Get Your Company in Zinc

Today was a bit different than most Tuesdays. Instead of knocking out some to-dos before my kids got up, I woke early to check on the launch of Zinc, my new company. Though it may seem the last thing the world needs is another messaging app, I know we’re on to something big and important. “Collaboration” apps are the hot thing right now, and they deliver a lot of value — but for one kind of worker — a desktop worker. An employee who sits at a computer all day and can handle a stream of chat room style interactions as they work.

But what about the other 80% of workers? The retail staffers, field service technicians, baristas, nurses, and hotel housekeepers. These folks aren’t in front of computers, they’re in front of customers! The nature of their jobs keep them away from offices, and most are entirely “deskless.” Even though these employees might not show their faces at the office much, they’re the faces of their companies. They need to be sharing information in real-time with each other, as well as with their colleagues and managers at the home office.

And guess what? They do! They all have phones and they love to text and share information quickly and concisely like the rest of us. But workplace collaboration apps aren’t built for mobile interaction, so they turn to consumer apps that lack the security, compliance and enterprise features companies need.

That’s what Zinc is all about — enabling real-time information sharing and communication between workers inside and outside the office. We aren’t focused on collaboration and productivity, we are focused on driving revenue and customer results. Our messaging platform has the simplicity of SMS with all the bells and whistles users will embrace — think audio, video, VoIP, files, and much more — combined with the enterprise security and administration that IT departments and business leaders require.

Running Zinc is also a huge step for me personally. I’ve led marketing teams for decades at highly successful companies, but this is my first opportunity to lead one. It’s exciting — and yes nerve-wracking — but I’m mostly so pumped about having the opportunity to serve a market I’ve been focused on for over a decade. Zinc combines my experience and passion for driving workforce performance while I was at SuccessFactors and ServiceMax, with my diehard belief that broad communication and information sharing down to the front-line employee is a recipe for company results. I’m a big communicator (and an admittedly heavy texter who likes to keep it brief), so I know that when people are informed, they are empowered to do their jobs and delight customers.

I’m also excited and proud to be leading a company focused on companies and employees outside the Silicon Valley bubble. In this time of connected devices, I’d argue that every worker is an “information worker” and with the ability to give and receive information from our colleagues, we can all do our jobs better.

So today we launch Zinc, proclaiming that Communication is Elemental. We think Zinc will fundamentally reshape how companies with mobile and “deskless” workers communicate. We’ll help them remake information sharing across the enterprise, with the brevity and ease of texting, but also the confidence that they can stop employees from using consumer messaging apps and get their arms around their secure information. For many, this will be the first-ever digital connection to the mass of workers whose only screen is a phone screen. With that kind of connection, the possibilities for the future are immense.