In an era when remote work and mobile devices are the norm for Australian organisations, communication is key. Your business can’t keep relying solely on email and poorly designed messaging apps to collaborate on projects and discuss ideas. If you truly want to increase efficiency in a digital environment, you need to implement powerful team messaging apps. There are currently dozens of messaging apps you can choose from, but we’ve narrowed down your search to five outstanding platforms.
Slack is one of the most popular team communication apps used by startup companies and Fortune 500 corporations alike. It owes much of its success to its intuitive features, various software integrations, and boundless customisability.
Every Slack user has access to a general channel where they can receive and post company updates and announcements. However, the majority of day-to-day conversations take place in smaller channels dedicated to specific departments or project teams. These channels are only open to a select group where participants can send messages, react with emojis, share files and videos, and start individual threads. Slack has a built-in search function that makes it easy to find specific channels, users, and messages. Also, its desktop version has high-quality audio and video calling capabilities with a maximum of 15 participants.
The remarkable thing about Slack is its integrations with various applications. It can integrate with business email so you get notifications on specific channels and when certain keywords or names are mentioned in chats. When combined with project management software like Trello or Asana, you can manage team to-do lists and calendars in channels. There are even integrations where you can create polls during team discussions.
Glip is RingCentral’s collaboration hub that’s loaded with the same features as Slack. It provides instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, file sharing, and task management. However, Glip is missing a few capabilities, such as individual conversation threads and custom configurations available for Slack users.
That said, Glip gives considerable benefits for business. For starters, standard subscriptions get data retention and compliance features, which are crucial for industries like finance and healthcare. It also comes with advanced administration options that can enforce policies around file sharing, team chat invites, and access privileges.
Glip’s other native features include team calendars and collaborative document editing. These make it easy for teams to stay in sync and work together without having to switch to different tabs and windows. Additionally, if your team thrives on feedback, users can annotate documents, PDFs, and image files within Glip.
If you’re familiar with Microsoft software and cloud services, then its premier team collaboration app Microsoft Teams is a no-brainer. Similar to other apps on this list, Microsoft Teams is front-loaded with group channels where participants can share files and start conversation threads.
Channel members have access to do not disturb mode, dozens of notification settings, and even custom tones. Plus, users can invite guest users into channels while preventing unauthorised access to classified documents.
What sets Teams apart from the competition is its integrations, offering especially powerful functionality with other Microsoft apps. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, enabling users to collaborate on documents within one app. If you need more functionality, Microsoft Teams has a library of plugins and integrations with best-in-class tools. For instance, you can integrate Teams with Flow for workflow automation, Asana for task management, and Salesforce for customer relationship management.
Microsoft Teams also provides many of the superb calling features that made Skype so popular. It has VoIP capabilities like call routing, automated attendants, contact management, voicemail, and music on hold. HD video and audio calling supports softphones on PCs, iOS and Android devices, and VoIP-compatible handsets. Finally, Teams can host meetings with up to 250 participants and group and audio calls of up to 20. Microsoft even intends to increase the number of video call participants to 49 in late 2020. This makes Teams ideal for any situation, whether it be a webinar, company-wide meeting, or a small team discussion.
Businesses running on a tight budget will love Flock’s competitive pricing that starts at US$4.50 per month. Its pro package comes with 10 GB storage space per user, unlimited private and public channels, screen sharing, and group video calls. Compared to Slack and other communication apps, Flock is one of the most cost-effective solutions in the market.
However, price isn’t the only selling point of Flock. The messaging app features a five-column interface that makes it easy to find all the features users need. Flock users can manage contacts, collaborate on documents with colleagues, and add various third-party plugins to streamline workflow. Flock is also optimised for performance, boasting quick chat search, high-definition video streaming, and app loading times.
Google Chat is a team messaging app available to G Suite users. While Google Chat doesn’t quite match the bells and whistles of other messaging apps, it makes up for it with ease of use. It offers basic communication features like group chat rooms, file sharing, and emoji reactions.
Where Google Chat shines is its tight compatibility with G Suite services. For example, when you link a Google Doc in Google Chat, G Suite changes file permissions so people in the room have access to the document. If you want to start a conference call, Google Chat seamlessly works with Meet to provide video and audio calling as well as screen sharing.
What’s more, Google Chat can make group chat rooms and direct messages available in Gmail. This is perfect for users who want to consolidate all their communications in one place.
Deciding on a team communication is a big investment, one that can have long-term repercussions if you choose poorly. If you’re still unsure about which of these apps is right for your company, consult with Empower IT. As Australia’s leading managed IT services provider, we can advise you on anything regarding technology. Our experts will assess your needs and budget, and recommend a solution that drives your company’s growth. Contact us today to get a comprehensive IT consultation.