Communication and collaboration solutions have become an indispensable part of everyday professional life. In the future, they will prevail across all industries and company sizes. […]
Communication and collaboration solutions have become an indispensable part of everyday professional life. In the future, they will prevail across all industries and company sizes. The business messenger occupies a small but decisive niche in the market of communication solutions. Whether as an already established tool, as a novelty or as a communication alternative – its mission is simple: simplify professional communication, make work processes more efficient and relieve employees. The business messenger market does not sleep and pushes new developments at a rapid pace. This article reveals which innovations in business messaging will be on the agenda for 2022.
The last two years have not only given a significant boost to the digital transformation of companies, but have also advanced internal communication in many places. In order to quickly and securely connect decentralized teams and mobile workers, it is important to take new communication channels. GDPR-compliant business messengers are clearly on the rise here. We have identified and elaborated six trends in business messaging for the year 2022.
Trend 1: Push-to-talk – from voice message to walkie-talkie in Messenger
Direct voice communication via push-to-talk, which was previously only possible via digital radio, is now being implemented with the help of a business messenger. Additional devices such as walkie-talkies are supplemented by business smartphones. Push-to-talk allows a direct language exchange, which not only makes communication more efficient, but also greatly facilitates its interpretation. At the same time, this new user-friendliness simplifies the receiving and sending of audio messages. Especially mission-oriented teams – for example in the areas of BOS, rescue service, construction, logistics, delivery services and tourism – benefit from a push-to-talk function in the messenger.
In addition to audio recordings, images and documents can also be transmitted in the same communication channel, such as an operational chat for an observation. The entire communication on a process can be stored in the archive of the organization and called up at any time, which, among other things, significantly simplifies the creation of reports and evaluations.
Trend 2: Implementing the social intranet idea in business messaging
Messengers as social intranets not only promote the vision of involving all employees in internal communication, but also accelerate the distribution of information and raise feedback cycles to a new level. Status messages are used to share company news, both for 1:1 and group chats as well as broadcasts. The color-coded messages are visible to all users of a chat. An additional overview allows you to filter chat histories by message types, and thus also by status messages, and quickly find the information you are looking for. At the same time, employees can interact with the content by “commenting” on it with emoticons. The aim of this is to activate and promote team collaboration across the entire workforce – from mobile workers to desk employees, but also from trainees to C–level managers – and to guarantee an optimal exchange.
Trend 3: New user interfaces and smart devices for messengers
Not only the messengers themselves are becoming more and more sophisticated, but also the end devices. In addition to smartphones, tablets and the like, which have long established themselves as the standard for messaging apps, smart devices with new user interfaces will conquer the market. For example, smartwatches have developed rapidly in recent years and are widely used. They are lightweight, robust and are particularly suitable for mobile emergency services, such as police officers and rescue workers. But also smart glasses, so-called smart glasses, are already in the starting blocks. Combined with messenger apps, they can offer remarkable benefits.
For example, they enable doctors to easily view the patient file during an examination together with colleagues and to communicate at the same time – while freeing up both hands. Smartglasses also support logistics employees in locating stored goods and exchanging information about transport. It is conceivable that the position of the goods to be loaded – including directions for a larger warehouse – can be retrieved and colleagues can be requested for support while the employee is on the road with the forklift. In this way, new smart devices make it easier and faster to implement use cases.
Trend 4: Even more sophisticated messenger functions for more productivity
Sending documents, photos and videos, sharing locations and making VoIP and video calls – all this is part of the standard repertoire of a good business messenger. The summit in terms of innovative functions has not yet been reached by a long way. Messaging apps are integrating more and more functionalities to cover all use cases across industries and to make the exchange of information even easier:
- Alertsto ensure direct emergency communication and coordination using acknowledgement options and alarm reports;
- Surveyto easily create surveys and simplify scheduling;
- Editingto anonymize data and make faces unrecognizable.
In 2022, the variety of functions will increase even more and individual functions will refine – and this is individually tailored to industries such as blue light organizations, healthcare, logistics, retail, production and construction.
Trend 5: Georeferencing in Messenger – Live location functions reach a new level
Sharing locations in messengers is a popular feature – especially among mobile employees. It is ideal for communicating the current location, giving directions and arranging meeting points. However, there are often use cases in everyday business life in which the whereabouts of the users change dynamically and the knowledge of the real-time locations or live locations can be of great importance for colleagues and business partners. Typical scenarios are deployments of law enforcement agencies, police and emergency services, production employees as well as transport and delivery service trips.
There will be next levels of innovation to further improve geo-referenced coordination. Advanced map applications up to the provision of mission-relevant location information by artificial intelligence are conceivable.
Trend 6: Messengers with maximum data sovereignty and simultaneous networking
Data sovereignty and security are two topics that are becoming increasingly important for companies. In step with the continuously evolving messenger functionalities and technical possibilities, the threat of cyber attacks is also growing. Federated servers increase the reliability against hacker attacks – after all, in the worst case, only the attacked server fails. The Federation is also a significant step into the future to improve data sovereignty. For security, in addition to secure containers on the terminal, functions for holistic data and access management are becoming increasingly relevant.
Further strengthening the encryption algorithms of communication and establishing additional security functions is also one of the central developments in business messaging. Compliance and audit-proof archiving will become an important topic for all companies and industries in 2022. Because it is now clear that messaging is part of business communication and therefore falls under the commercial, professional and data protection documentation obligations. Companies can easily implement their compliance and data protection requirements with leading business messengers – a key advantage over American cloud solutions.
The future may come
Professional communication will continue to change. New technologies accompany this change and drive it forward. Even today, business messengers make device-, time- and location–independent collaboration in a team and between several teams – even from other organizations – possible. However, their potential is far from being exhausted, which is illustrated by the expected trends. Business messaging is ready for the future.
*Tobias Stepan is Founder and Managing Director of Teamwire GmbH (teamwire.eu ), which specializes in secure and sovereign instant messaging for companies, authorities and the healthcare sector. Previously, as a consultant, he implemented growth and restructuring projects for high-tech companies and built up the European business of the American IT start-up Servo until its exit to the Japanese Kii Corporation. Tobias Stepan is committed to mobile digitization and a strong, European IT ecosystem.