The UK’s Huddle celebrates one million users. But should we?

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UK-founded Cloud collaboration vendor Huddle has announced that it has exceeded one million business and government users worldwide – its core market.

“We are really beginning to saturate our key market, and with an average of 280 new licensed users each day, it’s clear that Huddle is an incredibly sticky tool that quickly proliferates across organisations,” said Huddle CEO Morten Brøgger in a written statement. Brøgger took over from founder Alistair Mitchell last year.

The company also claimed that “more than 80 per cent of UK central government agencies are Huddle users”. US clients include NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Institute for Health, it added.

But while all this is good news for Huddle, which was founded in 2006 and has zeroed in on enterprise collaboration tools, the figures are not so impressive when compared with Dropbox.

Founded a year after Huddle, Dropbox reported in March this year that it has over half a billion users sharing 35 billion Office documents, via 500 million Android app installs.

However, out of those 500 million-plus Dropbox users, just 150,000 are companies.

As UCInsight reported in March, Dropbox’s notional $10 billion ‘decacorn’ valuation does not make it a solid business. While the three billion cloud connections spawned by its 500 million users may sound impressive, what it really means is that each of its registered users is connected to an average of just six people via the platform – many of whom will only have signed up to the free service because someone used it to share a file with them.

That’s not the same thing as customer loyalty; it’s simple expediency, which only lasts until the next cool app comes along.

Companies like Huddle and Dropbox competitor Box have focused on secure, enterprise-grade tools rather than on a broad consumer platform that inspires neither loyalty nor stickiness. They’re playing a long strategic game that may pay dividends in the long run.

About Author

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton is a widely respected business and technology journalist, author, and magazine editor. In recent years he has been Editor of Computing (where he remains Consulting Editor); co-founder and Managing Editor of Professional Outsourcing – a magazine he developed from scratch and grew to be the leading magazine in its field; Editor of CBR in its most successful year; and co-founder and launch Editor of Sourcingfocus.com. Today, he is co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, and founder, designer, and Editor in Chief of Strategist magazine (UK), the boardroom magazine that provides strategic insight for business leaders, and of its mobile-first digital edition at www.iamtheStrategist.com. He is also co-founding Editor of Child Internet Safety magazine, and a contributing Editor of Diginomica.com. Over the years Chris has also written for, among many others, The Guardian, The Times, the BBC, and Computer Weekly. He is the author of several successful books on digital media, and a commissioning editor of more than 50 books.