoe-tech, etc.

Tencent Cloud, which provides infrastructure and underlying technology with WeChat, WeChat Work and Tencent Meeting as the front-end tentacles, has also been significantly promoted in revenue.

Tencent Cloud's revenue exceeds 17 billion yuan in 2019, and its main service industries have gradually expanded from the original smart retail, games, and financial technology to Internet services, tourism, life services, industry, and government affairs.

Upgrade to service platforms that cross enterprise and cross organization 

In fact, the earliest IM tools for solving the efficiency of enterprise internal communication and customer relationship management have now evolved into cross-enterprise and cross-organization service platforms.

For example, during the epidemic, the surge in communication demand caused almost all video conferencing products to usher a short-term boom. The obvious characteristics of Internet products can also be found, such as "high frequency", "popular", and "just needed" .

To a large extent, Internet companies including ByteDance's Feishu hope to enter the B-end market by its own C-end advantage.

Unlike the above-mentioned Dingtalk and WeChat Work, Feishu itself does not have a customer base in the traditional enterprise market. The previous service experience of Lark's overseas version also gave Feishu a distinct overseas SaaS presence.

ByteDance has successively invested and acquired many SaaS application companies such as Shimo, Jianguoyun, Sortime, MuBu, etc. And its layout in all aspects of the To B field is basically driven by intelligent recommendation algorithms.

It is worth mentioning that ByteDance changed its leader in March and the original Xigua Video president Zhang Nan served as the head of Feishu. In the short video field, he has the absolute advantage, and how to combine his advantage with Feishu is worth the wait.

Welink, which was commercialized by Huawei Cloud at the end of 2019, is considered as a landmark move into SaaS.

Xue Hao, vice president of Huawei Cloud and president of connectivity and collaboration business, pointed out that WeLink will mainly be a public cloud in terms of deployment. It is also making some preparations about the private cloud, hoping to deploy WeLink through HCS (Hybrid Cloud Solution).

As for the main business of the service, Huawei Cloud is more focused on business-critical customers of large-scale government and enterprises. This also allows Huawei Cloud to have the style of traditional software companies when building an ecosystem.

In July 2019, Huawei Cloud announced the "Kunpeng Lingyun Plan", and a total of 25 industry application software companies joined in the plan, such as Yonyou, Kingdee and so on.

In addition to taking the made-in-China route, software vendors will further apply Huawei's cloud computing, database, operating system, chips, etc. to a wide range of solutions and scenarios. This is actually what Alibaba and Tencent plan to do.

As for Baidu, its boom in the ToB market, it was still July 2019. It was when Tencent invested in EC to increase sales, Alibaba's Dingtalk and Shenma Search cooperated to launch marketing CRM. The launch of Baidu CRM product Aifanfan attracted ISV vendors such as HC Network and Hecom. In addition, Baidu has also invested in HAND Enterprise, which owns financial SaaS.

However, Baidu's To B prefers AI to B. That is, after the AI and cloud technology system is fully integrated, AI and cloud technology will be integrated in Apollo, DuerOS, Baidu Brain AI open platform, and they will be packaged and sold to customers.

Since the epidemic, Baidu has launched its internal collaboration tool "Baidu Hi", which adds multi-entry and quick access to the meeting functions to support 520 people audio and video conferences. At the same time, it also tries to combine its accumulated marketing data advantages with it.

Telecommuting ushers a short-term boom due to the epidemic, which makes collaborative tools including documents, storage, video conferencing and so on become popular. However, the traffic is what the Internet giants chasing?

In the United States, the vast majority of enterprise service products are actually lightweight tools. Coupled with the function of collaboration, they form a product market in vertical industries.

In China, the habit of work and life forms a collaborative relationship chains on QQ or WeChat. It took many years for Dingtalk to develop a pool of tens of millions of users. It is exploring new ways of community operation (such as circles) to reshape the relationship chain, while Feishu, Welink, and Baidu Hi are just beginning, which have not yet seen a distinct advantage. From a certain perspective, the Chinese Internet company's To B essentially still wants to activate from the community and promote ecology. So, the competition of To B entrepreneurs on this track may be fierce.

In terms of market value, the To B software companies including Yonyou, Kingdee, and Neusoft, ect., their market value adds up to only half of Adobe, and Adobe is still not the top enterprise software company in the United States. 

At present, what the Internet giants form are still a general-purpose tool, and it may take a lot of time for them to study in order to enter a vertical field.

Most enterprise users' perception of telecommuting is still at the level of IM, email, collaborative documents, mobile approval, and even far underestimates the "ambitions" of Internet giants, telecommuting is only a part of the iceberg of enterprise digitalization. And giants also need to lead the user market.

This is an article from WeChat official accounts Leifengwang (ID: leiphone-sz), written by Yang Li, translated by Chris Yuan.