Collaborative tools as form of communication integration

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Text messaging is a social collaborative business tool that is seeing a lot of use within new enterprises. According to Search Consumerization, companies have begun using short message service (SMS) in innovative ways, especially as an aide for field work and for telecommunications. 

According to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), the use of mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones and laptops, has increased overall since 2010. For example, 76 percent of responders indicated that they are currently using smartphones in their business practices, which is up from 57 percent, which correlates with the growth in texting as a prominent form of communication. 

Texting and instant messaging
As social becomes a defining characteristic of the collaborative landscape, it is important that businesses stay current with the industry's evolving strategies. According to the news source, texting has seen a shift away from its original usage, which was as a form of communication between two mobile device users. Now, the technology is capable of serving as an alternative to traditional forms of collaboration, such as email and paper documents.

"People have grammatically figured out how to say powerful messages with a limited amount of characters on Twitter and are translating that to using SMS," said Bob Egan, CEO and founder and executive advisor on mobile business strategies and technologies at The Sepharim Group. 

Additionally, connecting to consumers is an important form of mobile communication. According to NSBA, a majority of small business owners maintain some kind of social platform to connect with their constituency and an even higher rate of enterprises are using social media as a form of professional networking. The widespread use of social networking in corporate interactions has led a similar growth in how enterprises are engaging their customers. Sixty percent of business owners reported to the NSBA that they contact their customers via some form of collaborative tool, such as phone or email. 

According to Search Consumerization, 70 percent of enterprises use SMS and another 16 percent anticipate they will add this strategy by the end of the year. 

Hesitations with texting
SMS is a relatively new collaborative tool within business communication, and as such, the news source reported that companies are still learning how to adapt its features into their policies. One of the primary fears with the use of SMS is actually in its mobility. Because different mobile devices send and receive text messages, separate from traditional office equipment, it cannot be controlled by the same encryption methods that govern inter-office communications. In an effort to learn more about SMS as a strategy, businesses are instead opting for other social collaboration tools, such as cloud-based services. 

As popularity in this form of communication grows, however, enterprises are learning how to use it for their advantage. Businesses should consider how social collaborative tools can be integrated into their strategies. 

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