Instant messaging has come a long way since the early days of the internet. Technology users are no longer required to sit in front of a computer to fire messages back and forth to friends, family, and colleagues.
But with so many messaging apps available, one of the biggest dilemmas is which one to choose. For businesses, though, a wealth of choices means they can be selective, finding the best app that fits in with their unique needs and environment. Here are three great messaging apps that can help workers stay in touch, whether they’re in the office or on the go.
Businesses are realizing the collaborative power available with Google+ Hangouts. From free video calls to its social media-style communication, the service is ideal for creating a professional forum for an entire team to meet. Professionals can access Google+ Hangouts on Android, iOS, or through a web app. Google+ Hangouts can also be used to snap and share photos while at a work site or while meeting with a client. Since video calls can be conducted via a smartphone or tablet, it can save businesses time and money on travel. A company representative could be on site with a client, for example, and bring the rest of the team in on the conversation through Hangouts. Best of all, Google+ Hangouts is free.
Many Cisco users are already familiar with Cisco Jabber, which is currently being used in conjunction with their desk phones. The mobile version of the app gives a user access to the same contacts he’d see if he were sitting in front of his desktop or laptop. Each contact’s availability status is listed and the user’s availability status automatically shows unavailable when the user is on the phone. Using the mobile app, workers can conduct multiple messaging sessions at once, moving between each conversation with a swipe of the finger. Phone calls, WebEx meetings, and emails can be sent directly from the chat session. For customers that already have Cisco products, Jabber may be the best solution.
Skype is primarily known as a videoconferencing tool, but the app also has text-based messaging capabilities. From a mobile device or PC, the user simply finds a contact from his list, types a message, and hits send. One problem with Skype, however, is that the user doesn’t know an IM has been sent unless the application is open and running in the background. Mobile users will need to enable push notifications on their device to be informed when a message has been sent. For iOS users, this means ensuring “receive chat messages even when Skype is closed” is enabled. Currently, this feature is enabled by default.
As the workforce becomes more mobile, businesses will increasingly seek solutions that enable them to stay in touch without being in the office. These solutions are mobile-friendly, so workers can run them using their own personal devices or work-issued devices. By being reachable from anywhere, professionals can better stay on deadline and communicate with the rest of the team for better collaboration.
- License: Creative Commons image source