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Each week I share my 1-1 PowerTalk conversations with the movers and shakers in the world of business, economics and policy with subscribers to my investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits. Ever since PowerTalk began, I’ve spoken with a number of companies that are benefitting from the shift toward mobile, as well as the productivity driver that is connectivity. Being able to share information is a driving force in this connected and increasingly mobile world, not only for the enterprise market, but also for the consumer. We’re seeing companies like Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Box and others bring collaboration services to market, but collaboration also raises security concerns, particularly for the business community. On the consumer side, companies like Snapchat and Glide, along with Facebook’s Instagram and Twitter’s (TWTR) Vine applications, are riding the transition from voice and text to video and video chat.
Imagine if there was one company that did all of this — and it worked no matter where your data was stored and no matter what device or platform you were using, whether Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android or a Microsoft Windows-powered smartphone or tablet. Well there is, and it’s called Moxtra. In many ways, Moxtra is set to do to collaboration what Blackberry (BBRY) first did for email.
In this episode of PowerTalk I was joined by Subrah Iyar, the former co-founder and CEO of WebEx Communications. He served as that company’s chairman and CEO through its IPO and 2007 acquisition by Cisco Systems for $3.2 billion. Subrah and I talked about his latest company, Moxtra, a technology company focusing on productivity and collaboration solutions. Given the recent acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, the growing push by Google into the enterprise and Blackberry’s traction with its BBM messenger service, Subrah’s comments and insights are rather timely.
Subrah, after your success with Webex — the initial public offering and eventual sale to Cisco Systems — what drew you to Moxtra?
Two elements: First I started as an investor/mentor to some prior Webex employees led by Moxtra co-founder Stanley Huang. Second: I was intrigued/inspired by their work in mobility and trying to figure out what collaboration paradigm works in the mobile realm.
As we become increasingly connected, what’s the pain point that Moxtra is addressing for both businesses and consumers alike?
Our pain point is that as users adopt an increasingly mobile lifestyle, they want to stay engaged, deliver projects, and be in constant communication with others. Moxtra focuses on providing a complete mobile service for such users by providing a power messaging service combined with binders of shared content. The power messaging service provides is very rich interactive communication services on top of binders that help collect the content that is shared during such projects.
With so many standalone services from messaging apps and cloud services like DropBox, Sugar Sync as well as offerings from Google, Apple and Amazon.com, how is Moxtra different?
The team behind Moxtra knows productivity’s dirty little secret: all of the tools designed to streamline productivity (Evernote, Google Docs, Webex, etc.) actually hinder it, because you have to use them in tandem. Moxtra proves less is more by combining the core features of the most popular collaboration tools into a free, single service – offering video, chat and collaboration tools in one place.
It’s a service for power users to collaborate around projects. Moxtra is repository agnostic in contrast with repository services such as DropBox, Google, Amazon.com etc. Different from messaging services, Moxtra provides very rich interactive tools – including a full-fledged conferencing capability targeted at power users working on a project.
Some companies are making a move to offer more services, such as voice and text. Case in point, one can make a voice call today through Facebook and Facebook will be extending that to WhatsApp. How does Moxtra look to stay ahead in a crowded landscape?
Services such as Facebook are targeted at messaging for relating. Again, our differentiation is in providing a complete, well-rounded service (which no other platform provides) for project-based mobile content collaboration.