Zoom, Slack, and Twilio see expense account love from businesses, says Expensify

Collaboration and workflow tools were among the trending categories in Expensify's analysis of corporate expense accounts.

Collaboration software: Time to call BS Collaboration software sounds great in theory, but like the open floor plan in offices there are downsides. The noise can be a bit ridiculous. Tools like Slack--and things like Yammer and a graveyard of other tools--were supposed to end email. Instead, email is still favored by workers to get real work done. Why? Enterprise social networking is too noisy. How many times have we wanted to yell into one of our 100 Slack channels so people will stay on point. It's a chat fest that can hurt productivity. Now it looks like vendors may be getting more of a clue. Atlassian launched software called Stride that has a focus button and tools that can turn conversations into workflows with integrated video and voice meetings on the fly. Perhaps the biggest perk is the focus button. Collaboration needs an offramp and let's face it you can spend more time collaborating instead of getting work done. There needs to be more of this. Whether it's Facebook@Work, which is basically a version of Facebook for the enterprise, Microsoft Teams or some other package collaboration has forgotten about the work and productivity part of the equation. Sometimes you need to duck your head and plow through a few tasks.

Collaboration software, such as Zoom and Slack, as well as communications tools like Twilio and Zendesk appear to be gaining enterprise traction, as employees are bringing or expensing their business apps at work, according to Expensify data.

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Expensify's January Spend Trends report analyzed more than 200 million transactions through its system to show where companies are spending their expense accounts. Not surprisingly, food, travel, and ride-sharing services such as UberLyft, Amazon, and Starbucks dominate most of the receipt volume for 2018.

But it's also worth pointing out what's trending on Expensify as a barometer of future enterprise success. The continuum in the cloud age is that employees expense an app through corporate credit cards -- AWS, Salesforce, and others started that way -- and then move up to broader enterprise contracts after the trial and sandbox period is over.

Expensify's Spend Trends report highlights how workflow technologies are surging in terms of what employees are expensing. 

Here's the breakdown:

expensify-software-spend-trends-january-2019.png

What's interesting is that with the exception of Slack many of these software packages are probably competing with applications already selected by IT. For instance, Zoom could be expensed -- even though Skype for Business or Cisco's WebEx is installed. Zendesk may be in a company where Salesforce is installed. The tools in Expensify's report may be a sign of what employees want in the future.

Also: Remote working 101: Professional's guide to the tools of the trade

Along those lines, it also appears that Twitter advertising is getting more experimentation among marketing types, according to Expensify. Twitter receipt growth surged 361 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to a year ago. Google still dominated with Facebook No. 2.

Other services worth highlighting include:

  • Printing service Moo, which saw receipt volume quadruple in the fourth quarter. Vistaprint also saw strong growth.
  • Scoot was the leading bike share and scooter service followed by Lime.
  • Caviar was the leading meal delivery company followed by DoorDash and Grubhub.
  • Instacart was the leading grocery delivery service expensed.
  • Wayfair and Bill.com were other services making their first appearances in the Expensify system.

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