Confused over communication apps? We help you choose the best for your business

Communication is to businesses what data is to the digital world. It is powerful, inevitable, and a top driver of business benefits. The world has come a long way since oral communication, bulletin boards, intranets — and even emails — as key channels of communication in enterprises. Mobile-first communication platforms promise seamless communication and are ruling the roost today. It’s easy, effective, and highly engaging.

When it comes to businesses making a decision towards selecting the right communication tool, there are certain factors to consider:

  • Whether the app is easy to use and requires minimal training for onboarding.
  • Whether it loops in non-desk workers as effectively as their desk colleagues.
  • Whether it has a top-notch security apparatus in place to safeguard business-sensitive communications.
  • Whether it drives top-down communications as effectively as it encourages employee feedback.
  • Whether, apart from communication, it has the right set of tools to drive workforce engagement and productivity.

Here’s a glimpse of the top communication apps out there that can help you select the best fit for your enterprise.

Slack: Slack describes itself as a “collaboration hub for work” that ties together teams through the power of instant messaging. Catering mainly to desktop and technically sound users familiar with the ‘slash-command interface’, communication on Slack takes place on various channels organized by project, topic or team. With an easy search feature, integration capabilities, and sound security, Slack is one of the popular communication apps in the market today.

Yammer: Yammer leverages the power of social networking to offer transparent communication and enhanced engagement mainly to the in-office workforce. Like Slack has channels, Yammer has communities based on various interests, topics, and areas of practice. The forums allow everyone to share ideas and updates, provide feedback, and ask questions. Additionally, Yammer can be integrated with other apps in the Microsoft ecosystem and it also comes with trusted security, control, and compliance.

WhatsApp: Although its efficacy in secure enterprise communications is debatable, the popularity of WhatsApp as a consumer chat app has spilled on to businesses as well where employees can converse about work as easily as they do about their personal stuff. The familiar interface, easy shares, and popular features like group conversations make the app a natural choice for workers who want to stay in touch.

Zinc: The Zinc communication app claims to bind desk and frontline workers together on a single platform to drive easy, secure, and productive conversations. While content can be easily shared one-on-one or in groups, its central admin function lets users have complete control over analytics based on usage data, user participation, geographical efficiency, etc. Plus, Zinc’s ServiceMax integration fosters contextual conversations that drive productivity. However, some of its features, like Push-to-talk, are designed solely for technical service workers. Exclusively designed to serve the ever-growing number of non-desk workers (unlike Yammer) in enterprises, is an easy-to-use mobile-first communication app that relies on the power of instant messaging to connect the entire workforce in a robustly secure way (unlike WhatsApp). Real-time communication is driven by alerts, peer-to-peer and group chats, broadcasts, file exchange, and more. Employee engagement gets a massive boost with email-less onboarding (unlike Slack) and in-built microapps (unlike Zinc) on surveys, polls, crowdsourcing, recognition, etc. On the other hand, productivity takes a giant leap with AI-powered chatbots, work apps integration and the Task Manager feature — that lets admins have clear visibility into employee workdays to ensure higher work efficiency.

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