Communication is important. We all know that.
Knowing something is important however, doesn’t necessarily mean we know how to implement it.
Internal communication tools are great for enabling staff to communicate quickly and easily with one another. The market seems to be getting more and more crowded in the communication segment so we thought we’d have a look at the major players.
Skype For Business
Skype for Business is basically a supercharged upgrade from the free version of Skype. It allows you to conduct online meetings with up to 250 people, set your status (busy, available etc), sync with Outlook, manage your employee accounts and features, and much more.
The best feature on SFB is the chat window, where you can instantly chat and send files to other members of your team. You can also set your status to show if you’re available, busy or in a meeting.
Slack is no longer the new kid on the block but it is definitely the coolest and possibly one of the most discussed in recent time.
Slack uses ‘channels’ to organise the different spaces where people can chat to each other. These channels are organised by hastags and you can customise them anyway you like (departments, projects, clients etc).
When you first start using Slack it can seem very cluttered and disorganised and it does take some getting used to. Once you’re up and running and everyone is on-board it’s a fantastic tool for internal communication.
Yammer is Microsoft’s internal communications tool and has been around for quite a while now.
Yammer is easy to use and closely resembles Facebook’s timeline, which helps new users get going faster. It’s reasonably priced and a good simple tool, however it’s not very complex and really can’t do much else. The way threads work make it appear slow compared to a tool like Slack.
HipChat belongs to Atlassian and is a fantastic tool for internal communication between team members. HipChat is one of the cheapest options in this space and packs a whole lot of features, including video calls and screen sharing.
HipChat divides itself into rooms and follows the same principle of Slacks design (albeit not as slick looking as Slack). Although not as good looking as Slack, HipChat boasts a huge integration library and has made its API available so you can build your own integration if necessary.
Workplace by Facebook
This is the newest in this space and an attempt from Facebook to enter the business market. Workplace by Facebook has the exact same look as regular Facebook making it instantly recognisable and super easy to on-board new users. It’s also inexpensive compared to Slack and does have a free tier.
It however doesn’t have some of the complexity of HipChat and doesn’t have many integrations as of yet. It is still a new player in this space and we expect it to evolve its offering, Facebook certainly has the money and sway to make this happen.
As we always say, it’s about finding the technology that suits you and the goals of your business. Most of these tools have free tiers or trial periods so give them a go and see what suits your team. There’s no point signing up to software that looks great but your staff hate using, the first rule is to make sure the technology doesn’t get in the way of your team’s work.