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It’s never been easier for small-business owners to tap into technology that can help streamline operations, keep the team connected, maintain relationships with customers, and achieve company goals — all while on the move. Thanks to the preponderance of business-savvy apps and software, busy professionals are no longer chained to their desks.
With such a wide field of apps and software to choose from, it’s important to know which are going to make the biggest difference to your bottom line. Sifting through online reviews, product specs, and promotional information can eat up a lot of time. Because we know how important it is for small-business owners to stay focused and economize their time, we’re doing the research for you.
This post marks the first in an ongoing series that will review apps geared toward small-business owners. Whether it’s an app to improve online marketing, software that keeps all team members connected across time zones and continents, travel apps that centralize itineraries and maps for jet-setting executives, or accounting software that seamlessly moves from tracking your monthly accounts receivable to putting together an expense report, we’ll cover the best and brightest tech tools to help your company go from good to great. Without further ado, let’s get started.
HipChat: For Internal Collaboration and Communication
For our first app review, let’s dig into HipChat, a cross-platform tool that keeps the whole team on the same page with faster communication than email and with a level of security that ensures your proprietary data and communications stay protected.
“HipChat is the first app we open to start the day,” said Jürgen Altziebler, chief creative officer of Intridea on the app’s website. “It’s our company water cooler and work communication in one place.”
Features of HipChat
HipChat works on pretty much any platform, and many small-business owners may find it to be the Holy Grail they’ve been searching for. It’s a real-time team chat solution that integrates video calls, file sharing, and screen sharing. In other words, your workforce can use one all-inclusive app, instead of juggling different applications for chats, video calls, and file sharing — ultimately saving your team time and frustration. Conveniently, HipChat works on Android, Windows, Mac, iOS, and even Linux. Team members can even utilize it without having to install it on their personal devices, thanks to a fully functional Web app.
In addition to its array of features, HipChat integrates with over 80 other apps and platforms, including Zendesk, GitHub, and Mailchimp. Instead of having to check multiple sources to stay updated, HipChat lets you find everything in one, convenient place. Everything you do on HipChat is archived and searchable, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally losing important information.
And you don’t have to lose sleep over the security of your data. HipChat uses the same 256-bit SSL encryption that online banks use to protect their customers. You can create HipChat rooms to conduct secure conversations with vendors, clients, and other third parties — and they’ll have access only to information you’ve made specifically available to them.
Possibly the best thing about HipChat is its affordability. Small companies with five or less team members can use the app for free. After that, additional team members can be added for as low as $2 per user per month. Visit the HipChat site for more information.
Whether you use a team of remote workers, or simply need to stay in touch while on the go, HipChat is a simple, user-friendly solution that’s helping companies like Gilt, Expedia, and Uber increase efficiency and streamline communications.
Gilt Senior Director, PMO Heather Fleming, said, “HipChat has really helped our remote workers, in that, regardless of where you are, you’re constantly connected to what’s happening.”
If you’re ready to take your business communications to the next level, HipChat can help you escape the quicksand of reply-all emails and upgrade your business to communicate at the speed of cyberspace.