2 critical features that enable Chat for Enterprise Business Use

So what worries IT executives about using Chat?

Traditionally Enterprises have stayed away from, allowing the use of  Chat/IM within their enterprises. The reason being that the use of Chat is considered as a tool for casual conversations not suited for official communications. Click here to read an opinion on why IT executives are worried about employees using chat apps

So what are the main concerns of using Chat in business?

  1. Lack of control on who can use chat and from which devices?
  2. Lack of record of all conversations which take place among employees. (Any discussion done on any medium is company property after all)
  3. Using free community apps for business, increases risk since the data is no more in your control.

So how does Chat help my business?

While IT executives highlighted the above mentioned concerns, at the same time, they felt the need for an enterprise chat system. To quote from the article mentioned above –

“In a survey more than three-quarters (77 percent) of enterprise IT executives indicate a highly secure, simple and intuitive internal messaging service would be valuable compared to their current enterprise communication system.”

Live case study: How our team used Live group chat collaboration to resolve a server outage

Chat can provide a quicker, faster way to exchange information and ideas. Businesses stand to lose a lot of productivity gain by not making chat an integral part of their communication and collaboration strategy. By allowing for on-going and interactive conversations to move to chat, business can also gain the benefit of de-cluttering the mail boxes and in turn helping improve productivity.

Alright I am convinced, so how can we make chat usable for my business?

To make chat usable by businesses, 2 critical features become necessary,

  1. All chat conversations must be recorded on the server in an archive, just like email archival and should be retrievable on demand.
  2. The business can control the use of chat by using access policies.

With these features in place, you can safely enable chat in your workplace and gain a newer level of productivity.

If you are not already using secure chat in your organisation, try Mithi’s enterprise secure chat feature of Connect Xf, which incorporates more than just these 2 critical features and goes further with features like secure transmissions over SSL, defining scope of chat communications, etc to enable a secure and productive collaboration environment.

Related:

Instant Messaging: Accelerating Collaboration in Enterprises

Email Mobility at Lower Cost

Email is one of the oldest and most widely used internet applications as it is both cheap and fast (instant). However, we, in India seem to be missing out this great opportunity for two main reasons:

  1. Fixed-line and PC penetration is very low in India and mostly concentrated in the urban areas.
  2. The cost of a personal computer and internet connectivity is very high which makes it nonviable for majority of the population.

The Opportunity: TRAI conducted a study in May 2012 on the mobile phone subscribers in India, which said that the mobile subscribers have now touched 919.17 million. Another report also said “Almost 60% of the world’s first 3.5 billion mobile phone subscribers came from emerging markets like India, and most market analysts predict that the majority of the next billion users will come from India.” This large base of mobile access device offers a perfect platform for Mobile Email Communication.

Blackberry was a default choice amongst business users globally. Preferred over others for its push mail feature, till its market share started slipping to Android and iPhone. Blackberry’s proprietary standards have become somewhat of a disadvantage over phones that use Open Standards such as IMAP and POP to access mail and provide a cheaper option.  Users are gradually switching over to lesser costly and feature rich options like Android smartphones.

We estimate that on an average, Blackberry users comprise of 1-5% of the total users in an enterprise. This leaves out a majority of 95% mobile users who would need an alternate solution to take advantage of this email mobility.

The two most viable solutions for this group are:
1.    Using Open Standards such as IMAP and POP to access email over smartphones.
2.    Use of SMS alerts to receive email messages on the most basic phones.

Connect Xf Email Server allows mobile email connectivity for all types of Smart Phones like Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, iPhone et.al over standard SMTP/ IMAP/ POP protocols. It works with any service provider (needing only a GPRS service).

The Email to SMS and SMS to Email feature in Connect Xf Email Server can be used to provide tremendous flexibility and increase in effectiveness to the vast majority of the work force that use basic mobile phones. The user can choose to send a summary of the email to chosen recipients on their mobile as SMS. The server will automatically summarize the email, compose an SMS, determine the mobile number of the recipients from the address book and send it using the chosen service provider. The mobile workforce can also choose to send a short email by composing an SMS in a pre-defined format, send it to the short code/long code, which the server will convert to email.

This feature can e.g. enable the field staff of an enterprise to receive alerts and communicate back using a simple mobile phone, with a complete record of the information exchanged stored in the sender and recipients mail boxes.

Mithi Connect answers the growing market demand from mobile email users who require more enterprise-like email capabilities, but do not want the technical complexities or high costs associated with email mobility.

[You can try out Email mobility and other Collaboration features of Connect Xf Email Server like Email, Calendar, Chat, etc through a 90-Day Free Trial. Sign up Now! ]

Reducing Cost of Managing and Monitoring On Premise Connect Xf Email Server

Microsoft states that dollars spent on Services is as much as six times the cost of the original licenses. While that’s great news for the companies providing these services it’s not such good news for customers who have to bear the huge cost of supporting their applications.

Merely outsourcing of your IT functions to Applications Management Services providers may only further increase cost as we have observed with some of our customers.

According to a survey conducted by Lieberman Software among 500 IT professionals, more than three-quarters of IT professionals who work in organizations that use outsourcing say their providers have “made up” work in order to rake in extra cash.

What’s more, the savings many organizations hoped to achieve through outsourcing are not nearly as substantial as they initially projected. Approximately 62% of survey respondents reported that they paid more than they anticipated on their outsourcing agreements, with 27% reporting that they had spent “significantly more” than they planned. Only 11% reported that they paid less than they expected.

These figures also went up drastically for organizations with over 1,000 employees. Approximately 82% of professionals of these organizations reported that their outsourcing deals cost them more than expected.

To help you bring down your cost of monitoring and managing Connect Xf deployed within your organization, we recommend the following:

  1. Enroll your in-house IT infrastructure management team for a free training module that is designed to help you set-up, configure, maintain, troubleshoot and upgrade your Connect Xf Server.
  2. If you plan to outsource the management of your Connect Xf set-up, consider engaging Mithi certified service providers.
  3. Get your existing Facility Management Services providers to enroll for a free training at Mithi.
  4. Ask us for an audit of your email infrastructure and take up the recommendations at the earliest to maintain your system at peak performance (thereby greatly reducing the load on your IT management team). Write a mail from your corporate ID to support@mithi.com. Our team will revert to you.
  5. Use our online forum to post your queries on the software and get answers from our inhouse experts.
  6. Follow us on the blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, etc for the latest news and updates.

The Benefits Of Hosted Email Delivery Go Beyond Cost

The number one reason businesses decide to outsource their email services to a hosting company is because of the lower capital costs associated with it. But the benefits of a hosted mail service go beyond the lower upfront cost.

By choosing a Hosted email service, small and medium businesses can achieve a reasonable ROI and not have to concern themselves with activities such as system maintenance and upgrades.

The Benefits Of Hosted Delivery Go Beyond Cost: Cloud-based email services can be cheaper than running your email on-premise. But shifting email to a cloud-based provider also has the following additional benefits:

  1. Rapidly provision new users:A cloud-based email provider can help you provision a new subsidiary or perhaps for your extended enterprise like agents, partners in hours or days, instead of weeks or months. For example, we recently hosted close to 6000 mailboxes across 30 domains of a group of companies within a matter of days.
  2. Allocate valuable IT professionals to more business-centric projects: Firstly, it is hard for enterprises today to attract and retain quality IT staff especially in an non IT enterprise. So organizations put their IT staff to work on multiple IT projects. By running email on-premise, your IT staff must spend time on email support, may be at the cost of work on other revenue-generating IT projects.
  3. Always run the latest software and configurations without upgrade hassles: As any IT professional knows, keeping client and server software upgraded and safe can be quite a task. For a hosted mail service, this task is taken up by the service provider who keeps it up to date with the latest version/ upgrade running the latest security patches so that the system is safe from any spam/virus attack at all times.
  4. Shift the financial burden from upfront capital expense to ongoing operating expense: For businesses the biggest benefit of Cloud-based Email is that you no longer carry the debt liability of hardware and software assets on the balance sheet. The financing benefit of ‘pay as you go’ instead of a big upfront investment will appeal to anyone concerned with budget and certainly to the CFO particularly in these capital-constrained times.
  5. Higher availability: With email hosted on the cloud, it is easy for you to configure multiple devices for accessing your mail anytime and from anywhere. While a more secure, redundant and high availability system ensures near zero down-times.
  6. Collaborate better with additional features: Depending upon your budget constraints, you can very easily subscribe to additional features as required, adding collaboration features like sharing document, calendars, tasks, events, etc. to enhance your collaboration environment.

What parameters do you look for while selecting an Email solution? Did you come across any other benefit after you chose Hosted Email solution? Do share them in the comments below.

Learn how Mithi’s Email Service on Cloud can provide you the above benefits. Sign-Up here for a FREE 90-Day Email Trial.

Why hosting Emails on Private Cloud is a good idea for large enterprises

Some typical concerns expressed by CIOs/ CTOs about the Cloud are:

  1. Control over data
  2. Security
  3. Adherence to regulatory and compliance needs
  4. Proper customization and integration with other systems

Private Cloud, which is a more economical and flexible Cloud computing model available, tackle these concerns well.

Since the Private Cloud is within the company firewall, internal IT owns and controls it.

EMC Corporation and Zinnov Management Consulting in a study on Private Cloud landscape in India estimated that the total Cloud market in India, currently at $400 million, will reach a market value of $4.5 billion by 2015. Of this, Private Cloud adoption will dominate and account for $3.5 billion in revenues, growing at over 60%.

Their study also estimates that Private Cloud deployments could result in potential savings of up to 50% on IT investments as compared to a legacy IT model. The reduction in cost is also due to its lower cost of management and monitoring.

Our own experience agrees with this finding – A good percentage of our customers who are on Public Cloud currently, are either migrating their Email setup to Private Cloud or are planning to do so in the coming year.

Lower Costs and the Strong Administrative features provided by Connect Xf such as Policies, Class of Service, Reports, Role based administration necessary to make it easy to manage a large user base (5000 +) with a Centralized Architecture are helping accelerate this migration.

Here’s a quick glance at some of these features:

  • Mail Policies: Mail policies are used to control mail flow to and from the users/ groups and domains. These make the system more secure as they guard against misuse.
  • Class of service: Class of service is a way of managing large set of users by grouping similar types of users as Class of users.
  • Reports: MIS Reports such as Activity reports, Mail traffic reports, Server statistics reports at all levels for users, groups and alias enabling better server management and security improving overall server performance, leading to higher ROI.
  • Role based Administration: This is required for delegating roles and responsibilities of managing Email Admin System for large setups with multiple domains.

Conclusion: Private clouds in combination with Open Standards and Open Source based solutions offer compelling cost and performance benefits for large enterprises.