[INTERVIEW] Rookie firm tries to bring workmates together online

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[INTERVIEW] Rookie firm tries to bring workmates together online

Yang Jung-won, CEO of Tmax WAPL, poses before a display featuring the company's collaboration tool on Aug. 12 at the company's office in Bundang, Seongnam. [PARK SANG-MOON]

Yang Jung-won, CEO of Tmax WAPL, poses before a display featuring the company's collaboration tool on Aug. 12 at the company's office in Bundang, Seongnam. [PARK SANG-MOON]

One of the big changes in the post-pandemic era is the emergence of digitalized collaboration tools -- ways of helping colleagues work together at home and in the office.  
Microsoft, Google and local players Kakao and Naver have already spotted the potential of such a business, releasing a wide variety of business apps and software. 
Tmax WAPL, an affiliate of local software company TmaxSoft, is joining the giants.  
Its cloud-based team collaboration software has chalked up over 80,000 users since the launch of the company last February.  
The Seongnam, Gyeonggi- based company wants to broaden its user base by introducing unique features.  
The Korea JoongAng Daily sat down with Yang Jung-won, CEO of Tmax WAPL, to discuss her strategy in competing with major tech companies.    
Q. There are many collaboration tools out there, particularly after the outbreak of the coronavirus. What distinguishes the Tmax WAPL platform?

A. There are several points that make Tmax WAPL stand out. The platform has greater scalability to converge advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and big data analysis to create new functions.  
For instance, we are working on developing a feature that converts conversations recorded during video conferences into text with an aim of launching it within this year. The ultimate goal is to provide data-driven analysis based on the transcripts.  
We also plan to adopt the concept of “metaverse” into the platform of virtual meetings, although that is in an early stage of discussion.  
So, the point here is that we focus on adding additional functions using the latest technologies to make the tool more powerful and relevant to users.  
We are able to use the resources of TmaxSoft, as the company and its affiliated research centers excel at software development, cloud, data analysis and are researching techniques required for creating a virtual world. The collaboration opportunity with TmaxSoft and other affiliates stands as a major advantage we have.  
How did the Tmax WAPL come into being?

First introduced in 2019, the Tmax WAPL was originally born out of an internal corporate communication platform used across Tmax affiliates. We started selling the software to outside clients after establishing an affiliate named Tmax Space in 2020. 
We changed the name of the tool and corporate name into Tmax WAPL in February. It stands for Work And Play and we chose the name to emphasize our intention to become more user-friendly not only for corporate clients but for individual users.  

Because of our roots as an internal communication platform, the Tmax members – mostly engineers and developers- have contributed a lot to improve its functionality and user interface. We still run a separate chat room of nearly 1,000 Tmax employees inside the platform exclusively designed to give feedback about it.  
What are your major targets in terms of customers?

Presently, public corporations take up the highest portion by sales, accounting for 60 percent. Conglomerates account for 30 percent and the rest is taken by small and medium companies and educational institutions. We are seeing an influx of educational institutions like colleges and job training centers as new customers, as the pandemic forces them to carry out programs online.  
Are there other new features the company is looking to add in the future?

We plan to integrate Tmax Office word processor into the collaboration tool this year. This means you could unify files, conversations, and data in one place, and you can actually create documents and content within the platform.
The new feature could increase convenience for customers whose jobs center around writing. 
For instance, editors can start editing simultaneously as reporters like you compose the articles through the office program. I think that could significantly shorten the time spent on writing and editing.  


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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