VonageFlow, the Next Evolution

by Dave Michels

Vonage introduced a new workstream collaboration app called VonageFlow.

“Now, Vonage Business Cloud users can leverage team messaging, file sharing, SMS and voice, available across any device, and can integrate directly with the capabilities of Business Inbox, including social messaging via Facebook, available in beta.”

Zeus Kerravala writes about it on NoJitter:

  • Through a single interface, users can answer customer requests, collaborate with co-workers, and provide a quick response from any location without having to leave the screen or app in which they’re working.
  • VonageFlow shows a user all messages, color-coded by type.
  • The current release will integrate SMS, native VonageFlow messaging, and Facebook Messenger, with others coming soon.

My TalkingPointz on VonageFlow:

  1. Workstream collaboration is not an if, but a when. Every organization will eventually adopt an enterprise-wide solution for workstream collaboration/team collaboration. We are still early, but there’s plenty of evidence to support this conclusion. From consumer adoption of messaging apps, to Slack’s valuation, to Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Cisco entering the space. Messaging is the result of an always-connected society.
  2. Zeus wrote that Vonage is late to the game, but I disagree. Workstream Collaboration is still in the first innings. There’s certainly a lot of drama in this space, but the vast majority of enterprises are still on the sidelines.
  3. The concept of workstream collaboration continues to evolve. VonageFlow is likely the first workstream solution that supports SMS. This is a significant development.
  4. There are three major forms of universal communications today: The PSTN (telephone numbers), SMS, and email (I dropped Fax from the list).
  5. We are still likely a few years from any meaningful metrics on productivity or market share. The vast majority of organizations are not yet using these tools -at least not effectively or enterprise-wide. I still expect more providers to introduce messaging apps as well as some inevitable mergers and acquisitions.
  6. In personal communications, we mostly communicate with groups or circles, so we can be happy and content with a closed-proprietary solution such as WhatsApp. In the consumer space, there is a strong move away from these universal communications tools.
  7. This is not the case with business communications. Businesses can’t restrict themselves to existing circles. They must expand their circles with new interactions.
  8. SMS is a big deal. My UCaaS number supports SMS, and I’m surprised how many text messages I get. I have never presented that my number supports text messages, evidently it’s just assumed. This causes me to wonder how many messages are never received because so many (business) numbers don’t support SMS.
  9. The biggest complaint I hear about workstream collaboration is the lack of interoperability and support for external participants. Conversation tools should be limited to internal discussions.

This is why I think Vonage is on to something by combining Team Collaboration with SMS in VonageFlow.

Vonage is on to a lot of things, it’s hard to keep up with them. VonageFlow is just this week’s example. The Vonage Business Cloud is the newest UCaaS solution in the industry, built for public cloud infrastructure, with a microservices architecture. Before that, Vonage separately announced partnerships with both Amazon (Chime) and Facebook (Workplace). The company has its own bot framework, Vee. Vonage is burning the contact center candle from two ends: packaged app (CXOne) and build-your-own with Nexmo. It’s using its own CPaaS to make its own apps better.

Now, it’s doing the same dual strategy with workstream collaboration with its Workplace by Facebook integration and VonageFlow.