What Is Enterprise Instant Messaging And Why Does It Matter?
By David Liu
Instant messaging was once the sole domain of the consumer landscape.
We used tools like AIM and MSN messenger in the very earliest days of online communication to connect with people around the world. As the internet evolved, our tools for instantaneous messaging transformed too and we began to explore new opportunities like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram direct messaging.
Gradually, companies began to question why they couldn’t achieve the same convenient fast-paced communication in their careers that they got at home. After all, why should you be able to plan a family meal on WhatsApp in seconds, but have to spend forever waiting for emails so you can plan a business meeting?
Enterprise instant messaging is how companies can bring the convenience of consumer tools for quick communication into the business collaboration world.
What Is Enterprise Instant Messaging?
So, what is enterprise instant messaging?
Essentially, it’s an enhanced form of standard instant messaging, often with added security features and tools for policy management. Unlike a standard instant messaging tool, an enterprise service might feature things like audit and compliance capabilities, file sharing with a built-in virus scanner, and end-to-end encryption. With enterprise instant messaging, companies get the convenience of being able to talk to their colleagues in real-time, with the added privacy and security measures required to keep a corporation safe.
In a world where the email inbox has become a black hole for employee productivity, instant messaging is a useful alternative. Rather than having to worry about things like missing emails or complex threads between employees, businesses can create a real-time digital conversation in a secure, fast-paced environment. Leading tools like Deltapath enterprise instant messaging offer features such as:
- auditing and compliance tools
- group chat, one-on-one and broadcasting conversations
- whitelists and blacklists for secure conversations
- file sharing with built-in virus scanning
- up to 256-bit encryption for messages
- multi-device functionality
- message recording and archiving
On top of that, with enterprise instant messaging, all conversations can happen instantly. There’s no need to wait around refreshing your email inbox or keep trying a number in the hope that someone will eventually pick up. Instant messaging allows for instant collaboration, anywhere.
Why Do Businesses Need Enterprise Instant Messaging Today?
While instant messaging has been around for quite some time now, it’s only recently that companies have begun to embrace the concept. Part of the reason for this is that consumer IM tools didn’t have the security and privacy settings required to ensure business compliance. The rise of new solutions for secure instant messaging has made the option more appealing to companies worldwide.
At the same time, another driver of the growing instant messaging market is the fact that the workforce is changing at a rapid pace. We’re living in a world where countless employees are constantly on the move. Some of your team members may be working remotely, whereas others may be front-line employees working in the field with customers. In a dynamic business environment, enterprise instant messaging helps to keep everyone connected and on the same page.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of instant messaging in the current landscape.
Instant Messaging Improves Productivity
Increasing employee productivity and business revenue are two of the biggest goals for any modern business. Unfortunately, when people are trying to find missing emails, or waiting around for phone calls, they can’t always be as productive as possible. To make matters worse, employees receive anywhere up to 304 emails to their inboxes each week – which gives them a lot of content to search through before they can find the information they need.
Studies suggest that replacing unproductive emails, lengthy email threads and other outdated modes of communication with enterprise instant messaging (EIM) could help companies to reclaim up to 12 hours of productivity per week for their employees. With the right instant messaging tools, team members can find out which of their colleagues are available to assist with an issue using presence features, then send a message in real-time. Instant messaging keeps the workplace flowing smoothly when speed is of the essence.
Instant Messaging Supports Company Culture
An instant messaging service also can allow today’s businesses to improve the connections between members of their teams. As we mentioned above, there are a lot of different generations and types of worker in the modern workplace. Not everyone on your staff roster will be available for weekly meetings and watercooler discussions with their peers. This can mean that company culture begins to suffer, as some employees feel as though they’re isolated from their team.
While team members can use emails and phone calls to reach out to their colleagues, an instant messaging thread can make people feel like they’re a part of an ongoing conversation – rather than just an afterthought. You can even combine your instant messaging services with video collaboration tools and audio conferencing to invite people throughout your team into regular digital sessions for team-building and bonding.
Instant Messaging Makes Knowledge Sharing Easy
For years, companies have relied almost exclusively on email, fax, and even direct mail to share files and important information with their colleagues. Unfortunately, this kind of knowledge sharing can often lead to informational silos in the workplace.
For instance, if you wanted to share a document with our team via email, you’d need to send that file to everyone through separate emails. There’s a good chance that one of those emails could end up getting lost, deleted, or even marked as spam before they hit your colleague’s inbox. What’s more, when your team member needs to find that information again, they need to go hunting through their inbox. On the other hand, with an instant messaging service, you can broadcast a message to your entire team, or send a file to multiple people at once.
Searching for files is easy using the in-built search function in your instant messaging tool, and you can even pin messages to conversations so that your employees don’t lose important details. In a world where time lost on searching for information equates to around $3,300 of lost productivity per employee, instant messaging can have a huge impact on your company’s efficiency.
Instant Messaging Could Improve Customer Experiences
Finally, investing in enterprise instant messaging as part of your unified communication strategy could also help you to improve the experiences that you give to your customers too. When your team members can work more efficiently and collaboratively together, solving problems becomes a much faster and simpler experience. Your users will be able to find out who’s online in their team and send messages asking for help when they need it instantly. This leads to quick results for your customers who might be waiting for assistance on the other end of a phone line.
Some instant messaging applications can even be expanded so that you can connect with your customers through instant messaging too. This means that instead of having to send you an email or make a phone call when they have a problem, your clients have another, quicker way to get in touch with your service team. Instant messaging isn’t just a tool for in-office collaboration and internal communication, it also can be a solution for:
- Customer service: Today’s clients do everything they can to avoid picking up a phone. Offering instant messaging as a form of communication could differentiate you from your competition.
- Sales: When your customers want to make a purchase, they may prefer to use an instant messaging service instead of giving their details over the phone.
- Gaining customer feedback: Giving your customers access to information could provide them with an easy way to review your products and services.
Time To Transform Your Messaging Experience?
Enterprise instant messaging is just one part of a comprehensive strategy for high-quality unified communications. However, as businesses strive to find new ways of improving their productivity, efficiency, and revenues, EIM could have a lot to offer.
A secure and reliable instant messaging tool will give your customers a quick way to reach your team, while also providing your employees with the convenient solutions they need to collaborate. Discover the benefits of enterprise instant messaging for your business today.