QQ Enterprise has gained 300,000 enterprise users, said Yao Xinyu, Assistant GM of Tencent SNG(social networking group) in a recent interview (report in Chinese). “According to the financial reports by Alibaba and Baidu, these two companies both enjoy 400,000 active paid enterprise users. This number is almost the same as the target number we set. However, the enterprise broadband users of China Telecom is 4 million, which means a vast group of potential users are out there in the pond”, said Yao.
The penguin kingdom has been running office network products since 2007, one for marketing services (QQ Marketing Enterprise), and one for instant messaging (currently named QQ Enterprise). That a more catchy name was given to the instant messaging service reveals a clue of the company’s strategy. “We meant to save this name to the messaging product for we predict that a bigger market is hidden behind this service”.
Eyeing on the Hidden Potential
“We are on the turning point of this market”, Yao commented on this change, “Back in 2007, promoting an enterprise product was very difficult. At that time, SMEs would rather pay RMB 2000 every month to staffs to work more efficiently than spend RMB 7000 on a PC.” Of course things have changed, and the cost gap between labor and devices are just the opposite of before.
On the other hand, the popularity and penetration of the QQ software has helped Tencent equipped with a great loyal “Qser” base. A middle-school QQ lover five years ago may have now grown to a management staff working in an enterprise or have even been an entrepreneur himself. The concept of network office has been more accepted than before. The market is ready, and the products are waiting to be selected.
In the past year, Tencent expanded its sales team and raised the prices of the enterprise products by 50% more than once. “We are trying to set a reasonable price to help the distributors profit. We now cooperate with 3000 distributors (last year there were only over 700), and the number is still growing. ”
What To Offer
QQ Enterprise serves for both micro-enterprise to a big groups with up to 30,000 people. Apart from the inside network through the enterprise, an external communication with other business partners is also available. To make the platform more professional, the enterprise QQ is clear of irrelevant entertaining services. Instead a real-time contact, enterprise mailbox and a tree-structure lists are embedded to realize more efficient office networking experience.
Invest For A Bigger Portfolio
Insiders revealed that Tencent had attempted to cooperate with two startups, namely the enterprise network Facishare, and enterprise SNS platform Mingdao. Rumor then had it that Tencent might become a shareholder of Mingdao. Referring to that, Yao Xinyu explained that, “The two teams did have talked to our investment department, but we haven’t really come to any deal. But what I can say is we are very likely to cooperate with Facishare team.”
As a tech tyrant, Tencent usually does not allow one partner for all life, and any exclusive value-added services either. This maybe the possible reason why Mingdao is not on the cooperation list. “Mingdao is more interested in serving as an independent platform and its products are tailored for the information workers, a particular group which is not included in our strategy. Furthermore, we don’t really want any exclusive partnership,” said Yao.
With Facishare, Tencent will help it with marketing and sales, while Facishare only needs to focus on its product. It is said that Tencent would possibly share revenues with third parties.