Earlier this year, Facebook announced its plans for a spin-off product that focuses on workplace communications and allows users to separate professional contacts from the personal information shared with friends and family.
The announcement came shortly after Microsoft announced a rebrand of Microsoft Lync to Skype for Business bringing the consumer and business platforms closer together. It’s also not long since ‘LinkedIn Messenger’ was announced; a new chat tool designed to replace its private messaging service.
As businesses like Facebook, LinkedIn and Microsoft are aware, the more digitally connected we become, the more need we have for software that bridges the gap between personal and professional communication.
Consumers are searching for a platform that caters to all their needs from one place/device/app – and if it takes more than a few clicks, they’re not interested.
Collaboration without switching devices
That’s exactly what Facebook and Microsoft are doing: identifying our lax attitudes to technology and catering to them, allowing us to accomplish our collaboration goals without having to switch devices, click or tap too many times.
If I can easily send a file to someone via my smart phone, without having to get in front of a laptop and wait for it to turn on and load, then I am most probably going to do it. So to have a platform that enables that – and keeps my employer happy – is a big bonus.
Microsoft’s rebrand of Microsoft Lync to ‘Skype for Business’ clearly shows that the brand is looking to cater to consumers and business technology users from the same platform. The idea of using something that is already familiar is instantly appealing because users do not have to learn a new process.
Both these platforms are aspiring to close the gap between large enterprises using the likes of Lync for corporate communications, and those consumers using Skype in private. The gap between work and personal life is closing quickly.
Read more ways to boost productivity in your business:
Chat apps help to cut emails
The diversity and flexibility of these tools are probably their most vital attributes – and the thing that makes them most valuable in modern businesses.
By simplifying and streamlining communications and enabling collaboration through screen sharing, video calls and enterprise chat they are supporting the ‘do it now’ culture that today’s working world has, by providing with instant communication capabilities.
One prime example that has emerged in recent months is the usage of chat apps. These have been all too familiar in our private lives for at least a decade, but many have begun to enter the working world and exist as a well-respected means of collaboration in many offices around the globe.
Text-based chat can be highly beneficial – in the same way as telephony chat – reduces email usage dramatically, by up to 75 per cent (in the case of group chat alone) and increases productivity.
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