Last year's top news: CACHATTO as a "Telework Platform" - the third wave
For the last 6 consecutive years, CACHATTO has been ranked #1 for remote-access solutions in Japan, and our share has been over 40% according to two researchers. If you have such a big share, you'd know the condition of the market itself; whether the market is growing or not. In 2015, I clearly observed the weakening of the market for remote-access services for smartphones. It was a bad sign and I really felt it was dangerous to the business; we needed to make a change.
What and how should we change? In which direction should we go? These were my questions. Basically, what we did was just continue to struggle a lot. At some point we came across some hints, tried out some new ideas and pulled the ideas that could potentially lead us to the next stage. Last year, we finally got out of a long tunnel, and this is how we did it:
In 2017, "Work Style Evolution" was being promoted by the Japanese government, and it helped CACHATTO to ride the third wave. I consider, in the history of our business, the first wave to be "the feature phone era", the second wave "the smartphone era", and the current third wave the "telework platform era." CACHATTO has been on the market for over 15 years. I am honestly surprised to see the business still growing, even with the same concept. We have been adding new functions onto the base system, and our customers have come to find new values as a result of using the new functions.
I must confess that the concept for the third wave was not made in Japan. In the past three years, we have put a lot of effort into marketing CACHATTO to different regions. In 2014, we founded a subsidiary in Singapore, and started to challenge selling CACHATTO in ASEAN countries. Starting from early 2017, we have approached non-Japanese companies in the Middle East and in India.
We also had discussions with Gartner analysts in 2017. They led us to recognize that CACHATTO was a product with unique concepts on a global scale. We had already embedded many of the latest security features into the product without contradictions. Yes, we created this product from scratch, and our customers in Japan helped us improve it over time. I was glad to find out that the product had some unique aspects that gave value on a global level.
In early 2017, when we went to see potential of CACHATTO in the Middle East and had a few proof-of-concepts done there, we received a lot of cruel criticism about the user interface. That really cut into our hearts. We hadn't put high priority on improving the user interface, using "security" as our excuse, but they did not accept that and said if the user interface was poor, then no one would want to use it. We started to make modifications right away. The purpose of CACHATTO was differently received by the foreign market too. We initially promoted CACHATTO as a smartphone solution, but it was more well received after we introduced it as a new PC solution. So, we emphasized on PC use, expressing that it was a "Next Generation Thin Client." Finally, the reputation of CACHATTO in the foreign market improved.
At the same time in Japan, where "Work Style Evolution" was a hot topic, we found that the concept of "Next Generation Thin Client" to be very suitable for the market. We can use PCs without the security risk of storing data on same devices. Splashtop for CACHATTO, which is an RDP solution and was introduced in 2016, was also a strong optional addition for PC use. Customers could not only use smartphones and feature phones, but also safely use PCs for business purposes, if they were to choose CACHATTO.
The domestic need for telework has stimulated the use of BYOD as well. Both PCs and smartphones could be used in a more flexible way if BYOD was allowed in companies. That resulted in increase in the number of users within the same company which increased our sales per customer figure, and improved the soundness of our business.
CACHATTO is the only product we have, and we just need to have it evolving and progressing. Our business in 2018 will be a more exiting one for sure!