Microsoft Teams has seen a spectacular growth in the last few months due to the work-from-home trend that was propelled by worldwide lockdown. Though there are many products in the market that are similar to Teams’ offering, Microsoft market share grew mainly because it was offered at no added cost to the already existing Office 365 or Azure users.
A whole lot of Microsoft Teams’ alternatives like Slack, Flock, Fleep, Missive app etc tries to brings all communications like group chat, audio and video calling in one place, the main difference is the related communications are not connected. Which means your conversations will remain disconnected though you will be technically using a single app. If you want to search for a presentation or a message from your colleague, you will have to search multiple channels to get the information. According to an American Management Association survey, 83% of executives think their companies have information silos and it has an adverse impact on their business.
For example, if you receive an email in most of the business communication apps and chat about it with your colleagues using group chat after a few months if you want to refer to some information from that chat, you will have to use your memory to recall pertinent information and search across multiple information silos to find the information. This is extremely inefficient and stressful. So, the big question is: Can your business communication tool help you to see the big picture buried in communication silos? Is your chat app or email app is equipped to organize all your communication neatly based on topics or context?
Read on to find out if any of these app can solve your day-to-day business communication and team collaboration issues.
Clariti is a business productivity web app that brings your emails, chats, call, to-dos, & shared documents… in one app and automatically organizes related items in “TopicFolders”. Clariti’s TopicFolders look and feel like Desktop Folders but do so much more. Unlike Desktop Folders that can only store files, TopicFolders hold emails, chats, documents, to-dos, and calls on the Web. Continue working with emails, chatting with coworkers, sharing documents and whatever else you do at work. Clariti works behind the scenes to keep all your work organized by topic in a TopicFolder. Automatically. Without the hassle. TopicFolder allows you to easily see the big picture behind your communication and make informed decisions.
Clariti is ideal for small and medium businesses to boost team collaboration and drive productivity. It is securely hosted on Amazon Web Services, providing total reliability, 100% uptime and trusted security of all your workday data.
Chanty is a cloud-based collaboration platform that combines communication, project management, and automation to help teams work together more effectively. Chanty helps teams improve productivity and business communication. Unlimited message history, task management, file sharing and powerful notifications organize and save your day. Chanty helps you to collaborate and communicate effectively in one place.
Chanty helps you to chat with your team members; communicate using group & 1 on 1 audio/video calls and share your screen; Share instant messages, files or any other content you like; Create, assign, set deadlines and discuss tasks directly in Chanty; Integrate messaging with a variety of apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, GitHub, Zapier, Jira, Asana and many others; Track team workflow by using Kanban Board; Watch YouTube videos, GIFs and social media content; Have quick access to all your chats, tasks and files through Teambook. Chanty has both web and mobile versions.
Slack supports over 800 integrations. Slack’s free version has chat history, audio/video calls, integrations, file storage and screen sharing (all with restrictive access). Slack is one of the most expensive SaaS software to own. Pricing plans start from $8 per user per month. For large teams this can add up to real dollars, real fast. In addition, you will have to pay for all the integrations. Say for example, if you are using Zoom for video calling, you have to add the Zoom subscription fee to your monthly cost. Everybody in the team is not tech savvy. You will need dedicated resources to help you with all the integrations. Your employees will also have to go through training to make use of all the features. Organizations that cannot afford these costs will find it overwhelming, making it suitable only for large companies.
Flock is one of the popular communications and collaboration apps for modern teams and businesses. Flock packs more features under chat and channels and it is relatively more affordable when compared with bigger counterparts like Slack. It supports some of the features like shared notes, reminders, to-dos, polls etc. You can also make audio and video calls and share your screen with your remote team. Flock is available in all formats like web, desktop and mobile. One of the most distinguishable features of Flock is it supports the app in 4 different languages.
Fleep treats every item as a conversation including email. When you send an email to non-Fleep users, they receive it as an email. But when you send an email to other Fleep users, the message becomes a part of their chat conversation. Fleep is primarily an instant messaging application that tries to replace emails.
In Fleep, all conversations are grouped based on participants’ name rather than topic or context. After a few days of using Fleep, if you want to go back and refer to some text or file, it would be very difficult. Fleep has native apps and it is equipped with audio/video calling. It also supports wide variety of integrations. Fleep treats all emails as conversations. This is not natural as each email message represents a discrete communication. When all communications are mixed in what appears like a free-flowing chat, it is very easy to lose context. Moreover, it is difficult to easily share information with other Fleep users as the emails get merged into chats.
Zoom is one of the best videoconferencing apps that you can use for face-to-face meetings. Whereas it lacks a well-established chat feature, the video quality is quite appealing, and you would find it worth your time.
Features that you will find most convenient on Zoom is scheduling meetings and informing the attendees in advance. If you run many meetings but do not have an assistant, you can connect Zoom to your calendar. Schedule crucial meetings in advance and have the attendees start early preparations.
Cisco Webex conferencing features are suitable for all-sized organizations. The video and audio web conferencing software are readily available in different plans. That gives users the flexibility to choose plans that best work for them.
Besides organizational-level usage, Webex is also available for major events such as product launchings and educational sessions. You can create a team workspace where you brainstorm and collaborate at and group level.
Skype can handle up to 100 people in a video and audio conference. It allows you to record calls and setup live captions and subtitles. The tool is one of the simplest to use when planning online meetings because you can access your meetings via the browser or through the Skype app.
An intuitive feature of this tool is the ability to reach people who are not on Skype. You can use Skype Credit to call mobile numbers at low rates. Consider getting a Skype subscription to reduce your expenses further.
If you are looking to just exchange messages about a project or have a video or voice call, then you can go for any of the above-mentioned tool. But if you want to combine different pieces of communication to see the big picture, then you need Clariti. Clariti can do much more than all of these tools put together. You can even chat with your external stakeholders like suppliers and partners using OrbitChat; use machine learning algorithms to automatically arrange all related conversations in Thread; use “Instant Share” so share any email, chat, social feeds with multiple participants with a single click; add or remove participants in a group chat as needed; integrate social feeds (Twitter); view engineering CAD files from the browser and the list are endless.