SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Blog Feed Post

10 Internal communications tools and channels you didn’t consider before — and how Intranets remain as the hub of collaboration

When companies grow their nominee they start having challenges they didn’t have before: it’s harder to know what each individual is doing and corporate communication becomes blurry and complex. As a real example, companies have expressed to us the challenge of making sure important announcements —like the overall corporate strategy—are communicated to each individual in an organization.

For this reason, we decided to gather a list of tools and channels you can use to execute your internal communications within your organization and ripe the benefits of collaboration. Unlike common alternatives found on other blogs like intranets and emails, we bet you haven’t considered some of these tools due to their novelty and no-yet widespread adoption.

  1. Business email

The most obvious Internal communications channel for companies is the email. It is the default tool for teams to announce:

  • New hires
  • Product updates
  • Leadership or executive board messages
  • Photos and videos at the workplace
  • Educational content
  • Upcoming events
  • Quarterly financial and performance reports
  • And other ideas

According to Newswaver, the average corporate email open rate is about 66%, and best-performing companies reach 88%. These averages are absolutely outperforming customers open rates but, on the other hand, they also suggest that if emails are the only communication channel, Internal communications department are only reaching about a half of the individuals in organizations.

As good practices for improving your internal emails open rates performance, we encourage you to segment

2. [Messenger] chatbots

Perhaps you didn’t see this coming on the list.

A chatbot is a software that, theoretically, can establish a text conversation with a human in order to automate repetitive tasks and responses, replacing a sales rep for basic queries

However, as AI hype has been slowly taking momentum among organizations for optimizing customer service, it’s also been also been clear that in many cases language recognition capabilities have fallen short in an attempt to simulate a human rep, making some implementers quit on their use of chatbots or personal assistants.

But before you also give up on chatbots as a new tool for your internal communications due to their seeming complexity, there are some benefits that will make you consider them again as an option:

They actually don’t require artificial intelligence: you don’t strictly need a chatbot with robust language recognition capabilities, but one that can identify specific keywords or works based on predefined user inputs, i.e. giving employees a set of possible answers that will trigger specific responses from the chatbot.

You don’t need your employees to install new apps: you can quickly set up your own Facebook Messenger chatbot and connect it to your corporate Facebook page. Chances are that your employees use Messenger:

You can broadcast targeted messages through Facebook Messenger: what channels do you have available to push a message besides email? Facebook Messenger lets you send targeted messages to your subscribers (such as employees) and it can be an alternative solution to solve your open rate issues: while average email marketing open rates are about 21%, Facebook Messenger has demonstrated a fantastic performance reaching nearly the 100% of subscribers!

3. Web browser push notifications

Have you seen those screens that suddenly show up on your browser window that ask you for permission to send you notifications messages?

They are called push notifications and are intended to bring the ability to web browsers what mobile apps can do to notify you a specific action or trigger: they show up for requesting access to your camera and microphone, when someone writes to you on Facebook or your corporate chat,  or a new article update. Interestingly, push notifications can be activated from a desktop or any device even if a specific website is not open.

They can be a great way to bring back your employees to an Intranet when a new update happens in case they don’t mind to open it frequently.

Source: https://deanhume.com/push-notifications-on-the-web-google-chrome/

4. Business chats

The market is a wild fight among growing startups and some of the largest companies such as Skype for Business and Yammer by Microsoft, Slack, the fastest growing startup ever, or Ushare.to, developed by HyperOffice and Verizon that seeks to outperform competitors by adding customer support ticket management, simultaneously shared screens in video conferences, unlimited document and conversations storage, and more.

5. Facebook or Linkedin pages

As an attempt to become more social and close to their employees, companies have opened their own social media communications channels through Facebook pages (or any other social network pages).

Of course, they are not meant to share sensitive, private information of the company, but to engage employees through rich media content such as blog posts, images, and videos. As they set these pages as open, they also work as a way to showcase corporate culture at potential hires.

Two great internal communications ideas through Facebook pages are Hubspot (Hubspot Life) and AIESEC (AI team), which share the best way possible their corporate culture, internal jobs applications and promotions, upcoming events, and special announcements.

6. Whatsapp

Unofficially, your company may have several Whatsapp groups where your team discuss work on the go—and share memes, maybe? If you didn’t know this, it is because you were not invited to those groups.

While Whatsapp is not the most optimal, formal solution in terms of information organization and document management, it excels at immediacy and direct communication. It makes it into this list not because we would “recommend” it as a professional channel for internal communications due to the lack of privacy and security (among other reasons), but because of its massive adoption and usage: we spend about 195 minutes each week on Whatsapp!

7. Corporate Intranets

Intranets are the most known tool in the arsenal of internal communications specialists, especially in large organizations. They serve as the hub for many collaborative applications such as corporate announcements, the whole company documentation, events calendars, process tracking and commenting, and so on.

Among other benefits, Intranets happen to be the most customizable and robust solution for collaboration, as they are specifically created for that, different from Facebook groups or Messenger chatbots, which are meant for more generic tasks. If you want ideas and inspiration for building your own Intranet and see how other companies are using it, we encourage you to read “7 real examples of Intranets—and what makes them a great tool for collaboration.”

8. Videos

According to Wordstream, 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. Among other reasons to explain this,  90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. For internal communications ideas using video, here’s an awesome infographic from Alive with Ideas, just like events highlights or employee generated content.

9. 911 internal call centers

While researching non-common ways companies communicate with their employees, a friend of mine who works in IT of a large bank told me that they have a direct phone number where they can call a specific department meant to solve employees general and specific questions. While the volume of calls was a huge challenge they are seeking to solve, he also claimed that is a must have inside the bank.

10. Facebook groups

Every year, Facebook holds an event called F8 where they announce new product updates. This event works as a guideline of where businesses should focus their attention towards making the most out of Facebook benefits —and groups are one of those features business should start paying attention to.

Facebook has announced they are adding efforts to making stronger communities through groups, and they are adding many features that you, as the person in charge of internal communications at your company, should be aware of:

 

    • Private Facebook live broadcasts
    • Rules feature: ban or remove members posts and automatically notify them what group rule they are breaking.
    • Content sharing privacy: deny or grant permission to users to share content on Facebook.
    • Document sharing: upload documents on your Facebook group and easily find them through a search bar or a document module.
    • Tagging and commenting: tag the group members you really want to get to see a notification or a post.
    • Posts prior approval: as the group admin, you can decline or approve a message from a member before it’s published.

 

  • Group privacy customization: you can make your group public, private or secret, depending on your privacy needs.
  • Insights: Facebook allows you to visualize the reach, engagement and demographic data to see how your group is performing.

 

Some honorable mentions

There are other internal communications tools you can keep exploring such as SMS messages, CEO blogs, forums, and specific mobile apps you can consider to foster employee engagement and making sure important announcements reach each individual in your organization.

Final thoughts: these are not alternatives to Intranets, but add-ons

We cannot say that you can replace intranets with videos or push notifications, for instance, as their function is different but complementary; these are all tools and channels to improve internal communications.

Intranets are the hub of internal communications where each individual, team, document, and application gathers. Meanwhile, emails, blog posts, and videos are simply formats in which content can be presented.

On the other hand, SMS, emails, Facebook Messenger, and other instant messaging apps are just notifications triggered to alert an individual of a new update, but they are intended to redirect users to a web page ton consume such content [on the Intranet]. And, finally, social media tools like Facebook or Linkedin groups or pages are just a content distribution channel that, again, are meant to share content that will be stored in a single hub.

While adding more channels can increase reach, it also adds complexity and disorder. This is why all these efforts should be directed to a single, centralized place where employees can collaborate, talk, work, store information, and plan together.

Internal communications tools and channels infographichttps://www.hyperoffice.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Internal-com... 120w, https://www.hyperoffice.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Internal-com... 768w, https://www.hyperoffice.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Internal-com... 410w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" />

The post 10 Internal communications tools and channels you didn’t consider before — and how Intranets remain as the hub of collaboration appeared first on .

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Pankaj Taneja

An MBA by qualification, Pankaj Taneja has more than six years of experience in the SaaS and web collaboration industries. Having seen SaaS grow from a niche sector to the next big thing in enterprise technology, he has a great enthusiasm and passion for the sphere. Pankaj has been working for many years at HyperOffice, one of the earliest players in web collaboration since 1998, an industry which now includes solutions from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Adobe and more. It is amazing being part of a pioneer in collaboration, riding a wave which only promises to grow.

Latest Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.