Communication is the core necessary function to keep any business running. Without it, you can't research, plan, test or produce. Here are six of the best communications platforms for business.
With Skype for Business end of life approaching, it's imperative you begin thinking about migrating to newer, still supported platforms like Microsoft Teams. Teams contains many of the same core features and functions as Skype for Business, but with improved, more modern quality and functionality. Teams is a useful modern communication tool due to its centralized framework. You can use it for video and voice calling, virtual meetings, instant messaging, message board posting and file sharing, eliminating or reducing the need for individual communication methods.
2. Google Hangouts
Instant messaging platforms play a key role in daily communication, whether your job is remote or on-site. Google Hangouts and other instant messaging tools ensure employees can be connected and ask questions or transfer information quickly. While email provides you with a platform to write long-form correspondence, with instant messaging applications you can quickly ping someone asking to meet, hop on a call or have a real-time, organic conversation. Instant messaging simulates face-to-face or phone conversations better than email, which can help people communicate more easily.
LinkedIn is the primary social media platform for business networking. While it's not a tool you'll likely be using in-house for your production needs, it's still a necessary tool for you to utilize. LinkedIn offers many online learning courses related to various careers, common business tools and transferable skills that your employees can access. You can also use your business's LinkedIn profile for customer-facing and applicant-facing reasons. You can write blog posts and other types of external communication for your customers or clients to see. Applicants and current employees can look for job openings, information about your company and networking opportunities on your page.
While some companies will benefit immensely from centralized communication platforms for teams, others may prefer to keep their communication methods separated. In this case, you may be interested in leveraging a video-conferencing platform like Zoom. Zoom is a highly effective video-conferencing application because that's its main focus and purpose. Every feature and aspect of its functionality is geared toward providing a high-quality audio-visual experience. It includes collaborative tools such as in-meeting chats and breakout rooms, attendee management features and active speaker windows.
Collaborative software development platforms like Jira help ensure employees working on software-related projects are able to work together and communicate about these projects effectively. With a collaborative platform, your employees will be able to track various projects and their progress. Software developers, content writers, website designers and project and product managers can all view project timelines and various aspects of the project. This ensures there are no loose ends or pieces of a project that fall through the cracks. You can also centralize project management. Rather than emailing and sharing files separately, you can communicate directly on a project board and upload relevant files to the board for everyone to access.
Dropbox and other file uploading and sharing tools are essential to any business. These tools enable you to store files, data and documentation online. Now, that online storage is usually hosted on the cloud, which enables you to have unlimited space for storage. Dropbox incorporates multiple features that are vital to storing your data safely and effectively. These include folder management, internal and external sharing, activity audits, file recovery and automatic backup and organization functionality. Online file storage ensures your data is available to all employees whether they're working on-site or remotely. It also makes sure your data is protected from physical damage or loss and enables you to mitigate digital damage or loss.
Ultimately, the communication platforms you leverage will depend on the type of business you're running and your work environment. A primarily virtual business will need more powerful video conferencing software than a business that operates primarily in physical spaces, for example.