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Team Messaging

Team Messaging - Unifi Communications

Team Messaging

Your organisation can’t be agile if your people aren’t agile.

Today’s competitive business environment is driving demand for greater speed and agility, which requires empowering your employees to collaborate with coworkers, customers and partners in real time. This is where team messaging comes in: compared with conventional texting and chat, it transforms communication into collaboration.
Team messaging expands the humble instant message window into an immersive collaborative workspace that has all the team collaboration tools you need to keep work moving forward. For example, anyone using Webex Teams can start or join an on-line meeting, make a voice call and share their laptop from the same team messaging application.

Team Messaging

As the inbox snowballs, users respond to only a small fraction of their messages

Do you have trouble keeping up with your email? According to Yahoo Labs, as the volume increases, people reply faster (47 minutes or less on average), with fewer words, and to only half of emails. When the load reaches over 100 emails a day, users response rate drops to only a small fraction of their messages — less than 5%.
Email is still the dominant form of communication in most businesses. Employees still rely heavily on email and to collaborate with their teammates. However, while email has its place for longer or more formal communication between individuals, it lacks the immediacy of texting. Ninety percent of SMS texts are read within the first three seconds. Organisations cannot rely on email alone in the age of digital transformation. Today’s businesses need to communicate and collaborate better and faster so they can adapt to rapid change and increased competition.

Moving beyond “Reply All”

It is no wonder that people find better ways to communicate. Workplace collaboration software, also known as team messaging—combined with all the tools teams need to work together: chat; meetings; whiteboards; desktop share; and file share —is taking the enterprise communications world by storm.

The power of teamwork: team messaging

More than 8 in 10 workers have smartphones, and they have become impatient with anything less than the speed of SMS texting or having access to voice and video communications from anywhere. Today’s knowledge workers have also grown up on social media, which emphasises a group form of communication that is very different from email, voice calling, or SMS texting.
Team messaging apps such as Webex Teams, MS Teams, RingCentral Glip, Slack, and HipChat evolved as business tools by blending the speed of texting and instant messages with group communications such as users sharing comments in OneDrive. It’s about one-to-many vs one-to-one and real-time vs when they get around to reading the email.

Your organisation can’t really be agile if your people aren’t agile.

On the desktop, team messaging apps like Cisco Webex Teams elevate instant messaging from its popup box existence in the corner of the screen to a full-screen experience. It combines messaging with the meetings, calling, white-boarding and video for group collaboration. On a mobile device, the messaging capabilities of team messaging act as a more powerful alternative to SMS text messages or consumer chat apps.

Getting more work done—how team messaging works

Users instantly recognise the benefits of team messaging apps
Knowledge workers rush to adopt these new apps once they see the benefits, such as drastically reducing emails, scattered discussions, and disjointed resources as teams easily share conversations, files, tasks, and calendars. These apps also replace the cumbersome use of email in cases where group members really need fast exchanges, step-by-step task management, or quick approvals. The familiar workflow is another key to adoption. The way team messaging works is similar to how employees use their smartphones to send a text, share a group message, or access their calendars.
This consumerisation of IT has extended the BYOIT phenomenon, and employees now want to bring their favourite apps to work.

The rise of bring your own IT

According to a recent study by Polycom, 78% of millennials indicated access to the technology they want to use makes them more productive at work. A decade ago, IT departments struggled with the rapid proliferation of bring your own device (BYOD). Now when consumers go to the workplace, they expect to find all the forms of technology they are accustomed to using in their personal lives. This consumerisation of IT has extended to include the BYOIT phenomenon, and employees now want to bring their favourite apps to work.
78% percent of millennials indicated access to the technology they preferred to use makes them more productive at work.

Stealth IT creates inefficiencies and risks

With the mega-popularity of team messaging, it should come as no surprise that many IT departments are evaluating these apps to see if they would be a good fit for their organisations. However, users are not waiting for IT to render its opinion. They are jumping the gun, downloading these apps, and using them to collaborate. In a recent Ipsos study, 80% of respondents said team messaging and collaboration applications are already helping with productivity and work efficiency.

IT should lead team messaging adoption

Ultimately, IT is responsible not only for serving business needs but also ensuring the reliability, security, and control of anything that connects to the network.
Employees love these consumer-grade team messaging apps. But their ad hoc, stealth adoption limits effectiveness, increases cost, and creates a number of concerns for IT, such as:
  • Lack of integration with the corporate phone system limits unified communications (UC) capabilities such as HD video conferencing, on-line meetings and click-to-dial.
  • Inability to sync with the company phone directory or Active Directory makes it difficult to onboard and de-provision users.
  • Inadequate security and control—including the inability to audit and keep records—introduces risks of hacking and non compliance.
  • Uncontrolled downloading of apps by various groups results in increased management complexity and no single vendor for UC and team messaging.
  • A patchwork of messaging apps results in siloed teams that limit enterprise-wide collaboration as well as different UIs and features with unique learning curves.
  • IT has poor or no cost control as individual departments and business units may pay for a variety of solutions.
But from cloud file storage to smartphones, experience shows employees will use what they like to use. This dilemma requires deploying technologies that meet both needs. This is why IT should take the lead in meeting the exploding demand for team messaging. Compared with individual groups and business units downloading their preferred apps—which often don’t communicate with each other— IT can standardise on an enterprise-wide solution. This approach greatly enhances collaboration by breaking down the walls that now commonly exist between siloed teams and incompatible apps. Bringing team messaging into the IT fold further provides greater security as well as easier management by enabling integration with existing phone and business systems.

Team Messaging - Conclusion

Like it or not, team messaging is coming to your organisation. The best way to prevent it from becoming a stealth IT headache is to get ahead of users. Cisco Webex Teams provides all the features and user-friendliness of the most popular consumer-grade apps. At the same time, it provides the robust security, control, and administration required by enterprises. It’s the best of both worlds — user approved and IT vetted.