The future for enterprise messaging apps

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO of Flock, explains what developments will come for AI, artificial reality, virtual reality and more

Technologies such as virtual reality will revolutionise how people around the world communicate

As communication technologies mature and grow, the way we use them in business has evolved. With the rise of flexible and remote working, we’ve waved goodbye to slow, noisy fax machines and landline telephones that are barely used. Offices and teams are opting for newer modes of communication, such as enterprise messaging platforms, to communicate with clients and colleagues.

A recent Gartner study found that the number of consumers using messaging apps and personal assistant apps is increasing, with 35 percent of over 3,000 respondents saying they used virtual personal assistants (VPAs) in 2016, a four percent rise from 2015. The same study also found a three percent increase from 2015 on the amount of respondents using messaging apps.

Emerging technologies
In recent times, there’s been a shift in focus to implementing newer technologies, such as AI and machine learning into enterprise messaging platforms. Platform creators are progressively looking at how they can invest and implement these technologies for business and consumer use.

Some of the bigger players in enterprise messaging are already taking note of these developments and are stepping up their game. Apple has announced the launch of Apple Business Chat for next year and Google’s RCS business messaging standard, Google Jibe, is also poised to enter the market.

AI and technologies such as virtual reality and the Internet of Things will revolutionise the way we work, communicate and administer our business lives

At Flock, AI and augmented reality (AR) are part of our product roadmap. In the near future, we expect machine learning and AI to be an integral part of the Flock platform. AI and technologies such as AR or virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will completely revolutionise the way we work, communicate and administer our business lives.

Business scalability and ROI growth will also be better enabled when enterprise tools adopt these technologies. With this future in mind, how can these tools be used to improve business productivity?

Achieving goals
Flock, alongside other leading enterprise messaging apps, already uses bots to help users set reminders, create and complete to do lists, and more. In the future, we’re likely to see bots also set up polls, organise standup meetings, schedule appointments, and draft basic replies to emails. All these tasks are repetitive time-killers. If handled by bots, they can give your employees more time to do more quality work.

Meetings have become easier to organise with built-in video conferencing features in enterprise messengers. How about a VR app that brings people into a virtual meeting room even if they are sitting at opposite corners of the globe? This can exponentially increase the effectiveness of collaboration among distributed teams!

Today, scheduling a meeting typically involves a lot of back and forth via phone and email – which is only made more complicated when the meeting needs to be rescheduled. With AI in the equation, that headache will be a thing of the past. AI can check calendars, room availability and potential diversions in a matter of seconds – and make recommendations for you based on your business needs.

AI, AR, VR, and IoT are technologies of the future and many more exciting things will come from this space. Eventually, the only tasks that will need human resources will be those that require strategic, decision-making levels of thinking.

At the end of the day, your choice of enterprise communication app should come down to one thing – is the company listening to your needs and offering you what you want? Here at Flock, this has definitely been the key differentiating factor driving our growth.