By John Allen
If you work remotely (like everyone at the moment) you’re no doubt using various apps to help you communicate and collaborate. There are certainly plenty to choose from. The number of apps is growing at a rapid rate to help ensure it’s “business as usual” for companies around the world.
Remote team collaboration is vital, so apps that enable companies to make a conference call or easily group chat are helping firms survive the current crisis.
We’ve rounded up some of the more useful apps that are helping employees carry out their increasingly remote daily interactions and functions.
An all-in-one video-conferencing, and high quality phone calling solution that helps teams stay connected and productive while telecommuting. It’s easy to create and manage tasks, share files and hold HD video meetings. As well as enabling teams to screen share in real time, RingCentral features a whiteboard function and shared calendar. Remote messaging via SMS enables both clients and coworkers to keep up to date.
Symphony Secure Communications
If security is uppermost in your mind. then this is the app for you. Symphony Secure is a cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform that involves end-to-end encryption. It’s a free and useful tool that provides secure collaboration for businesses.
It’s ideal if security and regulatory standards are crucial, making it popular with financial institutions. The app allows you to message, file share, live screen share, and use bookmarks to collect important messages in one place.
Convo offers an efficient way to manage teams based in diverse geographical locations. Recently featured in CIO magazine as one of the 10 most promising collaboration tools, the app was first launched for retailer H&M to better communicate with its 15000 employees worldwide.
Convo enables customizable notifications on web, desktop, and mobile. Users can share web links, images, and presentations, as well as files of 60+ other formats with teams. Also features a newsfeed so you can stay up to date with all the latest posts and activity.
Text Magic features a SMS customer support tool that enables you to deal instantly with customer queries and support issues – as they text you.
SMS support is a great option to stay in touch with customers, with eWeek reporting that 52% of people said they’d like this as an option.
The app features SMS templates that mean you don’t have to write the same message over and over again. Text Magic is also useful for keeping in touch with staff to give them updates or find out where they are and what they’re doing. You also have the option to track messages and download reports.
Having face-to-face interactions with fellow employees is helping companies transition to telecommuting in the cloud. Apple’s FaceTime can enable group chats of up to 32 people at the same time, and can integrate calls into recent calls list in the Phone app.
A good solution for small businesses, FaceTime is a good way to keep in contact with customers. You can give them a personal service and easily show presentations and screen share.
You can reach customers using their phone number or Apple ID, make audio and video calls from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to other iOS devices or even a Mac.
This teamwork messaging app takes the stress out of telecommunication by keeping conversations organized and on-topic. It reduces the confusion of messy email threads and the chaos of real-time chats. Twist is a product from the developers of Todoist – and was awarded “Best Communication app for Distributed Teamsâ” by PC Magazine. Chats are organized by projects, keeping team communication and messaging in one place.
A private, secure platform, Confide provides confidential end-to-end encrypted screenshot-proof messaging. With safety a priority, it’s an app that’s gathering momentum with lawyers and IT professionals. It’sideal for when you need to have a quick confidential chat with a client (but worry they’ll inadvertently share sensitive information).
The free version of the app enables text, photos, videos, documents, and group messaging – and is available for mobile and desktop. If you want to upgrade to Confide Plus you can also send unlimited attachments and retract unread messages.
HipChat enables one-to-one messaging, file sharing, and real-time connections. You can chat from desktop to mobile and it integrates seamlessly with multiple everyday tools including those from Google Drive, Trello, Twitter, and more. The app’s features include unlimited group chat rooms, file-sharing, searchable chat history, email, and push notifications.
Spark provides personal client email as well as email for teams. It has a dark mode to help you telecommute better at night and save battery life. Spark organizes emails into personal, notifications, and newsletters. You can invite team members to discuss specific emails and threads, and keep everyone in the loop.
Teams and editors can collaborate in real-time and compose super-professional emails. The app also allows you to schedule when to send emails, snooze emails, and get notified about important messages.
Zinc All Mode Communications
This is an “all communication platform” that allows teams to communicate one-to-one or in groups. It offers messaging, voice, and video. Zinc Broadcasts is a corporate news feature that allows businesses to keep up with news and critical information. The app integrates with a wide range of systems from Dropbox to Google Drive.
Innovations in business communications are helping businesses not only survive but thrive in these unprecedented times. From live chat software and screen sharing software to video-conferencing solutions and apps that boost security, there’s a tool to cover every eventuality.
With so many apps to try out, it’s a case of test them and see, as some will no doubt suit you better than others.
John Allen is the director of global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and video conferencing solutions provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Bamboo HR and Hubspot.