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Connect4

Connect4 to shut down operations

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Specialist video meeting app Connect4 has announced it will close its virtual doors on 23 December, with its co-founder stating the platform is ‘no longer sustainable’.

6th Dec 2022
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The Cambridge-based startup Connect4 was founded in 2020 with the stated aim of tidying up the muddle of invites, notes and platforms that come with virtual meetings, with a specific focus on the accountancy profession.

But in a detailed post on the company’s website, co-founder and chartered accountant Andrew Jordon stated that as a business, Connect4 was “no longer sustainable” and would be shutting down permanently on 23 December 2022.

After 22 December, the Connect4 platform will be unavailable and all data will be permanently deleted. Prior to that, account owners with data on the system will be able to export all client meeting notes and actions. 

Proper processes

In his post on shutting the business, Jordon outlined that he felt the research the company had done prior to launching highlighted the need for accounting firms to create proper processes for managing meetings, keeping clear and accessible notes, and assigning meeting actions.

The company made its first “bet” on video, with Connect4 as an all-in-one meeting platform featuring video, agenda and actions, all in one place (or pod, in the company parlance) for accounting firms.

However, according to Jordon, “There was no way we could build a video platform as good as Zoom, Teams or Google Meet with a tiny development team and limited funds.”

He pointed out that such software – and improvements made to such platforms during periods of lockdown and subsequent hybrid working – had raised user expectations significantly, with the result that 95% of the company’s support queries were related to video quality.

‘We ran out of time’

The company then shifted its attention to partnering with practice management software, working primarily with Karbon and utilising third-party video tools, positioning itself as a “meeting guidance” provider. Working with the likes of Xero, Capitalise and Ignition to construct meeting agenda templates, the plan was to help accounting firms learn how to run better meetings.

But, as Jordon points out, “we ran out of time”.

He remained upbeat about accounting firm demand for specific video meeting tools, stating: “The demand for something is clear, but it’s perhaps not at the top of everyone’s list just yet.

“Our bet would be that agendas, meeting notes and actions will slowly form part of practice management software,” added Jordon. “Or that MS Teams or Zoom will introduce (or acquire) first-class solutions of their own.”

Replies (2)

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By Hugo Fair
06th Dec 2022 18:51

Always sorry to hear of failures - although I never actually encountered their systems.

But ... "After 22 December, the Connect4 platform will be unavailable and all data will be permanently deleted ... (such as) all client meeting notes and actions."

If ever anyone needed reminding of the dangers of wholesale 'outsourcing' to the Cloud, then here is yet another example of what may be reaped by over-reliance on non in-house facilities!

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By paulwakefield1
07th Dec 2022 07:58

To be fair, that quote goes on to say: "Prior to that, account owners with data on the system will be able to export all client meeting notes and actions."

But your wider point is well made. I am a great believer in multiple redundancy - I use the cloud extensively but have several physical backups. Much to the amusement and ribaldry of those around me. But I can still see potential points of failure.

My views on backups have been influenced ever since a colleague in the early days of computers in offices typed "Format" and left off "a:"

And a client has just had their respected email host provider subjected to an apparent ransomware attack - details are unclear as the situation is still unfolding. But initially it appears there could be major data loss.

Complete reliance on the cloud is dangerous. (or, I think I should add, in house systems now that we have the option of both).

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