Communication and collaboration solutions have become an integral 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 for communication solutions. Whether as an established tool, as a novelty or as a communication alternative, its mission is to simplify professional communication, make work processes more efficient and relieve employees.
Since the business messenger market is driving new developments at a rapid pace, we want to shed light on which innovations in business messaging will be on the agenda for 2022.
The last two years have not only given the digital transformation of companies a significant boost, but also advanced internal communication in many places. To quickly and securely connect decentralized teams and mobile workers with one another, new communication channels have to be found, whereby GDPR-compliant business messengers are clearly on the advance.
Tobias Stepan, founder of Teamwire, identified and elaborated six trends in business messaging for 2022.
Trend 1: Push-to-Talk – from voice messages to walkie-talkies in Messenger
Direct voice communication via push-to-talk, which was previously only possible via digital radio, can now be implemented with the help of a business messenger. Additional devices such as walkie-talkies are supplemented by business smartphones. Push-to-talk enables direct language exchange, which not only makes communication more efficient, but also makes it much easier to interpret. At the same time, this new user-friendliness makes it easier to receive and send audio messages. Particularly 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, because in addition to audio recordings, images and documents can also be transmitted in the same communication channel, such as an operational chat during an observation. All communication relating to a process can be saved in the organization's archive and retrieved at any time, which, among other things, significantly simplifies the creation of reports and evaluations.
Trend 2: Implement the social intranet idea in business messaging
Messenger as social intranets not only promote the vision of integrating all employees in internal communication, but also accelerate the distribution of information and raise feedback cycles to a new level. Company news are shared with the aid of status messages, both for one-to-one 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 according to message types, and thus also according to status messages, and to quickly find the information you are looking for. At the same time, employees can interact with the content by "commenting" on it using 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 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 since established themselves as the standard for messaging apps, smart devices with new user interfaces will conquer the market. Smartwatches have developed rapidly and are widespread in recent years. They are light, robust and are particularly suitable for mobile emergency services such as police officers and rescue workers. But data glasses, so-called smart glasses, are already in the starting blocks. In combination with messenger apps, they can offer remarkable advantages. For example, you enable doctors to easily view patient files together with colleagues during an examination and to communicate at the same time, while keeping both hands free. Smartglasses also support logistics employees in locating stored goods and exchanging information about the transport. It is conceivable that the position of the goods to be loaded, including directions for a larger warehouse, can be called up and colleagues can be requested for support while the employee is on the move 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
Sending documents, photos and videos, sharing locations, making VoIP and video calls are all part of the standard repertoire of a good business messenger, and the peak in terms of innovative functions is still far from being reached. Messaging apps integrate more and more functionalities to cover all use cases across industries and to make the exchange of information even easier:
- alerts to ensure direct emergency communication and coordination using acknowledgment options and alarm reports,
- surveys to easily create surveys and simplify scheduling, and
- image processing to anonymize data and make faces unrecognizable.
In 2022, the variety of functions will continue to increase, and individual functions will be refined – individually tailored to industries.
Trend 5: Geo-referencing in Messenger – live location functions reach a new level
Sharing locations in messengers is a popular feature, since it is ideal for sharing your current whereabouts, giving directions, and arranging meeting points. In everyday business, however, there are often use cases in which the whereabouts of the users change dynamically, and knowledge of the real-time locations or live locations can be of great importance for colleagues and business partners. Typical scenarios are the deployment of public order offices, police and rescue services, production employees as well as transport and delivery service trips. There will be the next stages of innovation here to further improve the geo-referenced coordination, such as progressive map applications or the provision of application-relevant location information through artificial intelligence are conceivable.
Trend 6: Messenger with maximum data sovereignty with simultaneous networking
Data sovereignty and security are two issues that are becoming increasingly important for companies. In lockstep with the continuously developing messenger functionalities and technical possibilities, the threat from cyberattacks 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 forward in improving data sovereignty. For security reasons, in addition to secure containers on the end device, functions for holistic data and access management are becoming increasingly relevant. Further strengthening encryption algorithms for communication and establishing additional security functions are also among the central developments in business messaging. Compliance and auditing-proof archiving will be an important topic for all companies and industries in 2022. It is now clear that messaging is part of business communication, and therefore falls under the documentation obligations under commercial, professional and data protection law. Companies can easily implement their compliance and data protection requirements with leading business messengers – a key advantage over American cloud solutions.
Professional communication will continue to change, and new technologies will accompany this change and drive it forward. Business messengers are already making device, time and location-independent collaboration within a team and between several teams possible – even from other organizations. However, their potential is far from being exhausted, which is illustrated by the expected trends. Business messaging is ready for the future.