Social apps among businesses are hot, but what are the best communications tools for getting things done? Unison Technologies contends that its fast group interactions are the optimal choice between business-focused instant messaging like Campfire and enterprise social networks like Microsoft’s Yammer or Salesforce’s Chatter. This week, the New York City-based company is updating its enterprise messaging platform with new, free apps for iOS and Android devices.
Unison offers fast group messaging in which co-workers are automatically connected on the same domain, IT has rights and other admin controls, and users have the option to communicate one-to-one. Secure discussion groups, or rooms, can add new participants only by an invitation from the group leader, not from invitations by regular participants.
Group Email Threads
Unison CEO Manlio Carrelli said in a statement that there is clear early evidence "the messaging trend will be as large in business as it has become among consumers.” He has noted to news media that most business teams are still using group email threads to get things done.
Carrelli added that businesses could be expected to follow consumers’ path from “email to social networks and now to fast messaging apps,” and said that fast messaging apps are “a response to today’s email and enterprise social network bloat.”
His company compares its offering to a business version of WhatsApp, a popular messaging app for smartphones.
Differences from WhatsApp
But, to illustrate the difference, Unison noted that a team “at one of the world’s largest software companies” tried WhatsApp but soon ran into obstacles and migrated to Unison. When they wanted to share a previous conversation within WhatsApp, for instance, they had to send a screen-capture to team members as an image, which was difficult to manage and not possible to search. Additionally, IDs were linked to phone numbers and not to business email addresses.
Unison points to other business-oriented features that it offers. These include the ability to see who is online on iOS, Android, Mac or PC devices, confirm if messages sent to an individual or a group are read and quickly post a user’s location. A space can also be organized by threads, users can post text, documents, images and other materials and can text/audio/video chat one-to-one or in group conferences, and content can be instantly synced across devices.
Title image courtesy of igor.stevanovik (Shutterstock)