Microsoft has confirmed that Skype for Business Online will be breathing its proverbial last as of July 31, 2021. With so many business chat apps popping up, each with their own unique offering, it can be quite challenging to select the appropriate tool once Skype for Business goes to sleep.
We take a closer look at some of the leading business communication tools available to date as well as the key reasons Chalkboard is taking off globally:
Chalkboard makes it easy to message customers and keep your mobile number private. This business text messaging tool is designed for business owners operating on the go. Personalization just became a whole lot easier with this nifty mobile app. Rather than send bulk emails or pust laborious updates on Facebook, customers will receive a personal text message instead. It is direct, simple, personalized and highly effective. Chalkboard can also help provide valuable customer insight. By having that direct line to your customers you can gather responses quickly and adjust your strategy on the fly. This sleek, user-friendly tool does not bog you down with unnecessary features and makes it super easy to ask your customers for reviews.
Fleep offers instant messaging, task assignments, file sharing and productivity tools. Overall it offers a similar experience to Skype for Business, but the main difference is that Fleep does not restrict one to a team only environment. The tool allows communication with anyone, including suppliers and contractors as long as you have their email address. Among the key features that users can enjoy includes team communication and chat, collaborating and communicating with any Fleep user, simple task management and integration with tools like OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.
Designed for the flexible and modern workspace and equipped with support for the highest standards of security and compliance, Matermost is a team collaboration tool that is ideal for companies who want to keep their information as private as possible. This open-source alternative to Skype for Business affords companies the luxury to host within their own protected environment. This is a subscription service and a free trial is available. Working well with a range of compliance and mobile security systems some of the key features includes complete open-source customization, enterprise-grade security, custom emojis, multi-language support and integration with popular DevOps tools.
With this cloud-based app one can access everything from real-time calling, video meetings, instant chat and file sharing. The modern interface is user friendly and is a great alternative to some of the leading business chat apps and collaboration tools. The collaboration centre offers HD video that works with leading hardware prodivers like Cisco, LIfesize and Poly. Communication gaps are easily breached with external teams through the virtue that anyone with an email address can be invited to meetings, regardless if they are part of the team or not. Some handy features include guest support, instant messaging, video and audio calling, file sharing and browser-based access.
Numerous apps integrate with virtual assistants, chatbots and AI tools aimed at improving productivity. HiBox differs from the crowd by placing AI at the core of it’s offering. Like most collaboration and team chat tools, task management features, company and private chat, video conferencing and file sharing comes standard. A personal AI assistant helps users to manage their schedules efficiently and more productively. Some key features of this AI-powered tool includes intelligent file storage and search, individual AI assistant for each user, integrations with Dropbox and Google Drive as well as high-level security and encryption.
Those familiar with Cisco Jabber might recognize that Webex is a natural step into cloud collaboration for its users. Formerly called Cisco Spark, Webex offers the full range of team messaging functionality. Some features include one to one persistent chat, team messaging and interactive meetings inclusive of Cisco whiteboard experiences. Users with Cisco VoIP handsets, conferencing solutions and telepresence devices can rest assured as Webex integrates with most devices in the portfolio.
Choosing a replacement for your current business chat tool can be a daunting task. Requirements differ between businesses, organizations and departments as they all will have apps and hardware that need to integrate and work with replacement business chat tools. While tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams may seem like obvious choices, it is well worth experimenting with new tools that offer a personalized approach.