Unified Communications Featured Article

Want to Make that Chat App Stand Out? Bring in Some Key Points

June 30, 2015

Chat apps are a dime a dozen these days. Most apps, meanwhile, face an issue of price over return; there are plenty out there, and thus it can be difficult to differentiate one from another. However, for those setting out to build the next great chat app for the enterprise user, there are some key points that are worth bearing in mind.

One point that's worth noting is proper functionality. If that chat app does just a couple things very well, it's probably going to be better received than the app that does everything, but fails at it half the time. That makes the app easy to work with and more likely to be fit readily into a user's day, and that's what really counts for the enterprise. Next, keep the design user-friendly. This falls into the point of “easy to use”, and when it's easy to use, it's easier to slip into a day. If the app is bring your own device (BYOD) friendly—all of its primary processes are geared toward self-administration for easier use at the IT level—it's also more likely to be adopted for use in an environment that's becoming increasingly focused on BYOD.

It's also important that the app be secure; it may have to use several different kinds of networks, including some that IT would rather not be used like open Wi-Fi networks while mobile. That means the output of those chats—often full of proprietary information—needs to be sufficiently encrypted or otherwise protected from prying eyes. Lastly, it's important that the app work on several platforms at once; an iOS app is all fine and well, but plenty of offices turn to Android or other devices. Users want choice, and the choice to use not just smartphones but also tablets, phablets, and even desktop and laptop PCs. Being ready for all these platforms ensures the widest pool of potential users is on hand.

Those looking for an example ahead of development, meanwhile, may want to look at the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) app known as Aeonix from Tadiran. Running under an approach known as “bring your own cloud,” Aeonix allows users to pick a cloud company most suited to individual needs, making it very user-friendly and BYOD-friendly as well. It's easy to implement—it can be implemented directly from an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) system, and since it's cloud-based, costs can be kept to a minimum. It's scalable thanks to a flexible licensing mechanism, and allows for the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to help ensure security of the overall release.

Thus it becomes readily apparent what an enterprise chat app needs to succeed, thanks to not only a simple list but the personification of that list in Tadiran's Aeonix. Those looking to compete in the surprisingly dense landscape of apps these days will need to keep these points in mind as they look to complete development and get an app ready for market. They may not guarantee success, but they will certainly improve the odds.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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