By: Ninad Raval, Director, Product and Design, Flock
Mobile instant messaging is right in being called the biggest internet phenomenon since the app store. While a decade ago we were limited by SMS, today most free chatting software apps have revolutionized the way we communicate.
Take the story of WhatsApp, for example. The instant messaging app was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo! They hit upon the idea in 2009 after having purchased an iPhone and realizing that the seven-month-old App Store was about to spawn a whole new industry of apps. Today 1 billion users (as of February 2016) use the free chatting software to send messages, share photos and videos, make calls, and in general satisfy the inborn human nature to communicate.
The rise of instant messaging saw the need to create a similar yet highly functional app in the enterprise communication space. Offering state-of-the-art security, file sharing, real-time communication across geographies, and a host of other advanced features, chat for business enterprises are currently taking office communication to the next level. However, since inception, business collaboration apps have often been confused with messaging apps such as WhatsApp, giving rise to quite a few myths. Here we dispel those common misconceptions surrounding enterprise messaging, and tackle what may be stopping companies from adopting it.
Dispelling the myths surrounding internal chat options for business communication
Myth #1 Enterprise messaging apps are for chatting and can’t be used for work purposes
This is the most common misconception. However, this is as further away from the truth as it possibly can be. Accurate and real-time communication is an important driver of optimal business efficiency. With instant messaging for business enterprises, you can have the entire company directory at your fingertips. Drive growth by discussing ideas, making quicker decisions, and getting instant feedback with both direct and group messaging.
Myth #2 Enterprise messaging apps aren’t secure enough
Security is a major concern for companies thinking of switching to free messaging service for business enterprises. And rightly so! However, if you choose an enterprise messaging app you can be assured of enterprise level data security with administrator controls, and MDM/EMM support. In fact, with more organizations embracing a BYOD/CYOD strategy, business communication apps will be the only trusted form of collaboration. Most team communication platforms provide BCP (Business continuity process), if they sign up with cloud. This simply means that majority of your data can be retrieved, without any difficulty.
Myth #3 Investing in enterprise messaging apps is a waste of money
Where is the ROI, you ask? The biggest Return on Investment that chat for businesses can give you is to drive collaboration by collecting resources from across the dispersed organization to make effective decisions. Effective decisions, and time saved by ditching long threads of email chain can directly impact productivity. A recent study by Forbes reported that firms using social collaboration software saw productivity enhancements of an average of 12-5%. In addition, research showed that customer issues were resolved faster, turnaround time was reduced and instant resolution of difference of opinions was facilitated.
Myth #4 Collaboration apps can be used only on smartphones
Unlike mobile instant messaging apps, which mostly can be used only on a mobile device, enterprise communication apps can be used across devices. Most internal chat options for business enterprises provide native apps for mobiles, PC, tablets and the web across platforms. Your employees can easily switch between devices and keep track of conversations and important updates.
Myth #5 It has no special features other than WhatsApp
WhatsApp is primarily built for instant messaging and not business communication. Enterprise messaging apps on the other hand have been developed keeping business collaboration and communication in mind. Features like unlimited users and groups, sharing of all file types, missed conversation alerts, unlimited message search history, video conferencing, and webhooks and app integration can be experienced only in a business communication platform like Flock, Hipchat or Teamchat. Many of these platforms communicate well with existing softwares, bringing all your important information on a single screen, thereby increasing efficacy.
Advanced enterprise messaging apps also provide @mentions in group conversations, to-do, reminder and poll bots, and easy webhooks and integration. Some apps even allow sharing of code snippets, wherein you can download, forward, edit and reuse code within the app itself!
Myth #6 Video Calls/ online meetings can’t be done (We need Skype for that!)
Most free messaging services for business enterprises provide video conferencing allowing you to create virtual boardrooms across geographies. Stay connected with field staff and remote teams with easy sharing of photos, videos, voice messages, locations, links, calendar dates, files and more.
The future of business communication is enterprise messaging
Top companies and organizations around the world have already made the switch to using collaboration tools for business communication. The advantages are numerous. From greater productivity and easier knowledge sharing to huge savings in time, enterprise communication apps serve as a permanent communication channel for projects and topics. Enterprise messaging for business communication has taken centre stage and will stay put until the next big innovation in the enterprise communication space.