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  • productivity
  • team communication
  • video conferencing
  • business chat
12 Apr 2021
Increase Team Productivity by Following Some Simple Ways!
In this world, we have seen many people getting succeeded and creating their path where others would just follow them by becoming pedestrians, yet as common people, we may know only one person achieving it but many would tend to forget the team behind the successful person, nevertheless, their team is also praiseworthy. Hence, the team plays a great role in success.   It is very important to exercise the same diligence in strengthening the team productivity, as is the merit of your goal.   A team comprises of people who have different mindsets, opinions, efficiency, and leading them towards one goal maintaining the uniformity by itself is multitasking. There are some simple ways to increase your team’s productivity at the workplace indeed which are adaptable as mentioned below   Deploy Upgraded Tools   It is highly important for the team to be in regular communication and maintain work standards. Usage of inadequate tools would worsen the work conditions like using a social chat app as a team collaboration app is not at all advisable which may belittle the professionalism. So suggest your management the best tools as in troop messenger which can be the team communication app as well as instant messaging app strengthening your team spirit and due to its intuitive user interface (UI), your work would become seamless. Such an app can be a great efficient tool at the office as well as in remote work culture too. Today’s work conditions demand constantly upgraded tools, so don’t limit yourself by adjusting to inappropriate tools.   Reading Tips: Increase Productivity and Secure your Collaboration With Troop Messenger   End to end communication   Let your team know that you are available for any conversation. Don’t let them feel hesitant to talk to you which affects the professional relation. Encourage your team to give suggestions, ideas that will make them feel that their work and opinions are being valued. Take one on one sessions with your team, try to know their state of mind, analyze their strengths & weakness, and ask them whether they need any help from the organization or your side, it will help you to lead your team in much better conditions.   Training   Not everyone in the team will be equally skillful. So train them whenever it is required and especially how inevitable mistakes can be avoided. Make sure that you are very well versed on the subject when your team members ask a doubt about the subject because they will feel you are the only sole contact who can help them. Training is one of the key factors that can increase team productivity so never compromise on it. Discuss with your team how you did overcome the gaps in your professional career when you were also part of a team as they are, they will start relating with you and it will lead them to be at ease in asking you for help whenever it is required.   Reading Tips: How Remote Work is Increases Productivity   Appreciate in public and criticize in personal   Find reasons to appreciate your team, make a habit of taking the daily briefing, appreciate at least one member of your team for their contribution, and let your team do the same as in appreciating the other members, this will just increase team’s collaboration to a great extent. Follow the quote ‘appreciate in public and criticize in personal’, never let your other team members know when someone is criticized.   Extra tasks   Assign extra tasks based on their abilities, this would give a sense to your team that their manager or team leader knows them very well. Don’t ask your team which you also cannot do as in setting the task completion with a miraculous time frame. Avoid micromanagement and make them accountable for tasks empowering them, this creates a great bond and trust between you and the team.   Favorites aren’t affordable   Never disclose or imply your favorites in the team, this will demotivate your other team members and can lead to clashes. Treat everyone equally despite you have favorites. Give everyone an equal opportunity to prove themselves. If every team member starts feeling that they are your favorite will certainly boost your team efficiency and productivity.   Reading Tips: 6 Smart Ways to Reduce Employee Stress And Boost Productivity   Conduct Events   Conduct some fun events that can improve your team collaboration. Celebrating your team members’ birthdays, work anniversaries, and so on will value them. Try to announce incentives in events, which can be a great motivation. As a matter of fact, due to various reasons, there will be some gaps between the team no matter how much ever the number of team members you have, so try to use such events in strengthening your team bond eradicating the gaps between your team members and apprise them about how important it is to work as a team.   Flexible rules and policies   Discuss with your team how important it is to follow the rules and policies set by the company. There may be some situations where you have to create some ground rules for tasks, make sure that you are creating flexible rules, goals considering your team members’ opinions, and take every team member’s acknowledgment on it so that they will cooperate with each other to be on the same phase without deviating from the standards.   Constructive feedback   Whenever there is a need give constructive feedback to your team members in person. Start with the positive and end with the negative using group of modest words which wouldn’t hurt or offend them. Give them a chance to defend themselves, brief how they can improve minimizing the errors, and let them know that you are available any time to give much-needed support. If your team member is performing as per the expectations, don’t let them settle for it, talk to them, set some new goals and expectations that are achievable which will eventually increase their work productivity so as the team productivity.   Ideal image   Maintain an ideal image, which every team member wishes to be you in their future. Never get into a situation that can affect your image or position from your teams’ perspective. Remember the fact that your team will look up to you in any situation so try to be available for them and help them even in their personal life as long as it is legit.   Conclusion   A dream may be envisioned by one person, but to achieve it, a team is required. Create an ideal work environment that every one of your team feels proud to be part of, which can improve your team’s productivity and maintain teamwork. Team collaboration is the only way to achieve the goal, so try to create a work culture that can improve your team’s productivity. Don’t be a manager be a leader, be the face or brand ambassador of your team. TEAM - Together Everyone can Achieve More.
In this world, we have seen many people getting succeeded and creating their path where others would...
instant messaging for business
10 May 2019
Instant Messaging software for Business (Free & Paid)
Email clients disappearing into an instant messaging The standard text messaging is now passé, especially with the explosion of messaging applications that give businesses a new way to connect with employees, team members, and all stakeholders.   For businesses, cloud-based instant messaging platforms are crucial for communication and project collaboration, especially when the employer is working with remote employees, freelancers, or on projects that require round-the-clock attention.   That's why the majority of companies are using instant messaging platforms.   Trending Article   What is Instant Messaging Programs? Put simply; instant messaging programs allow the users to exchange messages in real-time. Both small and large-scale businesses today are using IM to share information, collaborate with team members, and forge a virtual decision-making platform.   The primary purpose of using instant messaging for business is to ensure a customized workplace collaboration with secure and rapid communication between all stakeholders.   Knowing how Instant Messaging apps is the need of the hour, we evaluated the features of Fourteen favorite team messaging tools and reviewed them based on the functionality. Through this article, we'll share with you the business messenger applications your team can choose for external and internal communication.   Follow this article for an in-depth analysis of each of these applications.   Having powered up the external messaging requirements, your next initiative towards streamlining business communication should be to strengthen the communication and collaboration within the company.   This can be easily achieved through the internal instant messaging Programs as described below:     Table of Contents   1. Troop Messenger 2. 3. Skype 4. ProofHub 5. Slack 6. Brosix 7. Google Hangouts 8. Flock 9. Ryver 10. Wrike 11. Nifty   Troop Messenger  (Best Instant Messenger for Business)    Free - Group Chats - limitation (5)    Paid - Unlimited ($1/user/month)    Of course, we’re biased, but hey — it is our blog. Here’s our #1  Instant messaging Software. If you are looking for an all-in-one business messaging app, Troop Messenger can be the perfect tool for your business requirements. Troop Messenger is popular with and caters to non-profits, security firms, and government teams.  Packed with contemporary features, this user-friendly office messaging application has interactive features like:    Unlimited Groups, Unlimited message history, and message retrieval are some of the best features which Whatsapp doesn't support   The tool allows screen sharing and face-to-face interaction over presentations and projects, To-Dos, and deadlines.   Admin can have complete control over users' accessible features. The dashboard feature allows for easy supervision. ( A conversational messaging tool )      Free - Unlimited messages    Paid - Unlimited ($19 /user/month) is an all-in-one messenger for business. It is a useful tool that lets you manage all the chats in one CRM with AI-powered messaging, broadcasts, and surveys. If you're looking for a WhatsApp Business with multiple users Solution, is a great choice. is a perfect medium for organising all the messaging apps in one place.   It functions with AI that supports over 15 languages and suggests AI smart replies during a conversation.   Target broadcast features and chat automation let users craft and deliver messages to the right people within the right time.    One can deploy on WeChat, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Kik, and other similar platforms.   The tool combines the personality of humans and the speed of computers to create a powerful messaging platform that facilitates communication in the most efficient way.   Skype ( Mature Instant chat messenger)        Skype is FREE for use by up to 25 people.    Starting from: $2.00/month   There’s a solid reason why hundreds of millions of employers use Skype to collaborate with their clients and employees. Skype is the ultimate solution for smooth communication. Audio and Video HD calling, smart messaging, Screen sharing, call recording, private conversations, Live subtitles, and phone calls- you can do it all with Skype.   Skype allows editing of sent messages or deletion of messaging all-together.   It is compatible with Phone, Tablet, Desktop, Web, Xbox, and Alexa too.   Some of the exclusive features of Skype include Skype call forwarding, Chat history back-up, location sharing, background blurring, Voicemail, and Skype call recording.   Skype also allows users to search specific texts within a conversation. This can be done by selecting a find button under the chat header or pressing Command + F on Mac, and Ctrl + F on Windows.   Skype for Business is a great way of hosting professional online meetings. With Office 365 in-built integration, the host can access and share all office apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook.   Skype for Business has powerful features like Whiteboard, PowerPoint upload, Built-in IM, Screen Sharing, URL invites, and an unlimited number of meetings.   The Office 365 Business plan starts at $8.25 per user per month.   Update on skpye: Skype for Business won’t be a part of Office 365 Suite  and will discontinue end of July 2021 Microsoft, making this decision, to make sure that their users have a strong Skype for Business alternative, in the form of Microsoft Teams. Teams, actually, is the obvious way forward. It is both advanced and intuitively built with numerous easy-to-use features.   ProofHub (Group messaging with task management)   Free trial   Pro plan: $89 per month with no per-user fee If you are looking for more than just a team chat app, ProofHub is a great option. Packed with powerful task management and collaboration features, it replaces the many apps you use to plan, collaborate and keep your teams and work organized. It lets leaders and managers have ultimate control over their teams, tasks, projects, and communications.   Here’s why teams love using ProofHub: Multiple views - List view, Kanban board view, Gantt chart view (timeline view), and also Calendar view - for added flexibility. It has a powerful proofing tool to review, proof, and annotate files with markup tools. Group messaging with file sharing. Seamless integration with apps like FreshBooks Classic, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, iCal, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Outlook.   Slack ( Enterprise instant messaging App)      File Storage - 5GB per workspace    Message Visibility - 10K most recent messages   Slack is the ultimate tool for business communication and collaboration. Businesses all over the world rely on this tool to streamline work irrespective of the geographical locations of the team members. Use slack for business because:   Apart from direct messaging and threading features, Slack has an integration directory of over 1500 applications.   Slack supports two-factor authentication for additional security and data encryption features too.   Slack allows collaboration beyond colleagues by enabling users to share channels with clients, partners, and vendors.   With Slack, users can customize communication-based on topic, team members, projects, and other factors.   Slack is one of the highly secured communication tools, for it uses robust measures like SSO and 2FA to encrypt the data and protect it against cyber threats.   Brosix ( A thrive work instant messenger)        Pro Plan – $ 2.10 per user/m    Ultimate – $ 2.99 per user/m   With Brosix as an instant messenger, you get to do a lot more than texting and multimedia sharing. Using Brosix as a business messaging application, your company can gain complete control of a business network and have an encrypted communication channel.   Brosix has a complete range of collaboration features that facilitate business communication: offline messages, video and voice chat, whiteboard, file transfer, screen sharing, malware and virus protection, real-time monitoring.   Communication channels are fully-encrypted for additional security. Brosix uses the P2P file transfer to keep user’s data safe from being breached.   With unlimited file sharing, you are sure to witness efficient collaboration, productivity benefits, and easy project management.   Employers or team managers can have full control over users' accessible features, privileges, and contact list.   It is a perfect instant messaging tool for those who want a strong, secure, simple, cost-effective, and reliable business communication solution.     Google+ Hangouts (the free instant messaging for business)      Free 14 Day Trial    Basic - Professional office suite with 30GB storage   Given the reputation of Google Applications, you can safely rely on Hangouts for all your internal communication. Not only does this tool offers a user-friendly chat service, but it is also packed with some of the amazing features listed below:   Google Hangouts as an office messenger allow deep integration with G-suite application, which is a perfect way of supporting your business needs.   It is compatible with Android, Windows, Apple devices, and computers: which makes it the perfect tool for handling communication needs of corporate environments.   Hangouts’ integration with Gmail supports threaded messages and create bots with the app itself. It has no trouble integrating with major business applications and systems.   Hangout supports group conferencing for up to fifteen people, screen sharing options, and phone call.   For companies that require video broadcasting, Hangout on Air Feature is a great feature. It is an efficient way for businesses to conduct talk shows, live seminars, and stream video calls live through YouTube.   Flock ( corporate instant messenger)      Free Plan - Search up to 10K messages    Paid - Unlimited ($2.13 /user/month)    Flock is recommended for the companies that wish to make teamwork conversations effortless. With a significant number of collaborative features, Flock can be an integral part of your business network. The users get to stay on top of their project, create and share notes within the chat box. Other features include:   Integration with third-party apps your team needs. For example- GitHub, Google Drive, Jira, Trello, Google Calendar, Twitter, and many more.   Create polls, get feedback and opinion, and set reminders to enhance your team’s productivity.   With drag and drop features, communicate with your team through visual aids, and pin important files and messages, and access them whenever needed.   Flock also allows the users to build their own application via Flock API. From pop-ups and widgets to sidebar and slash commands, you can add distinctive features to these apps.   Flock has strict control over user rights and data through TLS 1.2 data encryption and Amazon Web Services hosting.   Ryver ( Group Messaging with Chat)       FREE 14-Day Trial    Paid - $49 /user/month upto 12 user/mo   Business Collaboration has never been easier. With Ryver, you can manage your team’s interaction in a simple, easy, and affordable manner.   Group messaging allows unlimited file sharing, unlimited chats, and infinite conversation searching.   With Ryver, you can avail unlimited free calling, crisp and clear audio and video call with shared screen space.   Task management feature includes unlimited personal and team task board, tags, checklists, and assignments.   Ryver employes Active Response Technology which reduces error-prone human response and eliminates slow reaction by replacing it with an automated and powerful response system.   Easy integration with other tools like Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Hangouts, and more.     Wrike ( online IM with task manager)      Free - 5 User    Paid - 5-20 User ($9.80/user/month)    For those of you who want a lot more than instant messaging, Wrike should be the ultimate pick. Bundled with great interactive features, Wrike lets you communicate with your team members, share updates, and work together on the projects. Here’s what makes Wrike interesting:   Consolidate to-dos, customize the dashboard, create gnat charts, set a timeline and manage daily work with ease.   Wrike has a collaborative proof tool that allows users to approve and review digital documents and eliminate all chances of miscommunication.   Share interactive, real-time reports, and edit, or review them regularly.   Nifty (online IM with Project Management) Free - 7 day trial Paid - $39.99 a month upto 10 users Managing projects and collaborating with teammates and clients has never been easier to accomplish with Nifty. Nifty enables users to drag and drop files, images and documents into discussion threads as well as referencing a task id to ensure that no work falls through the cracks due to poor collaboration. There bucket tier pricing makes it a very economical solution for teams as well. Group messaging allows team members to make specific chatting hubs to ensure that conversations stay on the correct topic. Kanban discussion boards enable teams the ability to communicate and comment on individual tasks. Embedded discussion channels allow each project to have a discussion thread that helps teams remain on schedule. Nifty has a nice proofing feature that lets everyone comment on files uploaded directly into Nifty. With Nifty you can also start a Zoom call by simply clicking on the camera button on top of each discussion thread saving teams loads of time in scheduling video meetings.   What do you think? Communication and collaboration play a crucial role in all facets of the business. Not only does regular communication helps build a capable team, but also contributes to the development of the company.   The reason businesses use these instant messaging tools is to generate leads, engage with employees and team members virtually, and manage tasks efficiently. But do keep one thing in mind, when choosing the appropriate instant messaging for business, it's essential to consider your company's culture, team size, and the project types.   Of all these nine tools, which one do you think works well for business communication? Do you have any suggestions for us to include on this list?
Email clients disappearing into an instant messaging The standard text messaging is now passé...
x series vs slack
13 Jan 2020
Slack vs Discord: Are slack and discord the same
The game between Slack and Discord is endless. In this article, we're gonna be Comparing Slack vs Discord battle to know which is better for business First things first, Slack is a commercial choice for businesses where teams communicate and collaborated that is designed based on cloud technology. while Discord is for the gaming community. It's a freeware(software that is available free of charge) Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) that is developed for the communication between the communities and the gaming teams.   Many questions might be doing the rounds in your mind to know who made Discord?, how much data does Discord use? How is Discord free? How to customize Discord? And finally when did Discord come out? Worry not, you have all the questions answered in this article.   Let's get started   Slack vs Discord    Onboarding Simple-to-Use Cross-Platform Feature-Rich End-Users Pricing Voice and Video Calls Integrated File Sharing Support-Service 1. Slack vs  Discord: Onboarding   Slack Slack says,“ it is more productive, more transparent, more efficient, with no more emails”. Let me take you with the product tour of Slack. The sign-up process begins with joining an existing workspace or by joining a new workspace altogether. An invite is needed from the Admin of the Slack application for a new user to join the existing workspace.   What is Slack Workspace A new user can create a new workspace from scratch by confirming the registered email, and by confirming the 6-digit verification code. The new user is asked to enter the new workspace and project name and is also allowed to add other team members to the project. A separate channel for every project is created to bring in teams, conversations, files, etc., for seamless collaboration. Slack provides a URL for every workspace created. The user is supposed to use the allotted URL to login to Slack. In the end, give your name and password to finish the sign-up process of your workspace.   The slacks user interface is simple to understand and quite interesting. Each workspace consists of channels, and all the conversations within the workspace happen through channels only. It allows sending direct messages to Slack bots to know more about the application. The feature-stack of the basic free plan includes adding channels, inviting people, Mentions, 10k searchable messages, one-to-one video calls, two-factor authentication and access to basic Slack features.   Discord   Discord is quite popular among the gaming community. It is a free application that provides voice and text chat conversations. The sign-up process for Discord is pretty simple and easy. Fill up the sign-up form by giving your email id, username, password, and accept the terms and conditions to proceed further. The verification process can be made across through email or a mobile device. Now the new user has access to free voice and text chat amongst the team members. As far as the discord’s data usage is concerned, its levels seem too high on PC rather than Mobile. When was discord made? The initial release of Discord was made in the year 2015, but its stable release is noticed to be released five months ago i.e., on 1st April 2019.    What is a Discord Server  Most of Discord's text and voice conversations happen within servers. Servers act as individual hubs split into two parts: text channels and voice channels. Think of any server you join as a giant treehouse- each text channel within a server represents another room within your treehouse that you can chat with your friends!   The new user is asked to create a server by selecting the server region. A user can join any of the popular public servers as per their requirement. The user interface of Discord allows the user to create more servers, send direct messages, add friends, send friend requests, etc., A two-factor authentication is enabled to protect your server with an extra layer of security. As far as the Discord Server limit is concerned, it does not accept a single user to be on more than 100 servers. In one instance it allows 75+ users, as its servers don’t have any member limit.    In this article, we look at the Quick Comparison between Slack and Discord for different scenarios. Both the chat applications Slack and Discord are cross-platform enabled. They are available for Windows, macOS, Web, Android, iOS. Discord has its presence for Linux too. Slack comes with three pricing plans; Free plan, Standard Plan, and Plus Plan. Discord pricing plan includes; Free, Nitro Plan and Nitro Classic. Discord message history is unlimited across its all plans, whereas Slack provides unlimited message history in Standard and Plus plans only. Both the applications are deployed in cloud and mobile. Discord and Slack both have come up with advanced search filters Slack doesn’t offer the feature of screen sharing in the free version, whereas real-time screen sharing is present for free and paid versions of Discord. Discord allows unlimited integrations. Slack limits to 10 integrations in the free plan and about 800 integrations in paid plans. Both applications provide exceptional help and support services The Discord’s group video calling allows adding friends who are all there in the contacts list.     2. Slack vs  Discord: Simple-to-Use    Discord is highly popular for its slick design and hassle-free sign-up process. The user doesn’t even have to provide the email id to use Discord chat application; rather he/she can start using the application just by giving their name. But, yes the verification process needs an email address for quick access to all the servers.   The interface of Discord is so simple, customizable and seamless, that any casual user can quickly understand the features, simply at a glance. In addition to this, Discord’s text and voice conversations take place in their servers, and setting up them is absolutely simple. The terms Discord file size limit and Discord max file size limit might sound different, but their actual file size limits are the same as the upload limits. Joining Slack’s workspace is a little tedious when compared to Discord. The two ways to join Slack is through accepting an email invitation or through creating an account. Then you are asked to set up your profile with your First name, Display name, phone number etc., to let other team members know about you. Users need to download desktop and mobile apps, whereas, in the case of Discord, they can log in to the web client to access the application.   Similar Post:   Ryver Vs Slack   Microsoft Teams Vs Slack   Yammer Or Slack   3. Slack vs Discord: Cross-Platform Discord Company, the most popular and the biggest gaming cross-platform application, is available on all desktop and mobile OS platforms. It works on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS and it is Linux friendly too. And if you don’t feel like installing it, just experience the web application. One of the discord alternatives, the Troop Messenger also has its presence on all the platforms.   Slack’s being widely used as team collaboration application, had made its footprint on Windows, Chrome, Mac OS, Linux(beta), Android, iOS, Windows Phone(beta). Though the desktop application is quite heavier than Discord, it’s the most powerful one.   4. Slack vs Discord: Features Discord Discord’s popularity is fast catching up in recent years. The client numbers are getting multiplied with its ever-increasing upcoming features –list. This application is rather famous in the gaming community than in team collaboration. Discord is specially designed for managing large groups and servers. It allows the user to quickly join the web client, without having to install a desktop app or creating an account. This tool offers voice and video calls in a single interface and offers an unlimited message history too. When it comes to the Discord upload limit and Discord Character limit, they are 8mb and 2000 respectively. The upload limit can be extended to 50 MB by switching to the paid plan of Nitro. The application is well-known in respecting user’s privacy; neither does it message logging in free version nor in paid. Discord notifies users about other gaming information, to simplify choosing options for players. The server management and server-switching are so hassle-free in Discord that it enables the users to check their friend's list on a daily basis, and switching between servers is just a click away. When it comes to Discord loading messages file size limits, it is similarly quantified with the file upload limits.  A few of the upcoming features include; keyboard navigation, overlay home bar for desktop, spoiler tags for iOS, game detection, and spoiler tags for Android.   Slack Slack is popularly known as a “Place for every Conversation”, as it is considered a unified choice for business communications and project management. It allows the user to create a separate channel for every discussion, be it for the team, for a new project, or a channel for onboarding, or for training new employees, etc. The chat interface of Slack is quite simple to understand and pretty much easy to use. The user can find all the available channels open to the left side of the chat interface.   One of the additional features of Slack is its screen sharing ability during video calls. It makes the best presentation tool with the help of voice, video, and text communication. The exceptional search functionality of Slack makes the user bring all files, messages, attachments at one place.   The CPU usage is high at Slack and is more intensive when compared to Discord. It uses 9.5 MB for its processing for the same count of message requests, which were attended by Discord. Every day’s essential business applications of all size and shape like Asana, Dropbox, Salesforce, Trello, Jira, etc., are easily integrated into Slack.    5. Slack vs Discord: End Users  The gaming community prefers to land on Discord rather than Slack, for its lag-free and high-speed gaming experience. Though mainly meant for gamers, the concept of collaboration is born out of necessity to unite them in one place. Going further when we talk about, discord notification meme, it allows the users to compile them as the way they want. Though Slack was developed by a gaming company, it’s been essentially built for team speak. Its primary focus is to attend business or corporate audience for their uninterrupted team collaboration. The features designed are highly business-oriented with intuitive and impressive UI.   6. Slack vs Discord: Pricing  Discord comes in three pricing plans  Free - $0 Discord Nitro Classic - $4.99/month Discord Nitro - $9.99/month   Discord offers most of its features free of cost, and a Nitro Plan for the upgrade of extended file upload, animated emojis and for high-quality screen sharing. Since the upgrade is applicable to each individual account instead of the server, the users who need it should upgrade accordingly. Along with this, a Nitro plan of Discord enhances the users chat experience with interesting perks such as animated fun, global search emoji's, custom Discord tag, high-quality video, etc., Slack comes in three pricing plans and an enterprise Grid: Free - $0 Standard - $6.67/month Plus - $12.50/month Enterprise Grid   It doesn’t offer many of the important features in its free version. Small teams or small organizations can create a team collaboration workspace for an unlimited period of time with their+ free plan. For uninterrupted project communications, teams can opt for Slack's standard plan. The two-factor authentication facility is available for all the users, regardless of the plan.   7. Slack vs Discord: Voice and Video Calls Discord Voice calls and Voice chat are the heart of Discord. Discord video channels have kept separate from messaging channels and have gained huge popularity with free VoIP calling service between gaming servers, since its inception. When compared to its other competitors like Slack and Skype, It provides the highest quality audio and video calling for the users. Unlike Slack, Discord doesn’t differentiate its voice and video calling services with its plan’s purchase. Discord video calling and screen sharing can be used simultaneously to have an enhanced user gaming experience. Let us have a quick look at how to video call on Discord? -Select “Voice & Video” from App Settings and Select video settings from the camera options drop-down menu and follow instructions as guided by Discord.Though video calling is available in Slack’s Free Plan, it’s been restricted only for two people. The users need to upgrade to higher paid plans to expand the video call participant’s limit to 15 users. In any of the Slack's plan, its users can call other members of the application through channels. Slack gave a value-addition to its video calling, where the participants can respond with a different kind of emojis to show their expression!    8. Slack vs Discord: Integrated File Sharing Slack and Discord both the tools, allows the users to share a wide range of files across their respective applications. In Discord’s free plan, the user can share files to the limit of 8MB and can extend this limit up to 50 MB. In Slack, users can upload the files up to 1 GB. The users can directly drag and drop all range of files such as PDFs, images and videos into the slack.   9. Slack vs Discord: Support Service Discord extends excellent round the clock support services to its users. Apart from its 24/7 help center, its support team is actively available on most of the social channels like Twitter, Reddit, etc., Its exclusive help center page provides you all the information right from the account settings to permissions. Get to know about its announcements, trust and safety, community programs and many more from the help center page of their website. Slack too provides high-end and well-coordinated customer support for its users. They ensure the best possible resolutions for any sort of customer feedback and toughest queries. The support team who are up to date on the latest feature details will attend the users by assuring them with seamless application usage. The support page of Slack lets you tap into the collective knowledge base of the application.   Conclusion Eventually, the size of your organization and the cost of the application matters the most while choosing the right one! Discord and Slack both are exceptional in their respective genres. I personally suggest the user opt for Discord, as its free plan itself is offering all the essential parameters of the application.   But ultimately, it’s the user’s choice of which to choose picked!   Still not justified! Then I would strongly suggest you hands-on the new-age chat messenger solution,  The Troop Messenger.   Disclaimer The aim of the article is to be informative. We intend users take an informed decision for an effective and productive experience. The comparison shown between discord vs slack in the blog is only towards that end and has no intention of pitting one against the other team collaboration app brands. The images, logos, any concepts etc., used in this blog, purely belong to their respective companies or applications (Discord and Slack).   Readers are advised to consult and confirm from the respective service providers regarding details of features, latest updates, prices, and their policies before utilizing any of their services. This further informs the reader that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog solely belong to the author’s perception, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.  
The game between Slack and Discord is endless. In this article, we're gonna be Comparing Slack vs D...
project management
20 Jun 2019
10 Best free Gantt Chart Software in 2020
You are here on a page that talks about ‘Free Gantt Chart Software.’ Would it be too early to say ‘your search ends here’? I guess not!. Because, here, you get to review an impartial analysis of top Gantt chart software with templates and examples. This blog post needs your undivided attention.! 5 minutes will be enough. Let’s start with the basics. Missing a deadline when you are on a serious project is never an option!   You need to accomplish your task with accuracy and precision, and that too within the fixed timeline. There are a lot of things running on the schedule that one needs to manage while working on a project.   Project management is not as easy as you think. You will have to keep a record of every step you take. It will be difficult to maintain such records if you don't have a Gantt Chart Software. Right from the duration for the task, name of the person who is assigned to the task, task milestone, how much investment was involved, and how much time is scheduled for each achieving each milestone-everything must be recorded with top-notch accuracy.   Trending Article      For fulfilling these project management requirements, Gantt chart software always comes in handy. Unlike the traditional timeline charts and manual records, it focuses more on the interdependencies within tasks instead of emphasizing only on the broad picture.  Table of Contents   1. Gantt project 2. GanttPRO 3. ProProfs Project 4. Wrike 5. Smartsheet 6. ClickUp 7. Office timeline 8. Smartdraw 9. Gantter 10. Bitrix24 11. TeamGantt 12. Backlog 13. ProofHub 14. GoodGantt 15. Rational plan 16. Tom's planner 17. ProjectLibre 18. Hansoft 19. Merlin Project 4 20. Team Work What is a Gantt chart?  Gantt chart is a very important tool that is used to visually schedule and monitor the projects. Its main objective is to show the activities which are finished, the ones that are currently ongoing, and also those that are yet to start.   Henry Gantt was the first person to introduce the concept of a Gantt chart, and ever since it has become an integral project management tool. Gantt chart gives a visual or graphical representation of all the tasks undertaken in the project. It also gives the duration for each task and other important details with the progression of the project.   Generally, the bar of the graph changes its shading to show the progress in the project. Upon the completion of the project, the graph colour turns to a different shade. Also, it can show the name of the person to whom a particular task is assigned, and the milestones that are set to achieve the final goal. You can get your work done in a free Gantt chart software without buying one.   Gantt Chart Glossary you need to know: Tasks: Tasks are different types of work assigned to individuals which should be done to reach the goal. They come with the start date, end date, duration, assigned person and all the other details involved. Milestone: It’s a task with zero duration. It can indicate an important date in the project plan, for example, the initiation or completion of an important task. You might use it to make the completion dates of specific tasks.  Summary task: It is a group of tasks. They are made of sub-tasks that show combined information. Task status: It shows the progress, percentage, and completion of the task. Dependencies: It shows the link and connection between different errands.  Assigned resources: It indicates the name of the people assigned to specific tasks   Ready-Made Gantt Chart Template to use Gantt Chart Templates can be edited in several formats such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Apple Numbers. These Gantt charts are incredibly useful in project management because they allow you to track the status of project tasks. They also help keep track of deadlines, milestones, and hours worked. While working with clients it helps in boosting the perceived value as the clients are able to see the progress of their projects in real-time. Having a document that gets updated every time a task gets completed or makes a certain amount of progress helps in decreasing the communication needed to notify the people of the progress made thereby enhancing the employees' overall productivity. Here is what you can do with Gantt chart: Plan & Schedule Projects Plan & Schedule Tasks Plan & Schedule Tasks across Multiple Projects View Tasks Over Time Plan in Sprints Team Collaboration Scheduling Teams’ Work Determining Planned versus Actual Timelines on a Project Increasing Perceived Value for Clients Increasing Employee Productivity Pricing: has both Free membership & Paid Plans which starts @ 8$/ month.   Top 10+ free Gantt chart available online   1. Gantt project ( A Simple Gantt Chart)  Here’s why we have placed the Gantt project at the top position of this list: It’s available for free for both the personal and commercial uses. Established in 2003, Gantt Project is not just a clone of MS project but a lot more. It is one of the most efficient and trusted free Gantt chart software. Gantt project will run anywhere where Java runtime is available as it is written in Java.   It is a desktop application which can allow you to: Manage the elements like task and milestones, including the initiation date, priority, duration, notes, and resources, etc. Create a hierarchy which shows cost, progress, and details of lower-level tasks displayed on the upper level. Draw dependency: dependencies between tasks, leads, etc  Baseline: you can compare your current status with your previous plans by creating baselines Generate PDF / JPEG/ PNG files  It can export and import to/from CSV for analyzing data in spreadsheet apps.  Allows import and export to Microsoft projects.   Apart from all these great features, Gantt Project allows users to do collaborate with WebDAV servers and use cloud storage for storing all projects in the cloud. As you can see, the Gantt project is a light and useful software that is very easy to use if you are a beginner in project management. Price: Free  Supported Platform: Windows, Linux, OSX    2. GanttPRO (GanttPRO Chart Software for Project Planning)   Pricing: Free 14-day trial and $15 per user per month   Supported Platform: Web-based   With this exclusive Gantt Chart software, you can easily create charts and visual graphs through existing templates of project planning. These charts can be shared with team members for better collaboration and project management.   Gantt pro has an extensive community of users who create and share editable templates for different projects.   Here are some of the features of Gantt Pro: Unlimited number of projects and premium support  Multiple Gantt chart baseline and task filter Can allow one active project per member Customizable export to PNG, PDF, and XL format  Project estimation cost and working hours Onboarding and team progress tracking Resource management All the other basic Gantt chart features   Gantt chart is a great pick for people working individually. It’s also a good choice if you want to work with your group since it supports features like team training sessions, real-time notifications, and project role settings for members.   3. ProProfs Project (Online Simple Project Management Software) ProProfs Project is an online project management tool that solves your need to plan, schedule, and deliver projects on time. With the Gantt Charts feature, you can visualize milestones, track work progress, and view project status on a single dashboard. Gantt charts keep you updated on what’s going on in your projects, enable better time management, prevent resource overload, and help you meet deadlines like a pro.   Here is how you can achieve all this with ProProfs Gantt charts: Assign tasks to the relevant team members. Use drag and drop for proper task planning. Set due dates for each project and task. Track time spent by team members on each task. Set reminders and notifications for project completion. Share files, links, and give feedback using task comments. Receive detailed reports to monitor team performance. Assign roles & permissions for access control on Gantt charts. Calculate billable hours and generate shareable invoices   ProProfs is a popular choice of Gantt Chart tool amongst creative teams, IT project managers, and digital marketing teams who seek immense clarity in project scheduling and planning. Pricing: Free 15-day trial. Afterward, $2 per user per month for the Essentials plan and $4 per user per month in the Premium plan.   Platform Supported: Mobile, Web, Desktop.   4. ProofHub: (Project Management Software) ProofHub is a project management solution and collaboration software that makes work easier for teams. It facilitates planning, helps in tracking progress and allows real-time collaboration and communication so that efficiency increases and deadlines are met on time.  ProofHub is a project management software that has an exhaustive list of features and the Gantt chart is one of them. The Gantt chart in ProofHub gives you a timeline view of all your projects in one window. It helps in planning your projects and tracking the progress of tasks at any given time. Here is what you can do with ProofHub Gantt charts. Add tasks and task lists to the Gantt chart. Clearly distribute roles and duties by assigning tasks to team members. Set dependencies between tasks and adjust schedules as work changes or deadlines shift. Highlight the critical path to see which tasks directly affect the start and end date of the project. Adjust the start and end dates of tasks with a single drag and drop. Associate milestones with tasks.   Pricing: ProofHub is priced at $99/month (limited time offer). It offers a free trial with complete access to all its features. Platforms supported: Web-based, Google Play Store & App Store   5. Wrike (Online Gantt charts for scheduling) You can now stop updating your project in Spreadsheets! Instead, Wrike offers you simple, yet tried and tested Gantt Charts to make you understand and visualize the time and resources allocated in a given project. Set task deadlines on your team members and make them faster and smarter. The fluid-like application easily adapts to the changing environments of Agile methodologies. The online work management application of Wrike seamlessly scales across the length and breadth of your organization. Integrate the tools you daily use with Wrike. It supports a wide number of integrations. Features that come with Wrike: Task and Subtask Management Shareable Dashboards Collaborators Business Intelligence Integrations Custom Fields and Workflows Advanced reporting and data visualization Additional Integrations   Pricing: Wrike offers many plans; Free, Professional, Business, Wrike for Marketers, Wrike for service delivery teams, and Enterprise. Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Desktop, and Web app   6. Smartsheet (Simple Online Gantt Chart Software) Create quick online Gantt Charts in just a few seconds with Smartsheet Gantt Chart Software. It works better and intuitive than Microsoft Project. This application is preferred by businesses of all sizes, as it increases productivity and saves time. A real-time collaborative Gantt chat software that brilliantly organizes and schedules tasks of all kinds of projects for their smooth execution. You just name it! The Smartsheet will get it for you. It has a wide number of ready to use Gantt Chart templates for the categories of product management, project management, software development, digital marketing, and more. Features that SmartSheet has: Drag and Drop Gantt Bars Set Durations and Dependencies Premium Integrations Identify Critical Path Track Milestones Share with stakeholders Access your work on Mobile   Pricing: Besides its free edition, SmartSheet comes in Standard and Enterprise  Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows   7. ClickUp (Gantt Chart View) No more boring Gantt Charts! With ClickUp, every Gantt chart looks beautiful. It is easy to manage anything, whether it could be people, projects, tasks, spreadsheets, email and chat, to-do lists, documents, and notes, etc. The ClickUp free Gantt chat software is the only application that provides feature customization to build awesome projects. The Five stars rated application by G2, Capterra, and GetApp support incredible integrations! You can automatically import your data from other productivity apps that you use. This tool provides a wide variety of ready to use Gantt Chart Templates for Marketing, Development, Project Management, Design, and more. Features that make you opt this tool: Custom Statuses Multiple Assignees Agile Board View Workload Chart Time Estimates Remapping Due Dates Future Recurring Tasks on Calendar.   Pricing: Free Forever and Unlimited at 361.14 INR per user/per month.  supported platforms: Access from any; Web, iOS, Android, Chrome, Desktop, Alexa, and GoogleHome.   8. Office timeline (Gantt charts & timelines with ease) Subscribe Office Timeline PowerPoint Add-in to directly create timelines and road maps in PowerPoint. Office timeline allows users to seamlessly produce sophisticated Gantt Charts and swimlane diagrams simply and quickly. Be in sync with your whole team by sharing your visual presentations, assigning tasks while collaborating with them online. The 4.5 stars rated application improves project planning with professional-looking Gantt Chart Templates. Though they seem to look on the surface, they have powerful underneath layers. This Gantt chart software offers a free edition. You can download to check how it works. Important Features Consolidate Multiple Projects Editable and Shareable Power-Point Presentations Fully customized swimlanes Imports data from Projects Timelines in hours and minutes Unlimited free updates Group Tasks on one row.   Pricing: Get Office Timeline Powerpoint Add-in at $99/1-year Pro License and Office Timeline Online at $59/1-Year Plus License Supported Platforms: Windows and Mac 9. Smartdraw (Free Gantt Chart Templates ) The one-in-all chat maker application that is easier than Visio for making powerful flow charts, floor plans, and organization charts offer quick start, ready to draw diagram templates for designing accurate and perfect layouts. The CNET five star rated product is trusted by many users such as FedEx, General Dynamics, Nestle, Tesla, SAP, Texas Children’s Hospital, Pepsi, and more. With Smartdraw, you can notice a marked difference in managing your projects and processes. This smart application has a broad variety of Gantt Chart Templates developed for almost every category. Be it Confluence, Jira, Trello, G Suite, or any, it integrates with every tool that you use. The only diagramming application that runs on a web browser allows users to seamlessly collaborate to work on the same diagram from different sign-ups. Important Features Intelligent formatting engine Wide Color Schemes Visio Import and Export Built-in Extensions Custom Extensions using Visual Script SDK Collaborate anywhere Enterprise administration.   Pricing: One-time purchase for Single User at $297 with no monthly or annual billing. For multiple users, SmartDraw comes at $ 595 per year, billed annually with multi-seat administration features. Supported Platform: Mobile, Online edition and desktop edition(Windows and Mac).   10. Gantter ( A tool with Gantt Chart examples) Gantter is a cloud-based, community-powered, project scheduling and management tool. Its most distinctive feature is the community contributed task scheduling templates and the suggest and assist the engine, With Gantter, you get an optimized user experience as it allows seamless integration with Google apps like Google Drive, Calendar, Hangout, and etc. Primarily,   Gantter has three editions: Gantter Cloud Gantter for Google Drive, and  Gantter for G-Suite   Here’s what you’ll get with these editions:    Features: Save or open the Gantter files to Gantter cloud/Google Drive. Access to millions of free community-based templates. Access 24/7 community-powered support, suggest and edit recommendation, and real-time collaborative editing.  Auto-Generated WBS (Work breakdown structure), custom columns, built-in-analytics, Cost and task tracking, and resource auto-leveling.   MS Project import and export.   The team collaboration features let users bring multiple timelines and teams together, work on multiple tasks, and gauge the project completion. The Google edition is best for those who use Google drive and other G-suite applications.  Pricing: $5 per month per user. Gantter is also available for a 30-day free trial. Supported Platforms: Web-based apps. 11. Bitrix24 ( Gantt chart for multiple projects) Bitrix24 is a highly reliable Gantt chart software with the main specialty of moving tasks while still keeping their connections to compare current and baseline state at any time. This is mainly a team collaboration software that offers benefits of project management and CRM. It can create a very professional Gantt chart for unlimited tasks and projects. It's another great option to work with 12-users. So even a small or average-sized company can use it very easily.  It also monitors the workload on employees and identifies the task which can be uncertainly delayed.   Important features: Free unlimited projects Free unlimited subtasks  Free 5gb online storage Multiple Gantt charts Free 12 users  Task dependencies Cloud and on-premise  Open source code and API Free mobile PM (Android and IOS)  With Bitrix, you can communicate with team members and also work collaboratively on the project by gauging the visual representation of tasks, milestones, deadlines, and dependencies. Other fancy features are office reports, checklists, templates report builders, etc. Pricing: $69 per month for all team members Supported Platform: App Store and Google Play Store   12. TeamGantt ( Construction Gantt Chart )   Pricing: $0 for small teams of three members. $49.5 and $74.5 for teams up to 5 and 10 members.   Supported Platforms: Web-based   This project management suite allows users to manage task while reviewing them in a different visual or graphical format. It provides team communication, project planning, and resource management functions which are very intuitive and offers user flexibility to assign tasks, set deadline, and create priorities via drag and drop option.   Some of the exciting features of this project scheduling software are: Unlimited time for using the free version  Drag and drop scheduling  Customizable view through Google Calendar  Centralized storage of tasks, conversations, documents, and achievable. Review into team member’s workload and availability  Exports to PDF but the watermark Auto-update on team progress  Daily mail reminders  File attachments  Graphical formats for showing planned vs. actual timeline.   TeamGantt brings project scheduling online with the easy-to-integrate Gantt software. Users can invite teammates, co-workers, and friends to edit and view the Gantt chart.   13. Backlog (Project Management Gantt chart ) Backlog is an all-in-one online project management tool for task management, version control, and bug tracking. Bringing together the organizational benefits of project management with the power and convenience of code management, Backlog enhances team collaboration across organizations large and small. Plan work, track progress and release code updates right in Backlog.   Why Backlog Task management, bug tracking, and version control in one tool Visual Gantt and Burndown charts for better planning and resource management Built-in Git and SVN repositories Custom statuses and workflows to suit your project Mobile app for Android and iOS users Kanban-style boards for each project make it easy to view every task as they move through your workflow       14. Good Gantt ( Diagram Gantt chart)   Pricing: Free for one user without restrictions. Prices for use in a team depending on its size. It starts at 2.99 per person per month   Supported Platform: Web-based   Many Trello users have been waiting for this for a long time. Now they have access to a Gantt Chart with deep integration in Trello. It will seem as if it is one application and you do not have to go to external pages during use. You can quickly plan a project by creating Trello cards directly from the Gantt Chart   Here are some of the features of Good Gantt : On one Gantt chart, you can view all your Trello boards  You can set up integration with time trackers to keep track of the actual execution time of tasks by your employees  Nice design Automate the movement of cards depending on the actions Evenly distribute the load between employees Group tasks and milestones ReTrack progress by the task Use hotkeys for quick work   15. Rational plan ( with Gantt Charts, Timesheets)   Pricing: Free trial and the paid plan starts from $19 per month (for cloud-hosted version).   Supported Platforms: Linux, Cloud-based, On-premise.   This comprehensive project planning and scheduling software covers are available for free with Linux.   The rational plan offers a variety of project management features. It is available as a cloud-based solution as well as on-premise and it helps both the project managers and teams to develop a consistent project plan with the analyzed workload, allocation of resources, estimation of project cost, and management of the budget.   Rational Plan has two versions: You can either use cloud service or opt for an on-premise application.   On-premise- single version for Linux- It shows advanced planning through dynamic Gantt charts and timesheets. This single version will allow you to share the project with MS users. Gives you a chance to share the details about your projects to other users who are involved.   Cloud-based- Includes all the basic Gantt chart features for two users, two projects, 100 tasks, and 5 MB storage.   Here’s why Rational Plan is a great choice for Linux users: Schedule the project using duration driven activities  Use of recurrent, split tasks, and milestones. A visual way of tracking the baseline and dependencies Critical path detection  Collaboration with team members and integration with Microsoft project files   Some other feature includes portfolio management, resource management tool, costs tracking, scheduling, time management, and all the basic Gantt chart features.   16. Tom's planner (online Gantt Chart Maker)   Pricing: $ 9.95 per month   Supported Platform: Web-based   It is Import projects from Excel, MS Project, Trello, and Basecamp an excellent web-based Gantt chart application. It requires no installation and has an easy drag and drop options with right click menu and task management.   Tom’s planner really stands unique when it comes to the collaboration feature. This project scheduling tool offers a free subscription with two-user limitations and offers most of the basic features.   With Tom’s Planner you can: Create professional Gantt charts and share them virtually  Zoom in to check who’s doing what and how far they’ve progressed Drag and drop to make the edits and changes on the fly Import projects from Excel, Basecamp, MS Project, and Trello  Embed charts with SharePoint, WordPress theme, and Confluence   The free subscription can allow for 200 items in a schedule. It only lasts for one year. This software is recommended for beginners who want to have a basic knowledge of project management.   17. ProjectLibre ( Compatibility with Microsoft Project)     Pricing: Free   Supported Platform: Window, Linux, Mac OS.   ProjectLibre is another great project scheduling solution for your team projects. Unlike other software, it is not a complicated one. Its main objective is that all the company user should be able to learn to work in the chart even if they cannot afford it. That's the reason it is open-source software.   This open-source alternative of MS project has the following features: Gantt Chart Earned Value Costing WBS/RBS charts  Network Diagram  Resource Histograms  Compatibility with Microsoft Project   The software has received various awards which proves that being free it can give the best results. You can translate it into any language. It has versatility which makes it much easier to work for a small or large business.   18. Hansoft (tools along with a Gantt chart template)    Pricing: Varying rates depending on team members and type of installation   Supported Platform: Cloud and On-premise   Hansoft is originated from Sweden. The Swedish company offers many project management tools along with a Gantt chart template. Many companies swear by this software because of the seven main features.   You are allowed to refine your task from the backlog feature.  Long term, as well as short term planning, can be viewed and modified.  Supports Kanban, Waterfall method, hybrids, and Scrum Efficiency boosting feature like the acceleration of plan up to 20%  Real-time dashboard to stay informed to real-world data and workflow management   Hansoft has all the basic features like issue tracker, to-do lists, reports, resource allocation, integration, backlogs, and on-premise installation. So, you might want to change your mind if you are working on a big project.   19. Merlin project 4 (Professional Project Management for Mac)   Pricing: $149 per year per user and $1,415 per year for 10 users    Supported Platform: Mac and iPad   It is the latest project management software from the project wizard. It runs specifically on Mac so before you go for this software make sure your team can work on mac.   It has all the basic features one Gantt chart software has and also it is user-friendly offering many possibilities. You can customize it as per your need. It can also be used offline. You can edit or modify your planning offline, and it will keep the updates on the chart when you are back on.   Kanban View and Waterfall feature  Find critical paths and distribute tasks with few gestures Link attachment to tasks in the project  Stay up-to-date with cloud storage  Compact on the iPhone  Export and Import through MS project.   20. Teamwork (Project Management Tool With Gantt Charts)  Pricing: Free for up to 5 users and 2 projects, Pro starts from $10 per user, per month.    Supported Platforms: Web based The Teamwork project management platform allows you to map out your work, visualize your project timeline, update your plan in real time and keep stakeholders up to date, easily and seamlessly creating a single source of truth in your organization.Why choose Teamwork?: Easy to use online Gantt Chart Ready made task list templates Create your own custom templates Time tracking to see if your projects are profitable Board view for better organization Portfolio - A panoramic view of where your projects stand Tasks and subtasks, so everyone knows what work they need to complete"   However, it allows only 30 days for working free without any restriction, but after that, you must purchase it. Or you can upgrade Merlin project 3 which is totally free.    Conclusion There are many options outlined in this article. You can narrow the best choice by understanding what each software offers and comparing it with your company’s needs. If you are still confused about which one to pick, consider the following five capabilities of an ideal Gantt Chart software:   It should support a maximum number of users and collaborators It should allow unlimited edits of the chart It should offer flexibility to work on multiple projects It should be easy-to-use with drag-and-drop features and one-click sync It should be compatible with the devices you and your team members use Once you keep these five features in your mind and also consider your team’s requirement, the selection of the final pick will be a piece of cake!
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military collaboration
19 Dec 2020
Increase Productivity and Secure your Collaboration With Troop Messenger
Picture this: You’re leading a peace-keeping mission and simultaneously safeguarding your nation against the enemies. It’s a multi-state effort, that involves an active contribution of your colleagues from different departments, some working next door, and some in remote areas.   As a leader, there is a dire need for you to maintain an active collaboration and real-time data sharing with all the team members. You also need to integrate with third-party contractors who are handling other mission-critical services.   But, you don’t have the right medium to maintain that interaction. You don’t have a secure platform to deliver critical information among your team members. Your mission is hampered through phone calls and static email solutions, and eventually, the lack of tools and effective collaboration process dawns upon you.   But it’s too late, the delay has already caused a ruckus, and your opponents are already a step ahead.   Now, Let’s flip the scenario: You’re organizing a similar mission with a war-torn nation. You need to have a collaboration with the masses. There are a thousand people who need to exchange information with each other - actively, remotely, and frequently - without having to worry about the security breaches.   And you are already prepared for that!   You have a dedicated application that supports defence collaboration services, allows an unprecedented level of communication and real-time collaboration. You have an end-to-end encrypted tool that offers solutions ranging from instant calling, messaging, video conferencing, workflow sharing, creating virtual workplaces, managing action-logs, exchanging risk registers, and tracking the progress (through insights and analytics) till the very end.   Which scenario would you rather be in? The first when where you’re likely to compromise with the security of your organization and hamper the workflow.   Or   The second, where you have got complete control of real-time data sharing, anytime/anywhere productivity, and cross-agency collaboration?   The answer is so obvious. I am ashamed I even asked that question!   This brings us to a fact:   Collaboration tools  are the need-of-the hour for military, defence, and security-conscious government organizations - not only because of the exciting range of features that make them do more in less but also because they are a perfect solution to data and security challenges as well.” For instance, Microsoft office for military personnel offers a variety of features to promote military collaboration in a secure environment.”   Let’s look at the role these applications can play in changing the dimension of modern collaboration among defence forces while meeting today’s security and mobility issues:   Top 5 Defence Organisation requirements that only a dedicated collaboration tool can fulfil: I. Reliable Communication: There’s no denying the importance of communication for the smooth running of any organization. One cannot imagine operating a business without a source of communication. It is vital for any business owner, and when it comes to military forces, it is indispensable. Real-time communication or miscommunication between the members can make or break a mission. From the alerts carrying orders to the interaction with field personnel to audio/video link to an enemy or strategist, real-time communication can change the game for them. Despite Communication being the most critical factors, Military force leaders and organisations find it challenging to provide their team members with an appropriate collaboration and communication services. Because of the differing characteristics and needs of these organizations, they cannot communicate with a standard industry template. Military teams need special tools that can handle military messaging without compromising security and data sensitivity issues. Military messaging tools help information flowing within teams for electronic communication across different systems and between nations. These tools ensure messaging data is compliant with international standards and encrypted to reduce the chances of security breaches.    1. Mobility  Commanders and Leaders: Access information anytime, anyplace, and through different devices, and work from remote areas without the need for a conventional office premise. Staff and Analysts: Seamlessly collaborate with the commanders, headquarters, and staff from the upper or lower hierarchical structure. Infantry Soldiers: Communicate anytime, from anywhere, and exchange alerts  Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Deliver field related communications and real-time data to mobile personnel.   2. Virtual Meetings: Commanders and Leaders: Force leaders and commanders require constant access to real-time data/information and frequent interaction with team members to make an informed decision. Staff and Analysts: Staffs and analysts working at different levels rely on video conferences to coordinate and engage an automated translation of responsibilities. Infantry Soldiers: Join conferences and meetings hosted by their leaders from remote locations.  Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Partake in role-specific training sessions, which reduces the need for instructors to travel.   II. Real-Time Collaboration to Support Mission Objectives: The top priority for Military and Defense personnel is to support the mission objectives by staying informed and making informed decisions.   Such organizations and their associates need to grasp the situational context, understand the scenario quickly, respond rapidly, and pass the decisions to others. The situation can either be a regular conflict, threat to the nation’s safety, or a major disaster, but the approach is usually the same.   Not only do these organizations generate and analyze huge amounts of data but they also communicate speedily with experts and counterparts to aid resolution of problem or project at hand.   Equally important is the need to achieve the goals from anywhere, at any time, and through encrypted, highly-secure platforms. Here’s how a security-dedicated collaboration tool can ensure reliable collaboration across different roles and hierarchical structures of a Military organization:   Secure Collaboration Commanders and Leaders: Agencies working for Defense and Military forces do not work individually. One decision originating from Department A could affect the dimension in Department Z. With a thorough collaboration between leaders, such errors can be avoided.  Staff and Analysts: Team members working at different levels can work simultaneously on a single project, share documents, and make edit suggestions from anywhere and on any device.  Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Have access to a role-based portal and get real-time information. Finding Experts Commanders and Leaders: Find the expert for making a rapid and quick decision, and get questions from the staff and field personnel and give an immediate answer. Staff and Analysts: Reduce the decision-making time by reaching the experts through real-time exchange of data and media and other sensitive files. Infantry Soldiers: Find the expert for resolving an immediate issue. Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Find the seniors for resolving an issue related to logistics and equipment.     III. Business Intelligence:   Insights and analytics features can enable defence and security & mission-conscious organizations to mitigate threats on time and enable a rapid decision-making protocol.   Insights generated from real-time data can enable such organizations to take up-to-the-hour actions and up-to-the-minute strategies. It also helps get an accurate view of the impending situation, understand the status and capacity of allied forces, and plan according to their exact locations.   Here’s how Microsoft office for the military, a security-dedicated collaboration tool can ensure Insights & Analytics sharing across different roles and hierarchical structures of a Military organization:   Commanders and Leaders: Create a real-time view of tactical data and share it across the command structure in a highly secure portal. Get insights into economic and political data. Staff and Analysts: Analyse received information and share the operational, intelligence, and logistical insights to make more informed decisions. Infantry Soldiers: Understand the strategy and be a part of the planning process. Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Use the dashboard for visualizing the level of supplies needed for forces, and make better and more informed logistics and purchasing decisions.   IV. Security and Compliance:   One of the most important factors to be considered while choosing a ‘Defence team collaboration application’ is data security and privacy. This is something a regular chat application cannot provide. Robust instant messaging capabilities like DISA DCS provide security and compliance with the ability to share content, provide collaboration, and playback capabilities. Through DCS web conferencing, users can communicate securely using voice and video and have the ability to share documents, PowerPoint slides, photographs and spreadsheets in different formats.  The Solution addresses security concerns unique to defence agencies within a private and dedicated cloud environment. A security-dedicated collaboration tool allows encrypted data sharing across different roles and hierarchical structures of a Military organization: Commanders and Leaders: Make sure that sensitive and confidential data is protected over the cloud and across the devices. Staff and Analysts: Securely receive confidential information, reports, and update it via extranet and intranet applications to help other members be better-informed and control the decisions. Infantry Soldiers: Make secure connections with other military sources and agents or cloud resources Administrative Staff and Field Personnel: Securely exchange field reports and their analyses to the Commanders and leaders.   V. Tech-Enabled Platform: Defence organization is in dire need of a tech-enabled communication and collaboration platform which simplifies task management reduces cost, improves services, and simultaneously provides transparency to work across different departments and agencies.   To achieve Military missions and, maintain collaboration at sea, support defence goals in today’s fast-changing world, defence agencies and all their partners must work together, securely, and over a tech-enabled platform. Today’s high tech collaboration tools offer all of these features at a lightning speed and across multiple devices while also delivering the highest levels of security standards. Some of the features only a tech-enabled tool can provide are:      Live-Location Tracking: With live-location tracking, team leaders and members can always create up-to-the-minute strategies and take up-to-the-hour actions.   Real-Time Desktop/Screen Sharing: Faster and real-time collaboration. Defence forces can share the contents of their screen with another or multiple devices, and show colleagues or vendors presentations, media, documents, or videos on their device, without having to send any file to them. This is a lifesaver for defence and military teams because there are a lot of confidential files that cannot be sent over and only shown to the teams.  Large Storage for unhindered communication: Since the teams are massive and have a hundred of topics to communicate about, a collaboration tool offering large storage is appropriate for unhindered communication.  Crystal-Clear Audio calling and Messaging: Technologies like AI are being included in collaboration tools to make communication easier and simpler than ever. Confidentially Chat: Understanding the need for privacy for an organization, software vendors are focused on providing a confidential, end-to-end encrypted platform for the confidential and data-sensitive exchange of information.    Troop Messenger provides collaboration solutions that meet military objectives: Today various platforms offer users to communicate virtually and create a workspace for team members working remotely. On these platforms, workers/employers can chat online, prepare presentations, create documents, hold conferences, and make calls - all through one interface.   Finding a Suitable office chat application for business is easy because they are sufficient options to choose from. But when it comes to choosing communication and collaboration for a military/defence team, the toughest part is finding a tool that is dedicated to meeting military objectives i.e it meets the unique challenge of protecting critical data without compromising with a real-time defence collaboration features.   With Troop Messenger, defence forces can get both Security and Feature level Benefits.   Security-Level Benefits offered by Troop Messenger:   Data encryption while at rest and transit Mitigation of data theft risk ‘Burnout Window’ for a confidential chat Multi-layered admin privileges Multi-layered data security   Feature-Level Benefits offered by Troop Messenger:    Designed for private networks Live-Location tracking Multi-factor authentication access (FingerPrint and Passcode) Real-time defense collaboration services Surveillance features for close monitoring of communication  Efficient with low latency satellite communication   11 - Ways to elaborate defence scenarios with Troop Messenger (In real-time):   Troop-Messenger, as a leading defence collaboration tool is dedicated to elaborating defence communications with features tailor-made for hierarchical collaboration, critical conversations, informed investigations, and training and development.   This team communication app for defence communications has been designed considering all aspects of productivity and collaboration challenges faced by commanders, soldiers, and military organizations around the world.   Here’s how defence scenarios can be elaborated with Troop Messenger, in real-time:      1.   Hierarchical communication & collaboration: Users can communicate and report to higher authorities of different cadres right within a single interface.    2.   Video Conferences with desktop screen sharing: Real-time meetings with options like screen sharing and integration of third-party applications.    3.  Dedicated War Rooms: React promptly and find help from experts during a sudden and major outbreak. Create a shared workspace for understanding the redefined priorities.    4.  Training and Development: Train junior cadres and receive training online through chat groups, shared workspace, and conferences.    5.  Informed Investigations: Real-time access to prompt decisions on all the investigations you’ve been handling.      6.  Real-Time Location Tracking: Live track your troops on a mission with Troop Messenger, get to know their location and send/receive prompt updates.    7.  Secure & Encrypted File Sharing: Army-Safe, highly-secured, multi-factor encrypted file sharing.    8.  Designed to fit All Network Type: Troop Messenger is designed to fit network of all types, including low and medium bandwidth.    9.  Compliance Benefits: Being security-conscious, TM ensures complete I. Reliable Communication: security of entire shared and stored data with its GDPR compliance.   10.  Data Ownership: Admins are the owner of all data and message exchanges and responsible for managing data space with collaborative or single-point ownership.    11.   Hide and Seek Features: Enable and Disable features depending on the need-of-the-minute and considering what you feel secure/insecure about.       The Future Looks Promising! Continuously evolving technology has changed the way businesses function and interact. Collaboration tools have made enormous changes for business, and now with dedicated platforms like Troop Messenger, there’s more scope to increase the productivity of your organization in real-time.   This change is most likely to allow military forces and defence teams to create workspaces that allow faster interactions around projects and have meaningful descriptors in a more secure way.   Troop-Messenger is dedicated to elaborating defence communications with features tailor-made for hierarchical collaboration, critical conversations, informed investigations, and training and development.
Picture this: You’re leading a peace-keeping mission and simultaneously safeguarding your nati...
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08 Feb 2021
Why Your Business Needs to Integrate an AI Chatbot in 2021
Chatbots sit in an interesting space in the digital world. On the one hand, they clearly offer potential. The ability to answer queries and take the menial workload off means more work-hours saved.   And yet, there are considerable hurdles to implement them. Firstly, AI-powered chatbots are hardly perfect. How many times have we had a hilarious encounter with a chatbot which keeps giving us answers we never asked?   Often, the very utility of conversational AI-powered chatbots is questionable. Chatbots can at best answer simple questions. But, depending on the complexity of a website, such abilities may not be required at all.   All of this of course leaves many business owners hanging in the dark. Should they go for a chatbot or not? In the following paragraphs, we shall explore what chatbots are and whether they might be an asset worth investing in.   Types of chatbots   While chatbots may have started as simple query-answer engines, they’ve morphed into far more sophisticated tools today. So, we have two types of chatbots available today —   The original, simple chatbot which spits out programmed answers to expected questions. It simply says something like “I don’t understand,” or “let me redirect you to someone” when confronted with a question it can’t answer. A simple chatbot workflow looks like — Conversational AI solutions capable of understanding user intent. Apple’s Siri would be a good example here. These systems have complex modules including Automated Language Recognition (ALR), Spoken Language Understanding (SLU), Dialog Manager (DM) and Natural Language Generation (NLG). A conversational UI will look something like —  The evolution of man-machine conversation is an interesting one, albeit beyond the scope of this article. Check out this piece on the difference between chatbots and conversational AI from which the definitions above are taken. Figuring out whether your website needs a chatbot   Right, so chatbots have come a long way. But, do you even need one? Unfortunately, this is a tricky question to answer.   At the surface, chatbots do offer value. Any website could use a chatbot since they help users find the information they are looking for faster than searching the site manually. They also have a great ROI when compared to conventional labor scenarios like hiring a college student to work online and support your business. They are fairly different from team chat softwares. Even so, chatbots aren’t exactly a fire and forget investment. You will need to set aside time and money to make them work. Not to mention, since conversational AI is an evolving technology, your chatbot will need periodic updates and maintenance. But while the decision may seem perplexing, there are a few telltale signs you can use to determine whether you need a chatbot or not.   You offer a fairly technical product or service   The more technical a product gets, the more questions it inspires. More often than not, most questions will be similar. While you can always put together a FAQ section, chances are your audience may not be able to get to it, or will simply not bother to read it. Conversational AI chatbot solutions for websites will be ideal here.   For example, a European telecom company set up a pilot program to test conversational chatbots for common inquiries. After about five weeks of training, the chatbot was able to resolve 82% of the questions on its own, and 88% with some human help.   The same can hold true for any company offering technical products or services. The SaaS investment service EarlyBird for instance offers a service for parents looking to invest in their children.   In this case, anyone visiting can have a plethora of questions that the site can’t answer on the homepage itself. How does the investment work? Is there a maturity period? Will the investment command an interest? A conversational virtual assistant can prove valuable here.   Since the website already has an FAQ section, this can be expanded into a conversational AI chatbot. Likewise, Inflow Inventory which offers an inventory software solution has quite a lot to explain in very short space. It can easily use a chatbot to answer questions its visitors are bound to have.   You offer a wide variety of products   There’s a rule in the digital marketing world — if someone can’t find what they’re looking for in 15 seconds, they’ll leave. Obviously, this doesn’t bode well for eCommerce websites with a lot to sell. That’s why businesses should create videos and embed them on the various pages of their website.   The more products you offer, the more content you need to put on your site. Consequently, there’s a greater chance someone won’t find what they’re looking for and leave. While search bars can help here, the problem can exacerbate if many of the products are similar in nature.   Check out LFA capsules fillers for example — The website clearly has many products that are hard to tell apart. But, since a visitor may have specific requirements, they’ll have to go through the site to find the right fit. In this case, LFA capsule fillers can build some clever conversational engineering into their website and help visitors find what they’re looking for faster.   Similarly, the website Preply which offers an online space for tutors and language students to collaborate can also use a chatbot. First-time visitors might struggle to find the right tutor, in which case a conversational chatbot can understand their requirements, and direct them to the right tutor.   Currently, they offer live chat support only when agents are available. Visitors to their website need to check their support page for support timings and other ways to get help.     Your customer support staff spends more time answering generic questions   It takes a lot of time to train support staff to communicate properly with customers. And yet more often than not, they tend to answer questions that could’ve been solved with a simple search. Think questions like — What's the price of X product? How long does shipping take? How can I track my package? Who to contact for X issue? Etc Is there a coupon?   An AI chatbot can easily answer such questions. But, a chatbot can solve other problems too. Even though many of a customer’s questions will be simple, they may still have to face common customer support issues.   It can take far longer to get an available agent. Or, the support person may not know the answer. Or, the query gets redirected several times.   A chatbot is on 24/7, so, no waiting. It will also either know or won’t know, so, no umms or ughs. Finally, it can direct people to the exact resource since it can scan an entire database in a second or so.   The chatbot on this PLM company’s website is a great example of an AI chatbot:   Based on the responses selected, the chatbot will provide and request specific information to the user. This keeps the responses provided relevant to every user's personal needs rather spitting out one-size-fits-all responses.   For example, the train ticketing and reservation company Amtrak used chatbots to answer 5 million questions a year. They even made an astounding 800% return on their investment. Features to include in your chatbot   There are bad chatbot implementations, and there are good ones. You don’t want your chatbot conversations ending up like this —   Again, training a conversational AI chatbot is not what we’re talking about here, but here’s an exhaustive resource on the same. Even when you do have a great chatbot, there are a few tweaks that can take it from good to great. Here are a few ideas —   Offer the most logical option right at the start While people opening a chatbot will know what they are looking for, you can offer them options, too. Check out the chatbot implemented by Reply —     This is a fairly simple implementation. But Reply gets a few things right.   Firstly, the header says Reply Team. So, the user knows their messages will be delivered to a human, even if they are conversing with a bot.   Next, Reply offers marketing automation tools. The most logical course of action a user can take is to book a meeting here. The bot then simply helps the user set up an appointment.   The takeaway is that your bot needn’t do it all. You can have it only dedicated to single tasks like scheduling appointments or finding articles.   In case there’s no answer, let the visitor know when you’ll reply   It’s entirely possible that your chatbot won’t be able to help visitors at times. In such cases, be sure to show the time it will take for an agent to get back to them. This may seem like a small point, but your visitors will appreciate it.   For example, GiliSports showcases the time they take to get back to their visitor’s queries on their chatbot —   Let your chatbot flaunt your style   A chatbot’s utility is obvious in how effectively it can understand and answer queries. Even so, no one will want to communicate with a robot. One way to give your bot some style will be to identify it with what you do.   Runners Athletics will be a good example here. The company offers glasses for runners. And the chatbot invites the site visitors to talk with fellow runners.   Include a human picture in your chat box   Communicating with a bot isn’t something most people are going to be used to. You can make the conversation easier by including visuals in your chat box.   A great way here is to add a picture. It can either be that of the customer support agent who handles redirected requests, or, even a stock photo. Check out the chat box used by Goaura —     Another way to make your chat more human is to directly inform your customers that they will be talking to a real person, as you can see above with GoAura. Moreover, it has a friendly picture, and information about when the user can expect an answer from an agent. Both of these inclusions help keep the conversation polite, predictable and easy.    Conclusion Despite the hurdles mentioned above, chatbot adoption rates continue to rise across the board. In fact, according to Deloitte, by 2022, we’ll be chatting more with chatbots than our spouses.    Conversational AI certainly offers a solution to mundane business issues, and, you should at the very least give it a whirl.
Chatbots sit in an interesting space in the digital world. On the one hand, they clearly offer poten...
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