Enterprise messaging – an introduction

Enterprise messaging is a new way to communicate, and is especially relevant with the introduction of GDPR and the security demands that follow. The advantages are many, and compared to email, enterprise messaging has much to offer. But before transitioning to enterprise messaging it can be good to know how it works and be familiar with the terminology.

Communication chaos

Many companies today suffer from a complete communication chaos. There is a lack of policy or strategy for internal communication, and the number of apps used has sky rocketed. One team uses one app, another team a second app, and so on. It is often the case that employees have registered the apps using private email addresses, in the company’s name.

This has several disadvantages. It affects the company’s efficiency and productivity in a negative way. The more apps used, the more time is needed to find a certain message or file. Information and files also get distributed in the cloud with service providers that the company don’t have any contract with. What happens when an employee who is managing an account on an app in the company’s name suddenly quits, and maybe starts working for a competitor? That’s not a very nice scenario…

Enterprise messaging has therefore become a possibility for businesses to regin control over the internal communication. A solution that works for the entire organization, with central contractual ownership and central administration of user accounts and admin permissions, etc.

History

The concept of messaging and chat goes by many names. We must therefore go through the different terms before we jump into the details. A good way to structure it all is to talk about the different generations of messaging and chat. The illustration below provides a clear picture. Note that this article is about enterprise messaging, the fourth generation of messaging. Today, Briteback is the leading solution for enterprise messaging. The app exists in many languages, and provides local file storage as an add-on.

Organization

Enterprise messaging is structured with the organization (the company) in the center. It is on an organization level that all adminstration of user accounts, admin permissions, etc, takes place. Of course, it’s the company that contractually owns the account.

Team

Below the organization are teams, which often corresponds to functions within the company. The functions make teams with corresponding names, e.g. Sales, Marketing, Product, etc. In the teams we find the employees that work within the function. A team can also be a project, and the have members from different functions within the company. For example, a team called “GDPR Project”, with members from Management, HR, IT, etc.

Channel

Every team has channels. It’s in the channels that the actual communication takes place. A channel can be public or private (or even encrypted), and has a name that matches the topic being discussed in the channel. Messages in the channel are displayed in chronological order. It’s also possible to have so called threaded discussions in a channel, where messages can be comments on another message. This can be very useful in a channel where lots of messages are being written, as it makes it easy to see which other message a certain message refers to.

Role

For larger organizations, role-based administration is an absolute necessity. It’s simply not sustainable to manage individuals. Role-based administration works like this: one creates a role, gives it a name, and sets up team- and channel memberships, as well as admin permissions for the role. After that one assigns persons to the role, and that way everyone gets exactly the right settings, thru the role. A person with the role Developer, will automatically belong to the development team, and join the right channels in that team. A person can have several roles, and e.g. get promoted to manager.

Guest

With enterprise messaging the internal communication gets so smooth that one would like to also include external communication in the same solution. A smart way to handle this is to make use of the Guest function. A guest can be a sub-contractor or a very important client that one communicates a lot with. The person in question gets invited to a specific channel as a guest, and can then read and write messages in that channel, but also gets direct channels with all other persons that are also members of that channel. This is a very simple way to provide guest with just the right amount of insight in the organization, so that they get exactly the information they need, nothing more and nothing less.

More information

Contact us at Briteback if you are interested in enterprise messaging. We are the leading Nordic provider of unified communication and collaboration solutions for enterprises.

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