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Southpigalle, France's answer to WeChat!

Originally published in French on La Poste’s French IoT blog September 16th, 2020.

At a time when the new school year begins, and life cycles between office meetings and work-from-home, we invite you to discover Southpigalle’s Superapp®: a mobile platform for enterprise communities that is as easy to use as applications such as WhatsApp or Instagram, and that transforms the way your teams collaborate, search for information or create connections between colleagues and clients. In short, it reinvents new, private, and more human modes of exchange. What about you? Ready to move into the conversational era at the office?

While it’s incredible how quickly attitudes have changed to be more open to using these applications as tools in the workplace, the trade-off for privacy and security has just as quickly changed. While it’s rare to find a company that officially uses these social networks as their main tool of communication, it’s clear that typical corporate communications tools are being replaced on a user-level with these apps.

The Start Up

As you have probably already guessed, the story of Southpigalle starts at the heart of the Pigalle neighbourhood, with three co-founders with unique and complementary backgrounds; Olivier de Cointet ex-strategic consultant specializing in digital transformation, his brother Louis who was responsible for the database of Exane Derivatives, and Henri d’Anterroches, designer and founder of a digital consulting agency. They were quickly joined by  Pascal Plat, who was previously in charge of the IT for trading and architecture for the Louis Dreyfus group. 

“At this time,  we saw applications like WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger explode and yet the enterprise tools stayed archaic and were not adapting to the new expectations and needs of employees,” says Olivier de Cointet. “We imagined how we could translate the strategy of an organization into a tool that is simple to use, beautiful and intuitive, re-engaging both collaborators and clients”. Together they founded Southpigalle, The Conversation Software Company.

"We fundamentally believe in the power of collective intelligence, but to encourage this way of collaborating, it is essential to have a single tool that is simple to use, personalized and allows us to get to the heart of the matter"— Olivier de Cointet

The Philosophy: One app to rule them al

It’s clear that the Superapp® of Southpigalle puts conversation at the heart of interactions in an organization. It includes an ecosystem of ‘mini-apps’: a suite of functionalities that help employees, whether in the same office or remotely, to get easy access to the tools they need for collaboration.

Using a secure messaging system, dedicated workflows for any trade, access to a collective knowledge database, the possibility to create deskless feedback, to upskill alone or as a team, to review KPI and business intelligence, visualize et manage complex calendars or create a more social intranet – with an experience more comparable to Instagram than Windows 98, the Superapp is super customizable and adaptable to the best use for any enterprise community.

“We fundamentally believe in the power of collective intelligence, but to encourage this way of collaborating, it is essential to have a single tool that is simple to use, personalized and allows us to get to the heart of the matter”, says Olivier de Cointet.

Their SDK (Software Development Kit) also allows partners of Southpigalle to enrich the Superapp features and exploit its functionalities in their own internal or external applications.

Created just 5 years ago, Southpigalle counts 45 employees and works with some of the largest names in luxury, cosmetics and even financial institutions, with companies who themselves have thousands of collaborators in multiple sites, all over the world, where the security and ensuring the consistency in the transmission of information is paramount.

What's Next?

With 5 years of research and development in conversational technologies: treatment of language, complex conversational interactions, data treatment, creation of global infrastructures… Southpigalle plans to become the conversational backbone of enterprises, offering access to their technologies (SDK) and infrastructure, but also by deploying its Superapp® at the heart of teams and customer relationships.

They enrich their Superapps® with new uses and solutions to accelerate conversational commerce, a subject with the COVID-19 crisis, has never been a more important subject for the strategic development of many organizations. “Today, consumers expect their preferential relationship still in digital. The challenge is to reinvent this link while meeting the main objective of brands: control of their data and customer relations”. Consumers using their favourite social channels such as WhatsApp or WeChat can exchange with local salespeople, benefiting from advanced features (interactions, tracking, KPIs) of the Superapp®. A real direct-to-consumer accelerator, that is much more personal and engaging than a classic bot on a website.

This article was originally published in French on La Poste French IoT Blog.
Translation by Hunter MacKinnon.

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