It’s no great secret that mobile technology has changed the way we communicate with one another. As noted by Facebook’s Jane Schachtel, mobile devices have become so ubiquitous – so widely-accepted – that they are at this point more of a behavior than a technology. To put it another way, we’ve grown so familiar with the constant connectivity offered by smartphones and tablets that it’s almost second nature now; we communicate through our mobile devices with such frequency that it feels inherently natural.
“For millennials in particular, mobile messaging has become the preferred way of talking to one another, second only to in-person conversation,” writes Radial Point’s Alexis Smirnov. “For [this] reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that enterprise messaging is taking off. Habits people form in their daily lives change the way they work and drive the trend of consumerization of the enterprise.”
And there are very real advantages to this consumerization. Modern employees can communicate with one another in real-time, regardless of location; this allows them to share pertinent updates, receive notifications about their work, collaborate on projects, or even host digital meetings. What’s more, when paired with real-time data streams such as those provided by AccuWeather, mobile messaging allows organizations to respond to changing market and environmental conditions with greater efficiency and competence than ever before.
There are benefits to be gained where consumer relations are concerned, as well. Adding messaging to a business’s mobile app, for example – such apps are increasingly becoming the primary avenue through which consumers connect with brands – allows for more proactive communication between businesses and their customers. That, in turn, fosters a deeper brand relationship and makes for greater customer loyalty.
At this point, it should be clear that mobile communication has changed enterprise for the better. The problem is that, according to a survey recently carried out by The International Data Corporation, not all organizations are entirely onboard with that change. In other words; although they’re aware of the value that mobile messaging brings to their business, many decision-makers have yet to tap into it.
“Despite a high-level acknowledgement of the value of mobile messaging, deployments of the technology remain relatively immature across all global regions,” OpenMarket Vice President of Product Management and Marketing explained to CMS Wire. “Traditional mobile messaging is the most ubiquitous form of mobile communication available to every one of the three billion mobile subscribers worldwide…businesses should be utilizing it more than they do.”
That naturally brings us to our core question – how can your business better utilize mobile messaging? How can you tap into the power of real-time communication to make your organization and its employees better-connected and more efficient?
• Know What You’ll Use Messaging For: The most important step in any mobile messaging strategy is to first establish what you want it to do for your organization. Do you want to improve customer relations, or simply implement an internal communications system? It’s worth noting here that there’s nothing wrong with a multifaceted approach – in fact, I’d actually go so far as to recommend it.
• Focus On A Single Platform: According to the OpenMarket White Paper cited above, 62% of businesses currently have more than one mobile messaging platform in use. This is a bad thing, the paper holds, because it ends up making an organization’s workflow disjointed and confusing. It advises that you avoid messaging products that meet only one of your required use cases – instead, you need to seek a more comprehensive, complete solution.
• Understand The Mobile Messaging Landscape: Just as consumer devices are seeing widespread use in enterprise, so too is consumer messaging. Applications like WhatsApp, Cotap, Lua, and TigerText are growing incredibly popular, leading to what many have referred to as the “messaging wars.” An understanding of this market – and of why consumer messaging apps are so popular – is absolutely necessary if you’re going to develop a sufficient messaging strategy.
• Consider Your Employees: If you intend to make use of a mobile messaging app within your organization, it’s imperative that you put the needs of your employees first. If your application isn’t as intuitive as the consumer-geared alternatives, then people aren’t going to use it. It’s as simple as that.
• See To Security: To date, data leakage through mobile messaging apps is among the largest security weaknesses in modern enterprise. Especially with the widespread use of messaging within businesses, this must be addressed; messages need to be properly encrypted so as to protect important company data. BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) is an excellent option, to that end – it allows an enterprise to readily control and manage mobile encryption for both employees and third parties.
• Don’t Implement Mobile Messaging In A Vacuum: Mobile communication isn’t something that exists exclusively on its own. It has close ties to social collaboration, for example, as well as marketing and customer relationship management. As such, your mobile messaging strategy should be a part of your overall communications strategy.
BlackBerry’s BBM Enterprise is a great option for addressing all of these steps. It allows an enterprise to readily control mobile encryption keys and encrypts all messages being sent to and from employees – even if they’re being sent to parties that don’t use BBM Enterprise. In addition, it’s incredibly easy to use, deploy, and manage.
Mobile technology has brought about a fundamental shift in how we communicate both in our personal lives and in our work lives. The ability to communicate in real-time with anyone regardless of location is extremely powerful– but it’s one that enterprises are still adapting to.
By understanding the mobile messaging landscape, formulating a solid mobile messaging strategy, and making use of the right tools, your business can be among those that enjoys the productivity, efficiency, and financial gains represented by real-time messaging. Key to that understanding is taking stock of the unique mobile landscape within your organization. To that end, The CIO’s Guide To EMM should prove invaluable. Compiled through feedback from mobility/security experts and fortune 500 companies, the eBook takes a comprehensive look at all the factors involved in creating a mobile strategy – and how to apply them to your organization.