Whether you’re part of a corporate organization, a salon, or a nonprofit, effective communication is essential to keep the ball rolling. Broken communication channels can lead to misinformation and a lack of awareness, which can adversely affect projects and business goals.
Communication software can help your team and stakeholders stay on the same page with accurate information. The software offers various means of communication, such as group chats and video calls, to make the exchange quick and frictionless. It also offers notifications that ensure no important updates are missed and everyone stays informed.
We’ve prepared this guide to help you select the right communication software for your business. Here is what we’ll cover:
What is communication software?
Communication software refers to a group of tools that are used to enhance information exchange within an organization or among a group of people. These may include text messaging, audio and video chat, and group conference systems.
What are the deployment options for communication software?
You’ll need to understand the deployment options available before selecting a communication system for your business. Here are the two main types of deployments:
Cloud-based deployment: Cloud-based deployment is particularly useful for users that wish to avoid a large upfront investment. This is because server maintenance and support costs are borne by the vendors as they host the tool on their own or third-party servers.
Users simply need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to avail the service. Users can access these tools through computers or mobile devices connected to the internet.
On-premise deployment: On-premise deployment involves a greater upfront investment. This is because users host these solutions on their own servers and cater to maintenance, support, updates, and data storage. However, in the long run, the cost of ownership comes down as users don’t have to pay recurring fees on a monthly or yearly basis.
On-premise solutions are usually available for a one-time license and can be accessed through computer applications installed within the business premises.
Key question to ask a vendor before you buy: Which hosting option is best suited to my business requirements, technical resources, and IT budget?
What are some common features of communication software?
Gaining an understanding of the common features of communication software will help you shortlist products that meet your requirements.
Here are the common features of communication software:
Activity feed: Keep stakeholders and team members updated on tasks and projects via in-app and email notifications. It notifies about events such as task completion, approaching deadlines, and changes in due dates.
Activity feed in ActiveCollab
Chat/messaging: Send and receive messages via one-on-one chats, group messaging, and @ mentions to loop team members into discussions. The feature also includes audio and video chat options for enhanced communication, although not all tools may offer these.
Text messaging in Slack
File sharing: Add files (in formats such as PDF, XML, and PNG) to tasks and conversations. Tag the files, categorize them, and download them to view or save.
File sharing in Slack
Knowledge management: Manage and store resources shared and uploaded via the tool. Access search capabilities, apply filters, and sort files based on factors such as date, name, category, and author.
Knowledge management in Glip
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: In addition to the common features, what other features does your solution offer? How many of these features come for an extra cost?
Back to communication software directory
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.