Last week Emergence Capital hosted the second annual Enterprise Mobile Forum at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco. Over 100 CEOs and entrepreneurs representing all aspects of the mobile landscape attended the event.
Emergence General Partner Kevin Spain kicked off the event, sharing his vision for how mobile represents the democratization of technology. For the last 20 years, nearly all innovation in enterprise technology has been focused on desk workers. However, those desk workers only represent 20% of the global workforce. With mobile, we can now address the needs of the other 80%, which represents an opportunity of over $100 billion in annual revenue. He finished his talk by sharing the three keys to success for mobile enterprise companies: (1) Platform leverage (2) Go-to-market expertise and (3) Global orientation.
Following Kevin’s opening remarks, Shira Ovide of The Wall Street Journal interviewed Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of Box. Aaron shared thoughts about the horizontal and vertical opportunities to build new businesses on the cloud. Also noted not to underestimate the difficulty in building for mobile access.
Ryan Sutton-Gee, co-founder and COO of PlanGrid then spoke about mobile apps for field workers. He discussed the needs of the vast untapped market of non-desk workers who currently do not loop into traditional enterprise IT systems. He also commented that word-of-mouth is the best source of business, so customer service is critical.
David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify talked with Serena Saitto, Senior Technology Reporter at Bloomberg about his journey starting Expensify. He commented that a major inflection point was when they used a new camera focus feature of the iPhone that enabled users to photograph receipts. Expensify has grown through the app store and word of mouth.
Slack’s founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, spoke about blending Mobile and Web with Ari Levy, Senior Technology Reporter for CNBC Digital. He noted that the use of Slack is binary – either 100% of a group uses it, or nobody. The thoughtful blend of mobile and desktop has been key to Slack’s early traction.
After lunch, Ian Shakil, co-founder and CEO of Augmedix talked with Robert Scoble about wearables at work, particularly for doctors. He shared how Google Glass helps doctors engage with patients instead of computers.
Semil Shah, investor and author, led a panel with Kevin Gibbon of Shyp and Sara Mauskopf of Postmates about the opportunities for on-demand mobile services. Both Sara and Kevin are starting to see a shift for on-demand services moving from consumers to enterprise.
The day wrapped up with David Obrand, former Chief Customer Officer of Yammer, sharing insights on strategies for selling into the enterprise, and how to build an enterprise sales team. He also talked about the value of freemium models.
We want to thank all of our speakers and the CEOs who spent the day learning with us. We look forward to reviewing all the progress next fall at the 3rd annual Enterprise Mobile Forum. In the meantime, we will continue updating our landscape, so please let us know about all of the great new enterprise mobile apps that emerge in the coming months.
Kevin Spain and the Emergence Investment Team