By Gloria Lombardi

Jeff Corbin is the founder of theCOMMSapp, the company behind communications app building solutions that include theEMPLOYEEapp, a new tool for secure employee mobile communications.

It is fairly unusual to see someone with 15 plus years of experience in strategic communications consultancy turning ‘nerd’ and developing a technology platform. But Corbin – entrepreneur and CEO of KCSA, a leading Media Relations and Investor Relations consultancy in New York – started to be interested in the mobile business since the times of the recession.

Then, nearly three years ago he came into conversation with his Director of Interactive, Jason Mayde. The two decided to create an app to allow their clients to aggregate all the content for their audiences on their mobile devices, which at that time they could find only on their desktops.

Creating something from an industry perspective

“The thinking behind our platform was based on hundreds of conversations that we had for so many years with both public and private companies on the challenges they were facing when communicating with their non-desk workforce,” says Corbin.

Since more and more employees are on the road, work remotely and are not tied to a desktop computer, organisations find it difficult to ensure that important company information is received simultaneously and in a timely fashion.

So, Corbin developed theEMPLOYEEapp extending the reach of its existing app solutions (such as theIRapp for public companies and investment funds and theCOMMSapp for external communications) to support the relationship between employer and employees.

“As we all know, over the past few years the mobile device has quickly become the one thing that everyone has in common. It is the only means that allows for instantaneous push of content and enables a direct connection with those who have downloaded an app.”

Proud of not being social: One-way internal communications

“We are not looking to compete with the social collaboration platforms like Yammer and Jive. theEMPLOYEEapp is purely one-way communication. There are situations when organisations just need to ensure that employees have access to information. This is our main proposition.”

To a certain extent they are competing against the traditional corporate intranets and emails but in the mobile 21st century era.

Companies are using the tool to send employees daily news and provide them with corporate information including presentations, videos, audio podcasts, photographs, fact sheets and pdf documents.

“They can upload the content and push it instantaneously into the mobile device of the person who has downloaded the app.”

The app platform is cloud-based, securely integrates with a company’s active employee directory and requires neither corporate networks nor system integration. “So, you do not need to log in with a password. There is only a registration process that takes place when you download the app for the first time.”

When an organisation subscribes to theEMPLOYEEapp, they receive three developments platforms for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices respectively.

Many large and complex businesses like airlines find the solution very useful. “They have people everywhere, like flight attendants, pilots, reservation people, people cooking food, and part-time workforce who don’t necessarily have corporate email addresses. How can such organisations communicate instantaneously, simultaneously and directly with all these people? Before there was no way, but now that everyone has a mobile device this is possible.” With theEMPLOYEEapp companies have the ability to segment their audiences.

They can create groups based on whatever they want like management level, regions, properties, and even hotel chains.

Keeping focused on mobile

The tool is a native app, not a responsive design, built for taking advantage of the mobile devices operating system. “We don’t have a desktop solution. I think intranet companies are having a major problem at present: They are trying to take existing legacy intranets built for the desktop to the mobile device, but the user-experience will never be as robust as the one provided by a native app.”

Corbin is a firm believer that while the desktop computer will not disappear in the near future, it will certainly become less relevant as time goes on. “I have my own crystal ball that at some point it is going to go away and organisations will have just tablets and other devices to communicate with their workforce.

“Big companies are already embracing what we are doing and looking for strategies on how to optimize the use of mobile tools at work. The time is right; so I want to stay focused on this. That is my expertise and that is what our platform is all about.”


This article originally appeared on simply-communicate