For businesses, communication is key. To reach your organizational goals effectively, it's important that everyone involved can communicate with one another. The internet, and especially the rise of mobile, has made communication more instant and more effective than ever before. Today, web and smartphone apps can supercharge your company’s internal communications, helping streamline your efforts to improve efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, your bottom line.
Versatile Options for Communication
Instead of relying on a company intranet, organizations can take advantage of a variety of programs designed for business communication. There are apps available for instant messaging, email-style message threads, and even sending out notifications via SMS text message or phone call. By leveraging more than one available app, businesses can streamline and enhance internal communications for better team cohesion and improved productivity.
Business Apps for Internal Communication
These nine business communication apps, available on mobile devices and desktop computers, provide a reliable and versatile way for employees to communicate effectively with one another:
Slack has quickly become one of the most popular project management and collaboration tools, especially for companies with remote workers. This cloud-based team communication app actually originated as an internal communication tool for a small game development company. Launched in 2013, it's now one of the most popular ways for internal teams to collaborate. Slack features chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Files, groups, and members are all completely searchable, making it easy to pull up previous conversations. It's available for web, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. [slack.com]
HipChat is another popular team communication app, accessible from web or mobile anywhere in the world. It's available in a freemium version, but there's also an inexpensive paid version that adds extra features. Designed to integrate with Google Drive, Facebook, Dropbox, and other popular software, it's a versatile and affordable option that's a great choice for small businesses. [hipchat.com]
Basecamp bridges the gap between staff and clients. It's designed to make it easy for people in different departments within a company to share files and collaborate on projects. By consolidating internal communications, project management, and client relations in one place, it provides an efficient and streamlined solution for managing a variety of internal communication and collaboration needs. Basecamp's discussion boards eliminate the need for complex, hard-to-navigate email chains by consolidating discussion about a subject in one place. It also manages tasks and to-do lists for staff members. [basecamp.com][click to continue...]
If you work remotely, staying in touch with your coworkers and supervisors is key to your success. With all the awesome online tools available today, it's easier than ever to work full time from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the apps we like the best for remote workers. You'll find social networks for companies, collaboration software, chat apps, and more that can help you move into the future of working remotely.
Yammer is a full social network, designed specifically for internal use by companies. It's like your own employees-only Facebook, making it easy for employees to communicate and connect. The service is entirely cloud-based, and can be accessed by employees from anywhere - making it a great way for remote teams to stay in touch with distant coworkers.
Yammer lets employees create public and private groups, which facilitates communication between members of small teams. It's easy to use, especially if you're already familiar with Facebook, and its interface isn't cluttered up by unnecessary features. It's currently included with Microsoft Office 365 making it quite accessible for businesses of all sizes.
The basic tier of Yammer is free, and the Enterprise tier runs a modest $3 per user per month. It's designed to be equally useful for both small businesses and large enterprises, meaning it can scale easily along with your business. If your remote teams need to stay connected, Yammer is a great choice.
The only real downside to Yammer is that it's a social network, that's essentially all that it is. This keeps the program lightweight and streamlined, but it lacks project management and scheduling features. [yammer.com]
Podio is a cloud-based team collaboration software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. This web-based platform empowers teams to communicate, manage projects, and share data and content through the cloud. It has a modular design, and users can select "apps" to add to the program to accommodate their project needs.
Unlike Yammer, which is almost exclusively a communication tool, Podio blends communication with project management features. Pricing is set at $9, $14, and $24 per user per month, depending on which tier you need. There is a free version available, but it doesn't have the user management features that you get with the paid tiers.
Podio is best described as a "collaboration platform." It works like a social network, and users can create customizable "workspaces" where they can collaborate together. It has both a direct messaging feature and a built-in chat app, making it easy to communicate.
By visiting Podio's apps marketplace, you can purchase further modular features, including CRM tools, business development tools, and software development tools. Apps are available for all kinds of industries and business functions, so you can customize Podio for your particular company. [podio.com][click to continue...]
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