C L A R I T I

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internal communication tool

When the pandemic forced companies all over the world to allow their employees to work from home, remote work had a big moment. Companies were under sudden pressure to give employees access to all the tools they’d need to work from home. Soon it became evident that employees were productive and focused when not in the office and companies too understood the fact that remote work really works. While the work-life balance improved for employees all over the world, U.S. employers saved over $30 billion per day by allowing employees to work from home. It was a win-win situation for both employees and employers. Given the new set of rules for modern workplace collaboration, all cloud-based communication and collaboration tools have been seeing a dramatic increase in their user base.

The pandemic acted as a perfect accelerant for companies to adopt remote working tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom for team collaboration tasks. However once teams were onboarded and used these apps for a couple of months, they found the constant notifications from these apps distracting and impeded productivity.

What these tools lack

Though most of these modern collaboration tools bring all communication like group chat, audio and video calling in one place, the related communications are not connected. This 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 Teams 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 Microsoft Teams help you to see the big picture buried in communication silos? Is Microsoft Teams equipped to organize them neatly based on topics or context?

Reasons why companies are looking for alternatives to Microsoft Teams

  • Instant messaging tools like Microsoft Teams promised to reduce emails by replacing them with chat for team communications. While it succeeded in reducing the number of emails, Teams users found themselves bombarded with needless chat notifications and stuck in endless group chats.
  • Companies may find it very difficult to afford team collaboration software like Microsoft Teams because it is expensive to own. – this is not true as Teams is free now
  • Microsoft Teams supports a lot of integrations. But companies will have to pay extra for all the integrations.
  • If everybody in the team is not tech-savvy, companies will need dedicated resources to help with all the integrations.
  • Also, companies will have to train their employees to make use of all the features of the software.
  • Since team members mostly use higher-level channels and not specific topics for discussions, context gets lost and information gets buried.
  • In order to avoid the stress that group chat creates, many team members resort to direct chat, which creates information silos and knowledge opacity.

Reasons why companies are looking for alternatives to Slack

  • Slack is too distracting. Yes, messages in Slack channels are very important for teams to collaborate. But they can be very distracting too. With constant notifications, you will be inclined to check messages and respond to them in real-time to impress your colleagues.
  • Slack is messy. With a deluge of messages and notifications, you will end up losing some important information that can have serious implications on your work. In spite of having separate channels, it may be quite time-consuming to go back and refer to your conversations without context.
  • Slack creates stress. Slack, no doubt, may reduce the number of emails in your inbox, but it can flood you with tons of messages.
  • Slack is time-consuming. Slack content is hard to search. Finding things is tough, as it lacks context. Yes, it has channels, but what it lacks is the topic-based discussions within the channels.
  • Slack is restrictive. Slack’s free version is very restrictive, especially on the chat history, audio/video calls, integrations, file storage and screen sharing.
  • Slack is all about integrations. Slack supports over 800 integrations. If you want to make use of all the features, you will need the help of a dedicated resource to configure the integrations.
  • Slack is expensive. Slack is one of the most expensive SaaS software to own. Pricing plans start from $8 per user per month.
  • Slack is complicated. 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.

Alternative tools for Slack, Teams

If you’re a business looking for an alternative to Microsoft Teams, there are many apps out there. The challenging part is finding the right software that’ll work for you and your teams. After all, collaboration and productivity are essential to your business moving forward. While most of these tools listed below look similar at the outset, they differ widely in terms of their functionalities.

1. Clariti

Companies may find it very difficult to afford team communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams because they are expensive to own. In addition, the companies will have to pay for all the integrations. If everybody in the team is not tech-savvy, they will need dedicated resources to help with all the integrations. In addition, their employees will also have to go through training to make use of all the features.

Clariti on the other hand is free and easy to use. It doesn’t require any training. Companies may find it extremely convenient to own and use Clariti. Clariti combines all your communication including email, chat, calls, documents on cloud storage, and to-do in one app and links all related information in a TopicFolder. For every context, a new thread is created and all the relevant information is linked and stored automatically. TopicFolder not only makes communication faster, it also eliminates the need to search for any information and the stress that comes with it.

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.

2. Zoom

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.

4. Skype

Skype can handle up to 100 people in a video and audio conference. It allows you to record calls and set up 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.

5. Wire

Wire claims to be the most secure 100% open-source, end-to-end encrypted collaboration platform with certifications from ISO, CCPA, GDPR, and SOX. Wire features include group messaging, conferencing, audio calls, file-sharing and search. It offers native apps for mobile and offers good customer support.

6. Riot.im

Riot is another open-source software that offers commonly used features such as voice calling, video conferencing, organizing chat rooms, and sharing files. You can even bridge users and groups from other chat apps into an ongoing conversation.

7. Zulip

Zulip is yet another open-source software that facilitates chat between distributed teams. Zulip uses a topic-based threading model where every message has to have a topic which makes it easier for people to find relevant messages instead of having to browse through a plethora of messages

ChatWork, a cloud-based communication platform for global teams, offers one-on-one & group messaging, file-sharing, video calling and task management through a single application. ChatWork targets less tech-savvy business professionals in the US market, who are looking for a simpler UI and features.

We hope this article will help you consider alternatives to Microsoft Teams and Slack which may be a better fit for your needs.

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