Mobile instant messaging has justifiably earned its undisputed place as the biggest internet innovation since the app store. Having surpassed the SMS limitations we had a decade ago, the majority of the free chat software apps today have undoubtedly disrupted our communication channels. The unparalleled ability to contact anyone at any time and on any device has undoubtedly contributed to making the world a smaller and friendlier place.
WhatsApp, the instant messaging app founded by Brian Acton and Ja Koum (both former Yahoo employees) is a vivid example of this. The creators thought of the concept in 2009 when, having bought their iPhones, they realised that the fledgling seven-month-old AppStore was about to spew out a whole new world of innovation driven by various apps. Although the app started small, it has now exponentially grown its user-base to accommodate more than 1.2 billion users.
There are, of course, many apps which are similar to WhatsApp around the world; billions of people use free chatting software to send messages, make calls, share photos and videos to create a world of seamless and effortless networking and communication.
The surge in popularity and use of instant messaging apps translated itself in a pronounced need for a similar yet high functional app in the corporate communication space.
Business messaging and collaboration apps are currently transforming the way in which office communication operates and evolves by offering state-of-the-art security, file sharing, real-time communication across geographies and a host of other advanced features.
Having said that, however, since their early days, such apps have often been mistaken for messaging apps such as WhatsApp. This has, in turn, resulted in the creation of quite a few myths about the structure, usability and security and other features of business collaboration apps.
The purpose of this article is to disperse the common misconceptions around corporate and enterprise messaging while also examining certain factors acting as a deterrent to the adoption of such messaging.
Myth #1: You can only use enterprise messaging apps for chatting and not 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. You can converse with anyone from the company or team, and drive growth by discussing ideas, making quicker decisions, and getting instant feedback with both direct and group messaging. Not to forget the ease of sharing documents and information instantly with as many people as you want, making the messenger a central repository of official data for you.
Myth #2: Security is not robust 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 a trusted and cutting edge enterprise messaging app, you can be assured of enterprise level data security with administrator controls, and MDM/EMM support. In fact, with more organisations 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: Enterprise messaging investments do not translate into profit
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 organisation to make effective decisions. Effective decisions, and time saved by ditching long meetings and 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%. Flock’s own customer survey also provided similar results where customers saw over 40% productivity in their daily work. In addition, these researches showed that customer issues were resolved faster, turnaround time was reduced and instant resolution of difference of opinions was facilitated.
Myth #4: Smartphones are the only mediums on which collaboration apps can be used
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, and pick up conversations right from where they left them, along with all the history!
Myth #5: The features of workplace messaging apps are no different than Whatsapp’s features
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. Many of these platforms communicate well with existing software, 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 The software does not allow for video calls and online meetings
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. With paid services one can even increase some of the functionalities depending upon your requirement.
Enterprise messaging today: the business communication of tomorrow
Many of the world’s top companies and organisations are already making heavy use of collaboration tools which are specifically designed and suited for business communication. As could be expected, the adoption of those translates in significant benefits such as increased productivity, realised time savings and easier knowledge sharing. Acting as a permanent communication channel for projects and discussions, enterprise communication apps have already had a major impact on the way in which businesses deal with their internal and external communications by improving their current processes and maximising the full potential of their human capital. It is clear, however, that the ever-evolving nature of enterprise communication apps means that they will continue to dominate the IT stage for years to come.
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