JANDI, An Enterprise Communication Platform For Asian Businesses, Raises $2.5M

Toss Lab has raised $2.5 million in fresh funding for JANDI, an enterprise communication tool that is tailored for companies in Asia. Along with a previous seed round, this brings Toss Lab’s total pre-Series A funding to $4.5 million.

Since launching its pilot version last May, JANDI has been adopted by 30,000 teams, most of which are in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Its clients include Ticketmonster, YelloMobile, and Mangoplate. Like Slack, JANDI aspires to be more than just a messaging tool for businesses. It also wants to be a platform; the newly-released JANDI Connect lets it integrate with GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Google Calendar, and Webhooks.

Chief executive officer Daniel Chan says people tend to see JANDI as a Slack clone, but its genesis is actually in group messaging tool Naver Band. Several of JANDI’s developers worked on the Naver Band in 2013 before joining Tool Lab the next year. Originally created as a consumer product by one of South Korea’s largest Internet firms, Naver Band–which combined microblogging and group chat features–took off as a communication tool for teams from the same company.

JANDI has more enterprise features than Naver Band, but Chan says it wants to retain the feel and user experience of Asian messaging apps, including Line, KakaoTalk, and WeChat, to appeal to users there.

Most of Tool Lab’s new capital will be used to make new hires—since November 2014, its team has grown from 10 people to 50 and it plans to double that number over the next year. It also plans to launch JANDI in Thailand and Malaysia within the next six months.

The company hasn’t divulged its number of daily active users yet, but Chan says “the number has grown dramatically and we haven’t really hit many user acquisition channels that we can use. The expanded user acquisition channels over the coming year as well as new international markets will help us maintain good trajectory.”

Enterprise Architecture Planning 2.0

A New Approach To Digital Strategy Reinvents Legacy IT By Aligning It to A Company’s Capabilities

No enterprise today can afford to spend a year or more incorporating digital technology into its core. The technology and the competition move too fast. Yet most Fortune 500 companies take at least that long just to put a new digital system in place, let alone to show results.

The reason is understandable: Digitization is a complex and daunting challenge. It requires companies to adopt a new operational model, incorporating new and often unfamiliar technologies — including multichannel engagement, cloud computing, big data analytics, and “smart” infrastructure laden with sensors and real-time controls. They must do all this against the backdrop of the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Internet of Things with real-time responsiveness embedded in technology throughout the enterprise. Running these new systems requires new behavior, and not just on the part of employees: Customers, vendors, suppliers, and distributors must all change their ways. Few of the largest companies have figured out a digital solution that will be comprehensive enough to span this whole business ecosystem, but simple enough for people throughout the company to use.

Although companies look far and wide for solutions, the best place to look is often disregarded. That’s the company’s enterprise architecture planning (EAP) discipline.

Many view EAP as a legacy approach. But when it was originally developed in the 1980s, EAP was a bold response to the same perennial problem: integrating technology with the business strategy. The information technologies of that era were bumping up against old, clumsy, bureaucratic processes and practices. EA projects were supposed to replace those practices with more elegant, streamlined renditions, closely tied to business objectives. EAP borrowed techniques from the more mature “industrial” disciplines of architectural engineering and urban design (hence the nameenterprise architecture) to accomplish its goals.

Unfortunately, at most companies, EAP, or EA, was placed under the information technology function. It was often directed toward addressing narrow technology needs for particular business units, or subsumed into complex exercises in documenting incompatible systems. Then, as EAP was combined with reengineering during the 1990s, it was frequently used as an excuse for wholesale cost cutting, which ultimately tended to make companies weaker. This history helps explain why many EAP groups developed a poor reputation, or did not deliver value to the enterprise.

Today, companies can proceed in a more strategic way — with something close to EA in scope, but more ambitious in spirit and pragmatic in achieving results. We call this approach capabilities architecture planning(CAP). It involves redesigning IT and organizational practices together, in service of a company’s most distinctive strengths. Unlike most enterprise architecture projects, CAP starts with strategy. It marshals digital technology to develop the company’s capabilities — the combination of processes, tools, knowledge, skills, and organization — that give it a competitive advantage.

Read full article here.