Symphony launches workflow platform in Asia

24 Sep 2015

Palo Alto-based Symphony announced this week that they plan to bring their new open-source cloud platform to the Asian market.

At an event in Hong Kong, founder and CEO David Gurle described the platform – launched last autumn – as "seamless interactive, and universal."

The idea, said Gurle, is to merge email and instant-messaging services on the same platform, improve intergroup communications, and be able to reach anyone with an email address. "It's a single application to help individuals, teams and businesses communicate efficiently."

Cue the demo

Symphony employees conducted a live demo of the product using laptops and an iPhone at the Hong Kong event according to Symphony's website, the Windows-only desktop version will be joined by an iOS version in Q4). The demo focused on usage in a financial-sector firm tracking movements of a specific stock price.

Participants were able to actively search via use-profiles, ping people literally by ringing a cyberbell, and use hashtags & "cashtags" – the latter for NASDAQ codes. The product also allows creation of a "signal": a custom stream for specific topics.

The firm recently announced partnerships with Dow Jones – a global provider of news and business information, McGraw Hill Financial’s S&P Capital IQ – a research and analytics provider, and Selerity, a provider of real-time content and analytics. The deal will "enhance the content pillar of Symphony’s platform by bringing organizations closer to the information they consume and distribute, while streamlining workflow productivity," said Symphony in a statement.

Lock it down

Gurle described Symphony as a "secure and compliant messaging service" which gains strength through "strong and publicly approved security protocols like RSA and TLS 1.2." He said that the product provides "end-to-end encryption, with no access to customer data by Symphony."

When asked about specifics, he said that encryption keys are "owned by customers, [so] when company is [required to deliver] direct regulation with respect to retention & surveillance and the regulator wants access to content either after it's been archived or for real-time surveillance, they have authority to direct [the request] to companies they want to regulate."


Gurle said the product is now used in 79 countries, with 35,000 active users. When asked how Symphony fared compared to competitors, he said those comprised: "your old habits – defaulting to email & OTT services in business environments."

When asked about competition from mainland products, he said: "our objective is to provide seamless communications for all firms in the global economy. For those who want to participate globally, we're the de facto standard."

"It's unlikely that any local [Chinese] product will be adopted as the de facto standard," concluded Gurle.

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