As a tech company that was founded and incubated by a corporate communications consulting firm, it’s interesting to look back and see how things have evolved. When we first started APPrise Mobile in 2012, we had no idea that our technology could change the way work is done. Our intention was to create a value-added service for our consulting clients and maybe generate a little extra revenue. Well, once we developed and launched our first product, theIRapp, we knew we were on to something much bigger.
Our travels to date have been nothing less than exciting and eye opening.
We started with Version 1.0 that was focused specifically on the investor relations industry (this was our founder’s area of expertise). theIRapp was developed with the purpose of aggregating a public company’s IR information similar to their IR website – the difference being that the content would be optimized for the small screens of the mobile device and also allow for the push of the information to the home screen of an end-user’s iPhone or Android device. As corporate communications professionals, our goal was to ensure that the end-user experience was excellent and that people interested in a public company could have easy and convenient access to the company’s information.
This is what Version 1 of theIRapp looked like and what put us into business.
We traveled to Seattle Washington in June of 2012 and set up a 10×10 booth at the Annual Conference of the National Investor Relations Institute. We were amazed by the interest that companies, large and small, had in theIRapp. They recognized that mobile was going to be increasingly important in their communications and saw theIRapp as an easy and cost effective way to have their own branded app in the app stores for their investors to download.
To become the industry leader, we knew we would have to constantly update our technology. So, we hired an outside designer to help us rethink the user experience of theIRapp. We unveiled Version 3.0 in January of 2013.
This continued with Versions 4, 5 and 6, which incorporated feedback from our customers and prospective customers, and gave rise to new features and functionality that would allow investors to take advantage of the operating systems “native” to the operating systems of the Apple and Android mobile devices (e.g., the ability for end-users to download content for offline viewing and listening, the ability to live stream audio and video content, etc.).
Things got interesting for us in early 2013 when one of our Fortune 100 customers to theIRapp asked whether they could use our platform to communicate with their employees. They appreciated the way our app technology allowed them to communicate with their investors directly to their mobile device. They wondered whether they could have a second app to communicate with their employees. The catch was they needed to make sure that only active employees of the company would be able to download the app and access its content. Our answer was of course yes, we can develop anything. This gave rise to our next and industry changing product, theEMPLOYEEapp, that we launched officially on March 13, 2014. At the same time, we used this as an opportunity to once again enhance the design and user experience of theIRapp product and rolled out Version 7.0.
The development of the APPrise Mobile platform, and in particular theEMPLOYEEapp, derives not just from our team thinking we know what our customers want. Rather, we listen very carefully to our customers’ needs and desires and when we start to hear the same requests repeatedly, prioritize our work accordingly.
We soon realized that no company, no matter how big or small and regardless of industry is organized the same. We learned, however, that almost all organizations suffer from the same challenges when it comes to communicating and engaging with their employees. Up until now, they had a very difficult time communicating simultaneously and instantaneously with this important audience, particularly those not sitting behind a desk with access to a computer or a company email address. Mobile technology and theEMPLOYEEapp was an opportunity to solve this problem.
Since the launch of theEMPLOYEEapp, the platform has evolved to be broad enough to satisfy the needs of the largest and most complex of organizations. Yet it has remained simple enough to ensure that the non-tech communications and HR professional can easily implement, deploy and use the tool. It allows for the targeting of content to different groups of employees, multiple administrators as well as different app profiles for companies that have different brands. We also released a web app that now makes theEMPLOYEEapp available on all web enabled devices including desktop computers.
Version 8.0, launched on October 15, 2015 consumerized the look and feel of theEMPLOYEEapp by incorporating a Facebook-like news feed. However, we have not turned our back on the fundamental premise of our solution which is to make sure employees and other audiences can easily find and consume information through the small screens of the mobile device. Hence our “Explore” function maintains the organized folder-like structure upon which our platform was founded.
While it seems like we have come a long way since 2012, this is just the beginning. We have big plans both for the short- and long-term. As we repeatedly say, we do not develop in a vacuum. We listen to our customers and prospective customers, develop accordingly and are determined to be the ultimate tool in the market for corporate communications.
For a quick overview of theEMPLOYEEapp both from the front- and back-end, feel free to watch the video below.