Identifying the Best Unified Messaging Providers

Unified messaging apps eliminate the need to maintain a variety of separate communication applications such as email, messaging apps, voice calls and video conferencing. Using a unified messaging app, all messaging channels can be integrated into one application. This both reduces your communication expenses and improves your productivity.

But with the many unified messaging providers in the market, how do you identify the best service provider? This article explores this question.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Unified Messaging Provider

According to Dave Michels, a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz, there are several factors that you should consider in choosing a unified communications provider. These include:

Telephony support: A rich and robust unified messaging solution integrates with most unified communication platforms such as CRM, emails and service ticketing systems.

Conversation format: Threaded (thematically sorted and chronological) conversations should be supported. This helps reduce noise in group chats by simplifying long and difficult to follow conversational strings.

Open Source API and vendor ecosystems: Messaging should be accessible via API, thereby making the solution compatible with a wide variety of technologies.

  • Presence: A unified messaging app should provide analytics, such as if and/or when a user views a message. It should also indicate when a user is online and available.
  • Intuitive interface: Unified messaging apps should use AI and machine learning to understand suitable responses and to link people or events with tasks and actions.
  • Encryption: Security of your data is paramount. A reputable unified messaging provider should have robust security and regulatory compliance protocols.

Types of Unified Messaging Providers

There are several unified messaging providers. Each offer a unique feature set.

Disa: This is a messaging hub application for iOs and Android. It is very easy to use and has an open source API which permits the addition of new services. The app supports many languages. In addition, it allows you to answer from your PC. Despite its solid line up of features, Disa does not support Google SMS. It does not allow you to customize notifications per conversation or contact either. Disa is also closed source, so the development speed is capped. No external developer can help or add features as these must be directly managed by the software's small team.

  • IM+: This application supports all key IM services such as iChat, Google Talk, Yahoo!, SINA Weibo, ICQ, RenRen, mig33, Jabber, MeinVZ, Gadu-Gadu, Fetion, and Yandex IM. It performs the core IM experience and its layout is intuitive. It can also send encrypted, off-the-record and secure messages. However, a critical shortcoming of this software is that it does not support popular, newer and more popular messengers. This renders the software impractical in a wide range of settings.
  • OneApp: This is a free application that integrates all the instant messaging applications available: Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Hangouts, BBM, Kik, Hike, KakaoTalk, and LINE. The downside of this app is that it fails to load previous messages, making it a poor choice for businesses which place a premium on corporate memory. Additionally, it is dependent on the installation and management of a suite of supporting messaging applications.
  • Snowball: Snowball supports Hangout, BBM, Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Skype, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, Kik, Hike, Telegram, Slack, GroupMe, and Kakao. However, it also requires many original apps to be installed. This wastes resources.

8x8’s Team Messaging System

The 8x8 Team Messaging app is recognized as the best unified messaging app. It allows business collaboration by offering real-time team communication. It delivers a superior end-user experience and helps support the efficiency and productivity you require to deliver results. It allows business units, project teams, and internal and external collaborators to share content and communicate as a team.

The 8x8 Team Messaging app keeps conversations organized by topic and workgroup while still supporting open team communication. It has the ability to transition seamlessly between your desktop and mobile device, enabling you to work anywhere from any device. Further, this solution supports both public and private rooms, allowing content to be shared only with those who need the information.

Finally, it has the ability to follow and unfollow content and use tagged mentions. This assists in limiting team-wide disruption owing to redundant or irrelevant notifications and discussions.

It's a comprehensive solution, meeting all of the above-stated performance criteria for effective unified communications.

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Team Messaging System your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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