Communication software is one of the technologies that have a profound impact on our lives. Now, more than ever, we can stay in touch with friends and family no matter how far apart we are.
Moreover, communication and collaboration solutions are an integral part of digital workplaces, and they enable employees to be more flexible than ever. Nowadays, teams can collaborate on projects across countries and time zones.
🚀 Have a peek at our end-to-end guide on team collaboration in hybrid work environments before you dive into the article!
What is communication software?
Communication software can be defined as any app or program that is designed to pass information from one system to another. One of the first types of communication software in business use was email. Nowadays, we usually think of instant messaging platforms and even video conferencing solutions when somebody mentions communication software.
The beauty of contemporary communication lies in its diversity. We can all engage in text chats, phone calls, and video conferencing. We can also exchange pictures, voice messages, and other files.
Due to the versatility of communication types, communication software providers usually have either instant messaging or web conferencing at its core. On top of that, they add other functionalities.
Best communication software for business
Here, we are listing both video conferencing tools and communication platforms. On one hand, video conferencing tools are important since video calls have successfully replaced live meetings. They enable employees and business partners across the globe to save time and money on travel. According to research, most companies will not return to a business-as-usual pre-pandemic travel policy until 2023.
On the other hand, communication platforms are combining the best of both worlds – asynchronous and synchronous communication. In other words, they are chat-first solutions with multiple integration options, including video, phone calls, and others. The goal? To provide a unified communication platform to employees and never have them search for alternatives.
Here are the ten best communication software for businesses of any size.
Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication software that embodies the true meaning of a communication platform. Why? Because you can have all the communication that goes on in a company under one roof.
This means not only chat and video conferencing for your internal communication but also communication with customers. Our integrations with multiple other software enable you to decrease app fatigue and have a single platform for all communication that goes on – with employees, partners, and customers.
Skype used to be synonymous with video calling. However, by adding features such as messaging and VoIP to it, it lost on its user-friendliness, which made it less popular than Zoom. However, it remains a frequently used video conferencing tool for many businesses, even more so now that it’s under Microsoft’s hood.
Although it’s not one of the classic communication software out there, we at Rocket.Chat love using BigBlueButton. One of the reasons why is the technology running in the back of it – namely, BigBlueButton is open-sourced.
As we at Rocket.Chat are huge open-source fans, it only makes sense that we often use this virtual classroom software when we have company-wide meetings!
5. Google Meet
Google Meet, one of the classics! Google Meet is an easy-to-use video calling platform from Google’s suite of products. Since Google Workspace has around 2 billion users worldwide, this communication software provides them a natural extension for communicating via video call.
6. Jitsi Meet
Jitsi Meet is a video conferencing platform that is embedded in Rocket.Chat. Why do we love it? It is free, fully encrypted, and 100% open source. It simply checks all the boxes when it comes to communication software!
It is no wonder that the deployment of Zoom grew over 45% between March and October of 2020. With many businesses abruptly switching to remote work, Zoom was singled out as a great way to replace live meetings.
With the simplicity of use and features like video webinars and integrated scheduling, Zoom remains one of the most popular communication software to date.
8. MS Teams
MS Teams is a widely-used communication software that is a part of the Microsoft universe. It does lack some flexibility which other providers are able to provide, but it is nevertheless a great addition to Microsoft’s portfolio of products and services.
Slack is probably one of the most popular communication software in the world. Its ease of use was unprecedented when it came to the market. However, with the rise of cyberattacks and data privacy regulations, a lot of security-oriented companies are looking for Slack open-source alternatives.
10. Troop Messenger
Troop Messenger is another communication software that offers both chat and audio and video calling. With features such as responding later, flagging messages, and remote desktop control, it makes for a useful communication tool for employees.
Discord is an instant messaging and distribution platform that enables users to communicate with each other via multiple channels – chat, audio, and video. It is one of the most popular communication software in gaming, and enables users to connect with others on severs where larger communities interact together.
How to choose the best communication software for your business?
The communication software market is growing rapidly. Experts estimate that the employee communication software market will surpass the $1.600 Million mark by 2026. With more solutions than ever to choose from, what are some of the most important buying criteria?
1. High data security
Organizations want their employees to collaborate and communicate freely. However, they also don’t want to compromise on data security. As such, built-in data protection technologies make all the difference to organizations that are buying communication software.
Namely, the dispersed, hybrid work model has brought on some challenges to data security.
Some companies weren’t all that ready for abrupt changes to their workplace policies in 2020 and left their employees to communicate with clunky communication software. This propelled employees to use WhatsApp and other consumer communication apps for work-related matters – after all, why not, since everybody uses them already?
The answer is simple: WhatsApp and other consumer-oriented communication software don’t uphold the same security standards as their business counterparts. With cyberattacks on the rise, organizations need to pay more attention than ever to their communication software security and user experience – so employees don’t resort to less secure solutions.
2. Flexible solutions to fit your needs
For large organizations in highly regulated industries - such as healthcare, government, or education - flexibility is extremely important. Yes, you want your employees to be connected wherever they are - but you want the communication software at hand to fit into your existing infrastructure.
One solution for that is to look for open source software. Such software is highly flexible and has other benefits that are extremely useful in highly regulated industries.
➡️ Get our ultimate list of best open-source software to make your choice easier.
3. Easy-to-use features for high adoption rates
You want your employees to actually use the communication software you provide them - and not have them deflect to less secure, consumer-oriented solutions like WhatsApp. Therefore, the app you choose needs to be easy to use. We're talking Single Sign On, absence of clunky features, rich integrations portfolio, and support for numerous communication methods.
What are the biggest benefits of using communication software in your organization?
Using communication software in an organization is beneficial from multiple standpoints. Perhaps the most straightforward advantage comes from facilitating an organic way of communicating. By employing a communication platform, employees can easily reach anybody within their organization, mimicking real-life situations of walking down the hall and knocking on the office door.
Furthermore, online communication goes beyond the limitations of the physical workplace. What if there’s no one in the office? Leaving a note seems much less efficient than sending a short message in chat.
1. Enabling team collaboration best practices
Communication software allows teams to collaborate efficiently. Team members can jump on video calls for presentations, screen sharing, brainstorming, and then align on the project by communicating asynchronously via chat.
And why exactly is team collaboration so important to companies nowadays? Well, through collaboration, employees innovate and join their forces to improve their organizations’ products and services, ultimately leading to bigger profit and market share.
🚀 Check out the best collaboration software to skyrocket your business.
2. Less stress caused by ineffective communication
Ineffective communication is stressful: it slows down productivity, creates work silos, and in general can be very frustrating. Some research even states that 80% of the US workforce feels stressed out due to ineffective communication in their companies.
3. Breaking down organizational silos
Organizational silo is a term that refers to business divisions that, due to their independence, avoid sharing information. It is very common in large companies, whereas smaller companies tend to fare better in this aspect.
However, organizational silos are dangerous for a company of any size. They prevent sharing of knowledge and decelerate development.
On the other hand, communication software can do wonders for breaking down silos. Colleagues from different business divisions can collaborate and share information on the go, and cross-functional teams can easily be established.
4. Better goal alignment
With quick communication software available at their fingertips, employees can always check in with their colleagues to align on a common goal. Team members don’t have to wait for weekly meetings to make sure their work is pointed in the right direction. Instead, they can send a quick message on their organization’s chat or jump on a short call with their colleagues.
5. Increased productivity
When employees are well connected, their productivity can rise to 25%.
This is one of the greatest advantages of communication software for businesses: it makes connecting easy. By doing that, employees can easily overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness if away from the office. Besides, collaborating on a project helps to increase employee engagement.
6. Avoiding the cost of poor communication
In his survey of 400 companies with more than 100,000 employees, David Grossman found that organizations lose on average $62.4 million per year due to inadequate communication between and to employees.
On the other hand, teams that utilize communication software with team communication best practices in mind can be more in touch with market needs and propel their business’ success.
Reap the benefits of team communication and collaboration in your company by choosing the right software
Here at Rocket.Chat, we are all about joining forces of communication and collaboration to make work easy. However, we want our customers to never have to compromise on their data security.
This is why Rocket.Chat has numerous security features and is deemed one of the most secure messaging apps on the market. We don’t want to trick you guys: we do everything other messaging platforms do… Except expose your data.
Our team is just a click away, waiting to show you how easy it is to configure Rocket.Chat and use it in your organization. See what the fuss is all about and start enjoying all the benefits of great communication software in your company!