What is software for communication?
Communication is essential to both relationships and to business success. A Harvard Business Review study found that employees in the modern workplace now spend around 80 percent of their time on activities that require collaboration with other workers. In today’s business world, digital communication tools are key maximising these interactions.
The importance of collaboration in today's workplace is consolidated by the rise of remote working and increased reliance on technology. The modern workplace is well on its way to a total digital transformation, especially as the need to effectively manage the growing number of remote employees becomes a priority. However, all too many businesses suffer from disparate, disjointed in-house applications. Your company relies heavily upon key systems and applications for productivity and communication. Is your current intranet driving internal communications as efficiently and effectively as it could be?
Communication platforms and software can be indispensable in facilitating better collaboration and connection in-house as well as with clients and partners. Your portal, intranet, learning management and website can also benefit from these solutions.
Here are a list of collaboration platforms and software that can be used to improve internal communications and integrate your most essential business components.
Dropbox is one of the most efficient and user-friendly cloud sharing solutions. Teams can use Dropbox to better manage shared files, reducing the need for email and improving the collaboration between employees.
Integrate with your intranet solution so team members can easily insert their content into a team workspace with just one click. Content can then be uploaded into Dropbox and visually displayed. A content search function is also included. 2. Google Workspace
Google Workspace's (formerly G Suite) secure collaboration and productivity apps for businesses.
It includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and more. Because it’s web-based, G Suite works in most browsers on any operating system. You also have a centralised administration interface that makes setup and management of users fast and easy.
3. Microsoft 365
Microsoft is a productivity software for organisations and individuals. With Microsoft 365 you have one integrated solution including Teams, OneDrive cloud storage, and Office apps with advanced security options. Connect it with your content management platform to easily browse, edit and save stored documents directly from Microsoft Office.
For example, the OneDrive Connector allows you to easily access files and documents stored in OneDrive within your intranet or portal solution. Open, comment on, adjust and save documents within the browser using Office 365 integration. This platform facilitates much more effective collaboration.
SharePoint is another tool available with 365. It is a web-based collaborative platform or an on-premise software for your employees. Connect this with your intranet to map SharePoint content to folders to allow for manual or automatic synchronisation. You can also centrally publish documents and SharePoint pages as well as images to your intranet.
4. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams (previously Skype for Business) now comes bundled with the Standard and Premium Business Packages. It allows you to collaborate with other people within a dedicated online workspace where you can have conversations and share documents. It offers messaging, voice and video calls between people or groups of people.
Channels - group chat rooms - can be set up around specific topics such as work projects and can be private or public. This is a cost effective communication platform to communicate with individuals located in a different country.
With COVID-19 forcing office based employees to work from home, Zoom exploded in popularity. Zoom Meetings is a video conferencing platform used to host meetings. With the premium version, your Zoom meetings can cater to up to 1,000 participants, call recording, unlimited phone calls and more.
One of the reasons why Zoom exploded in popularity was that it also offers webinar hosting services. With Zoom Webinars you can have up to a massive 50,000 people on your live video webinar, with custom virtual backgrounds. Leverage interactive and dynamic qualities including Q/A, polling, hand raising, reporting, MP4/M4A recording with transcripts, and registration options such as reminder and follow-up emails.
The alternative to Zoom, GoTo is a unified communication platform that includes video conferencing, webinar and phone system solutions.
Through GoTo, you can collaborate with up to 25 high-def video feeds per session, share application and desktop information, and more. There are drawing tools included for annotation purposes, virtual whiteboards, and even easy-to-use document sharing.
The enterprise focused alternative to Zoom and GoTo, Webex by Cisco is the leading enterprise solution for video conferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars.
With Webex, you can upload files as attachments so attendees in a live webinar or meeting can see and download them directly.
Slack is a group messaging communication software with real-time messaging, archiving and search for teams, helping to keep teams engaged and improves communications around projects and topics.
You can also create private spaces with fewer team members for more confidential information.
Through monday.com, you can use building blocks – such as boards, views, charts, automations, and integrations - to create a workflow sequence to run processes, projects and daily tasks.
Users start with a board, or a visual super table in which everyone on a project or team can log the tasks they need to complete and updates them with status reports and other relevant information.
Asana is another well known project management platform with similar features, but presented in a different way.
Like Monday.com, it enables you to organise your tasks visually. You can view lists, timeline or boards for your initiatives, meetings and programs. Asana offers task management, collaboration, document, workflow and project portfolio management features.
Start with a Trello board, lists, and cards to manage projects or organise tasks. And within these, you can set up to-do lists and delegate amongst colleagues, check timelines, productivity metrics and more. There’s also the option to assign comments to cards to quickly provide comments to others.
Furthermore, Trello boasts a number of integrations with apps such as Evernote, GitHub, Google Drive and Slack. You can download the app for free, but there are premium options available which give access to more features. 12. Basecamp
Basecamp is a collaboration focused project management tool that makes it easy for people to work together and communicate with one another.
Within Basecamp, you break up work into projects. Each project lets you keep track of all the tasks, deadlines, files, conversations and announcements. There are message boards, to-dos, schedules, file storage, real-time group chat, and automatic check-in questions.
Podio is an online collaboration app that automates workflows and processes.
You can select apps for the Apps Market or build your own custom app. For example, the HR department can select an app to help with onboarding and recruitment. It includes various HR Tasks, job posting, calendars, conversations and other information to assist with the onboarding process.
Jira is an issue and project tracking tool. You can create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team, as well as prioritise and discuss your team’s work in full context with complete visibility.
The Jira scrum board is particularly helpful for teams as it visually displays the progress of projects during the development cycle.
Think of Confluence as a corporate wiki. It's a great tool for capturing, storing and accessing company information such as documentation, standard procedures and so on.
Dynamic pages give your team a place to create, capture, and collaborate on any project or idea, including files, ideas, minutes, specs, mockups, diagrams and more.
In today’s business climate, collaboration, communication and connectivity are essential to success. Digital communication is key to maximising these interactions. Your business relies heavily on certain systems, platforms and applications for effective communication and productivity. So where do you start?
It might be time to ask yourself these questions:
By understanding and identifying gaps, you will be in a better position to choose the right technology for your organisation.
Need more information about bridging the communication gap within your organisation? During this 30 minute webinar, we share insights on how you can implement an integrated digital workplace and intranet solution to overcome key communication challenges.
No single platform or software can meet all your needs. This is why it's so important to choose ones that integrate with the existing platforms and software in your organisation.
Consider using an intranet as the foundation for your communication and collaboration needs. There are two key benefits of using an intranet:
An intranet acts as a centralised digital workplace hub for your staff, integrating to your existing systems; making it easier for your admin staff to manage content and communication, and for the rest of your staff to find this information and connect with each other.
Do you currently have to ‘make do’ with your legacy intranet and/or processes and systems even though you know it’s not meeting your employee’s needs?
Here are additional resources that can help:
Moreover, communication and collaboration solutions are an integral part of digital workplaces, and they enable employees to be more flexible than ever. Nowadays, teams can collaborate on projects across countries and time zones.
🚀 Have a peek at our end-to-end guide on team collaboration in hybrid work environments before you dive into the article!
Communication software can be defined as any app or program that is designed to pass information from one system to another. One of the first types of team communication platforms in business use was email. Nowadays, we usually think of instant messaging platforms and even video conferencing solutions when somebody mentions communication software.
The beauty of contemporary communication lies in its diversity. We can all engage in text chats, phone calls, and video conferencing. We can also exchange pictures, voice messages, and other files.
Due to the versatility of communication types, team communication software providers usually have either instant messaging or web conferencing at its core. On top of that, they add other functionalities.
There are several synonyms used to describe team communication software:
Here, we are listing both video conferencing tools and communication platforms for businesses. On one hand, video conferencing tools are important since video calls have successfully replaced live meetings. They enable employees and business partners across the globe to save time and money on travel. According to research, most companies will not return to a business-as-usual pre-pandemic travel policy until 2023.
On the other hand, communication platforms are combining the best of both worlds – asynchronous and synchronous communication. In other words, they are chat-first solutions with multiple integration options, including video, phone calls - like VOIP system calls, and others. The goal? To provide a unified communication platform to employees and never have them search for alternatives.
Here are the ten best business communication software.
Rocket.Chat is an open-source messaging solution that embodies the true meaning of a communication platform for business. Why? Because you can have all the communication that goes on in a company under one roof.
This means not only chat and video conferencing for your internal communication but also communication with customers. Our integrations with multiple other software enable you to decrease app fatigue and have a single platform for all communication that goes on – with employees, partners, and customers.
Chanty is a business communication software that has an in-built video calling feature. Chanty offers one-on-one video calls as well as group video conferences with screen sharing. Over 75,000 companies already use Chanty to communicate and align on their goals.
Skype used to be synonymous with video calling. However, by adding features such as messaging and VoIP to it, it lost on its user-friendliness, which made it less popular than Zoom. However, it remains a frequently used video conferencing tool for many businesses, even more so now that it’s under Microsoft’s hood.
Although it’s not one of the classic team communication platforms out there, we at Rocket.Chat love using BigBlueButton. One of the reasons why is the technology running in the back of it – namely, BigBlueButton is open-sourced.
As we at Rocket.Chat are huge open-source fans, it only makes sense that we often use this virtual classroom software when we have company-wide meetings!
Google Meet, one of the classics! Google Meet is an easy-to-use video calling platform from Google’s suite of products. Since Google Workspace has around 2 billion users worldwide, this team communication software provides them a natural extension for communicating via video call.
Jitsi Meet is a video conferencing platform that is embedded in Rocket.Chat. Why do we love it? It is free, fully encrypted, and 100% open source. It simply checks all the boxes when it comes to communication platforms!
It is no wonder that the deployment of Zoom grew over 45% between March and October of 2020. With many businesses abruptly switching to remote work, Zoom was singled out as a great way to replace live meetings.
With the simplicity of use and features like video webinars and integrated scheduling, Zoom remains one of the most popular work communication apps to date.
MS Teams is a widely-used communication software that is a part of the Microsoft universe. It does lack some flexibility which other providers are able to provide, but it is nevertheless a great addition to Microsoft’s portfolio of products and services.
Slack is probably one of the most popular team communication software in the world. Its ease of use was unprecedented when it came to the market. However, with the rise of cyberattacks and data privacy regulations, a lot of security-oriented companies are looking for Slack open-source alternatives.
Troop Messenger is another business communication software that offers both chat and audio and video calling. With features such as responding later, flagging messages, and remote desktop control, it makes for a useful communication tool for employees.
Discord is an instant messaging and distribution platform that enables users to communicate with each other via multiple channels – chat, audio, and video. It is one of the most popular team communication platform in gaming, and enables users to connect with others on severs where larger communities interact together.
The communication software market is growing rapidly. Experts estimate that the employee communication market will surpass the $1.600 Million mark by 2026. With more solutions than ever to choose from, what are some of the most important buying criteria?
Organizations want their employees to collaborate and communicate freely. However, they also don’t want to compromise on data security. As such, built-in data protection technologies make all the difference to organizations that are buying communication software.
Namely, the dispersed, hybrid work model has brought on some challenges to data security.
Some companies weren’t all that ready for abrupt changes to their workplace policies in 2020 and left their employees to communicate with clunky team communication software. This propelled employees to use WhatsApp and other consumer communication apps for work-related matters – after all, why not, since everybody uses them already?
The answer is simple: WhatsApp and other consumer-oriented communication apps don’t uphold the same security standards as their business counterparts. With cyberattacks on the rise, organizations need to pay more attention than ever to the security of their collaboration solutions and user experience – so employees don’t resort to less secure solutions.
For large organizations in highly regulated industries - such as healthcare, government, or education - flexibility is extremely important. Yes, you want your employees to be connected wherever they are - but you want the new remote work tools at hand to fit into your existing infrastructure.
One solution for that is to look for open source software. Such software is highly flexible and has other benefits that are extremely useful in highly regulated industries.
➡️ Get our ultimate list of best open-source software to make your choice easier.
You want your employees to actually use the team communication software you provide them - and not have them deflect to less secure, consumer-oriented solutions like WhatsApp. Therefore, the app you choose needs to be easy to use. We're talking Single Sign On, absence of clunky features, rich integrations portfolio, and support for numerous communication methods.
Using communication software in an organization is beneficial from multiple standpoints. Perhaps the most straightforward advantage comes from facilitating an organic way of communicating. By employing a communication platform, employees can easily reach anybody within their organization, mimicking real-life situations of walking down the hall and knocking on the office door.
Furthermore, online communication goes beyond the limitations of the physical workplace. What if there’s no one in the office? Leaving a note seems much less efficient than sending a short message in chat.
Communication software allows teams to collaborate efficiently. Team members can jump on video calls for presentations, screen sharing, brainstorming, and then align on the project by communicating asynchronously via chat.
And why exactly is team collaboration so important to companies nowadays? Well, through collaboration, employees innovate and join their forces to improve their organizations’ products and services, ultimately leading to bigger profit and market share.
🚀 Check out the best collaboration software to skyrocket your business.
Ineffective communication is stressful: it slows down productivity, creates work silos, and in general can be very frustrating. Some research even states that 80% of the US workforce feels stressed out due to ineffective communication in their companies.
Organizational silo is a term that refers to business divisions that, due to their independence, avoid sharing information. It is very common in large companies, whereas smaller companies tend to fare better in this aspect.
However, organizational silos are dangerous for a company of any size. They prevent sharing of knowledge and decelerate development.
On the other hand, communication platforms can do wonders for breaking down silos. Colleagues from different business divisions can collaborate and share information on the go, and cross-functional teams can easily be established.
With a quick team chat available at their fingertips, employees can always check in with their colleagues to align on a common goal. Team members don’t have to wait for weekly meetings to make sure their work is pointed in the right direction. Instead, they can send a quick message on their organization’s chat or jump on a short call with their colleagues.
When employees are well connected, their productivity can rise to 25%.
This is one of the greatest advantages of communication software for businesses: it makes connecting easy. By doing that, employees can easily overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness if away from the office. Besides, collaborating on a project helps to increase employee engagement.
In his survey of 400 companies with more than 100,000 employees, David Grossman found that organizations lose on average $62.4 million per year due to inadequate communication between and to employees.
On the other hand, teams that utilize communication software with team communication best practices in mind can be more in touch with market needs and propel their business’ success.
- Collaboration & Productivity Software. Often, collaboration and productivity software will be asynchronous.
- Email Software.
- Instant Messaging.
- Mobile Device Management.
- Phones & VoIP.
- Contact Center and Technical Support Software.
- Web & Video Conferencing.
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