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While an increasing number of organizations these days hire offshore/remote employees to support expansions, several teams are now adopting the “work from home” model to offer individuals the much-required flexibility.
In these scenarios, fractured communication can work in reverse to the perceived benefits. Virtual communication platforms such as team communication software are specifically designed to avert such situations.
From a hub of collaboration that allows exchanging information and documents to being the new watercooler near where professional and personal goings-on are shared, team communication software is now essential to any tech stack.
In this buyers guide, we’ll learn more about this software and how it helps teams communicate.
Team communication software is a tool that gives businesses a virtual communication platform to connect and collaborate. Users can interact within and across teams and departments or throughout the organization. They can share professional or personal updates, with specific peers or the entire team.
Deployment options determine some key operational aspects of the software. Let’s understand this further:
Cloud-based deployment: This option is particularly helpful for small and midsize businesses as it requires low upfront costs. The server maintenance, support, and update costs are handled by the vendor, who host the tool on their own or third-party servers.
These tools can be accessed via the internet for a recurring monthly or annual subscription fee.
On-premise deployment: On-premise deployment is relevant for businesses that can manage their own servers. Businesses that opt for this deployment model have to cater to the update, support, and server maintenance on their own.
These tools can be accessed via the business’s network only and are available for a one-time license fee.
Key question to ask a vendor before you buy: What are the IT infrastructure requirements for each type of deployment?
The common features of a tool serve as effective parameters for shortlisting products. We have covered some of them in this section.
Activity feed: Keep the team and all other stakeholders updated on key events or changes. Comment on posts in the feed to clarify doubts and keep everyone on the same page.
Activity feed in Flock
Instant messaging: Communicate with team members via instant messaging. Create personal or group chat rooms and share multimedia content in chats or attach essential documents in different file formats.
Instant messaging in Glip
Video/audio conferencing: Interact with team members via video or audio conferencing. Host multiple attendees in a conference or interact one-on-one. Share documents in-call or share the screen for closer collaboration.
Video conferencing in Slack
File sharing: Share files in different formats (PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT, etc.) on the activity feed, in group/personal chat rooms, or via platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
File sharing in Flock
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: How many of these features does the tool offer? If some of these features are not available in the tool, is there the option for third-party integrations to make up for these?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.