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Communication Software: Definitions, Types & Benefits

Communication software can work as a standalone program you control or a managed service you purchase in a subscription form. Continue reading below to discover the many different types of communication software and their associated benefits.

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Communication within an organization is crucial to success. These days, many businesses have a large portion of their workforce working remotely, making communication more important than ever. Luckily, software exists that is specifically designed to help with your organization's communication between devices, employees, and clients. Communication software can work as a standalone program you control or a managed service you purchase in a subscription form. Either option will help to organize the transfer of information and improve daily operations for your business. Continue reading below to discover the many different types of communication software and their associated benefits.

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What is Communication Software?

There are many options available when it comes to communication software. The core defining feature is that the program is designed to transfer information between multiple parties or devices. The main benefit of using communication software is that it creates a network in which devices can easily be identified and managed. These devices can then more effectively communicate information between various departments and employees.

There are typically two major types of communications software that can be broken up into more specific areas and groups of programs:

  • Asynchronous communication software is used for such tasks as file transfers or comment sections, and there can be a delay between when information is sent and received.
  • Synchronous communication software is near-instantaneous and works in real-time for such tasks as instant messaging, video conferencing, etc.

Some software may accomplish similar tasks via synchronous or asynchronous communication, so be careful to compare specifications to your specific needs before finalizing a purchase on any new program or service.

Types of Communication Software

Not all businesses need every kind of communication software, and knowing how and where solutions will be used will ensure you find the best option for your organization. You can also bundle many programs and services—or purchase managed software subscriptions from third-party providers. Read below for a list of common types of communication software and the benefits of each for your workplace.

Collaboration & Productivity Software

Often, collaboration and productivity software will be asynchronous. This is because these programs are used for sharing documents or transferring files between multiple parties. This kind of software could also be used to create shared project milestones or track progress on numerous workloads. In some cases, collaboration software can be synchronous and used for such tasks as video conferencing or remote demonstrations.

Like with most communication software, there are subscription options available that include the program and support from the developers or a third party. The major benefit to implementing collaboration software is that it allows for the easy tracking and management of shared projects with no restriction on location. Using the proper program, employees from all over the world can work on the same project and see comments and changes as they occur.

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Email Software

Email software is much more than just a business email account. Larger organizations can have massive numbers of employees working in many locations, and this can put standard email services at risk. Email software provides a centralized location for many email accounts, even for a single user. This allows for more reliable and efficient communication between employees and clients. Using managed email software also ensures minimal downtime and rapid support should any problems ever arise. Using enterprise-grade email software also creates a more uniform and professional appearance for your organization's online presence.

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Instant Messaging

As the name implies, instant messaging software is synchronous. In recent years, instant messaging programs have come to replace email in some industries. This is because messaging software allows for near-instant communication between multiple users or even large groups. This software works just like any instant message-based service and provides employees with usernames that will enable them to be found and messaged quickly. Instant messaging software will often come bundled with collaboration and productivity features that make it a viable choice for most organizations. When working remotely, messaging software can help simulate a workplace and allow instant communication between employees during office hours.

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Mobile Device Management

Often, employees will wish to use their own equipment such as computers, smartphones, or tablets when working remotely or in the field, and those devices require the same protections as any in-office device. The wide range of hardware in use today also means that mobile devices are more likely to run into compatibility issues when transferring files or trying to access stored data. Mobile device management software helps combat compatibility issues by creating shared programs or services that can easily be used on a range of devices without problems.

This software makes switching between devices or operating systems much easier and more manageable. Mobile device management software also allows remote users to access internal infrastructure as well as communicate efficiently with other departments and employees. This type of software will often come as a package that includes multiple managed services or supports a set number of users or devices to be connected at once.

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Phones & VoIP

As a business grows, so does its communication needs. Like with email, standard phone services may not be enough for your modern business. Voice over IP phones (VoIP) and communication software work to take your office communications to the next level. In-person, VoIP phones and software allow for the easy integration of address books, call recording, and many other desirable features. Employees using VoIP phones can also effortlessly initiate calls from their work computer or share contact information with coworkers. For remote work, VoIP solutions allow employees to use company telephone numbers over IP as if they were still working from the office. This helps to protect employees working from home as well as add another layer of professionalism and credibility to your business.

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Contact Center and Technical Support Software

Communication software designed to work with technical support functions somewhat differently than other infrastructure-based support solutions. When speaking strictly of communication software, technical support programs include services such as call recording and information logging. These services often come with technical support for connected devices but are not a comprehensive solution to support your IT infrastructure. There are, however, many communication software solutions that could offer more comprehensive technical support. Combining technical support software with comprehensive IT support is a great way to reduce overall costs and increase device compatibility. Using programs such as call recording software, for instance, can help protect your business against many threats and add an extra level of professionalism and accountability to your work. 

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Web & Video Conferencing

Web and video conferencing software has recently become a necessity for nearly any organization and can make a tremendous difference when working remotely. A unique trait of web and video conferencing software is that it can come with associated hardware necessary for optimal use. Packages can be purchased that provide cameras, microphones, or even interactive displays that help to add layers of functionality to web and video conferencing.

High-end software packages can come in a subscription form and offer technical support along with communication solutions and hardware. The main goal and benefit of conferencing software is that it provides the best possible real-time communication between multiple parties. The more efficient your conferencing and meeting abilities, the more efficient your organization can be as a whole.

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Communication software enables your business to get the most out of both its technology and employees. When operations no longer struggle to communicate or navigate technical issues, employees can focus on the task at hand and be as productive as possible.

Streamlined communication software gives employees the ability to work remotely and can reduce on-site facility-related costs. Bundling software and services reduce overhead costs by combining software solutions and technical support into one easy-to-manage package. There is a wide range of communication software solutions available, and judging on your specific needs, you may need to implement more than one piece of software. We hope this guide helps you decide what you need for your business!