Trends in Business Messaging 2021

The current news regarding the update of the WhatsApp privacy statement shows it once again: Companies should protect themselves against IT security gaps and use a compatible alternative to WhatsApp for team communication. Why a business messenger meets the needs of companies better than a (free) consumer app is revealed in the following trends in business messaging.

Teamwire, Jan 13 2021

If the COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing clear to us, it is that we all – and by that we mean all industries and companies with a workforce of two or more – need to be more agile in our work processes for the safety and protection of our employees. This was equally true for us as Teamwire. So we had to ask ourselves the basic question of how to securely connect our employees from their home offices for communication and consultation.

 

For us as a provider of business messenger solutions, this was a challenge that was fortunately easy to implement, since we live our product by using and developing it every day. We know our product USPs. Teamwire is our basic medium of communication.

 

It was all the more important for us to understand that during the first lockdown in the German-speaking world, most companies or IT administrators needed to find and use a fast communication solution. If even free of charge, all the better. The questions to ask yourself at this point, however, are: Is a consumer app like WhatsApp really free? Or do we pay for it with our personal data? And does the use of a consumer app create a loophole for cyber attacks in the corporate IT infrastructure? These are all fundamental and interesting questions, particularly in terms of the update to WhatsApp’s privacy policy, which will come into effect on February 8. We recommend reading the article on the topic published on Heise Online here.

 

A sustainable alternative to WhatsApp

 

Messenger services have become an indispensable part of both private and professional communication – even more so in industries such as healthcare, blue light organizations, public authorities and logistics with a surplus of mobile employees than in businesses with a larger number of office workers. But the current situation in particular shows us all that collaboration solutions that connect all employees are essential for a smooth workflow. The conclusion is: don’t let shadow IT emerge, but choose a privacy-compliant alternative that both specializes in intuitive business use with appropriately designed functions and ensures centralized control.

 

In the following, we list what we consider to be the most important trends in business messaging for device-, time- and location-independent collaboration among all employees:

 

Trend 1: Messenger as a communication hub

 

Unlike consumer apps, business messaging solutions are evolving into a communication hub. This means that a messenger acts as a central hub where data from different source systems is converged and from there reaches different target systems. In short, the communication hub ensures holistic data exchange by intelligently linking all communication and information systems via open interfaces.

 

In this way, both internal communication between employees and external exchange with partners and customers can be improved. In addition, it will be possible to have different providers, services and clouds communicate with each other via a federation. In this way, different companies can be connected with each other via a communication hub.

 

Trend 2: Customer specific use cases

 

Messaging solutions are integrating more and more functions to cover any use cases and make information exchange even easier. Sending text and voice messages is as much a part of the standard repertoire as sharing digital content. Beyond that, they have offered much more:

 

  • Distribution lists to quickly set up group chats, even with more than 2,500 recipients;

 

  • Alerts to ensure direct emergency communication and coordination using acknowledgement options and alert reports (Link to Blog Article Emergency Communication;

 

  • Live location broadcasting to send whereabouts in real time (Link to Blog Article Live Location);

 

  • Open APIs to query data and information from connected third-party systems in an automated and fast way;

 

  • Chat widgets for website and WhatsApp connectivity to facilitate information exchange with customers and partners (Link to Blog Article Chat Widgets).

 

 

Trend 3: AI-optimized communication

 

Artificial intelligence is the next logical step in the digital transformation. And it will also increasingly find its way into communication solutions. While general chatbots, which can be defined as an AI precursor, are almost considered old hat, far more complex AI-optimized communication, keyword: Conversational AI, will support employees. Conversational AI agents will use information from different systems, aggregate it and, based on it, recommend actions. This requires an innovative front-end messaging solution that enables an intuitive chatbot experience (Link to Blog Article Chatbots).

 

Trend 4: Employee Experience

 

Messenger and intranet, in the sense of a social intranet, are becoming increasingly intertwined. It is conceivable to integrate a social intranet application into a messaging solution to create a comprehensive employee channel. In addition to group and 1:1 chats, for example, there are separate channels that keep employees up to date on company news. These are displayed as an activity stream that functions like a news feed updated by the second. Employees can interact with the content directly via Messenger, i.e., they can like, comment and share. This makes employees feel heard and allows them to identify with the company.

 

Trend 5: Even greater data protection

 

In step with the functionalities that are continuously evolving, the technical security requirements for business messaging solutions will be even more comprehensive in the future. By linking systems, a secure container on the end device will be just as important for data management as holistic data and access management. At the same time, the threat of cyber attacks is growing along with the technical possibilities. Consequently, further strengthening of encryption algorithms for communication and the establishment of additional security functions will be unavoidable.

 

We are here for you

 

Would you like more information about Teamwire? Then contact our sales team and ask for a demo.

 

You are not sure which communication solution is the right one for your company? Then we recommend you to read the following blog article.

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