Slack is a hit with everyone. The relaxed messaging app swept the startup scene a few years ago and has been going strong ever since.
Despite the popularity of Slack, it is understandable to be hesitant to trust the platform with your work. After all, the free version has a number of drawbacks that are worth considering. These include limited contextual searching capabilities, reliance on the company’s servers and a lack of customisation options.
Luckily, there are a number of superb chat solutions that can guarantee you and your remote team have crystal-clear conversations (s).
1. HipChat, the Forerunner of Slack, Is Still Popular
HipChat was the first team-wide chat favourite, years before Slack’s release.
Our platform boasts all the same core capabilities as Slack, such as group and private chat, file sharing and integration, guest access, unrestricted file transfer and secure 256-bit SSL encryption. Additionally, the user interface is very similar to that of Slack.
HipChat stands out as a cost-effective alternative to Slack. Its free edition provides an impressive two times more search history than Slack, and its professional membership is an incredibly affordable $2 USD per user per month – just a third of Slack’s least expensive package.
If you require the additional layer of protection and reliability that comes with running your own HipChat server, you can certainly do so, although this will come at an increased cost. Unfortunately, Slack does not provide this as an option.
Despite its benefits, there are some drawbacks to using HipChat. Many users who have migrated from Slack have reported that the platform is slower and less responsive, largely due to the lack of customisation options and the less modern design of the user interface.
2. Jostle is an Elegant and Feature-Rich Platform Designed for Enterprises
For some, the streamlined design of Slack may not be appealing. They may require added features and more control. A survey conducted by softwareadvice.com showed that 60% of project teams would prefer to use feature-rich project management software for collaboration and communication rather than rely on an individual chat service.
Jostle’s mission is to bridge the gap between organisations and their employees by providing a powerful intranet platform with social networking capabilities. Our product offers advanced administrative capabilities, such as event management, a centralised file library, multi-team support, and detailed user profiles, in addition to enterprise-level chat features similar to Slack. On top of this, the interface is easy to use and visually appealing.
The widespread lack of enthusiasm for using chat software is an issue of great concern for a number of businesses. If only a few individuals within an organisation or team are taking advantage of chat search and other advanced communication technologies, then the potential of such tools is not being fully realised. It has been reported that employee engagement can be increased by 500% with the use of Jostle, which is why user engagement is the primary metric used by the company to gauge its performance.
As remote working has become the norm for many organisations, maintaining a strong team culture has become increasingly challenging. To tackle this issue, Jostle was created. Brad Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Jostle, provided an insight into the platform, saying:
Jostle’s platform provides distributed companies with the most tangible manifestation of the organisation, acting as a central platform for employees to be part of the corporate culture, gain insight into the company’s strategic objectives, and gain recognition for their hard work, according to the company.
This system is entirely cloud-based, so there are some limitations which are comparable to those of Slack. Unfortunately, Jostle cannot be installed on an individual server. Packages start from a minimum of 25 users, and with a cost of $8 USD per person, it is more expensive than Slack. However, as the number of users rises, the price decreases, so it may be a worthwhile investment for larger companies.
3. Open Source’s Capacity to Make a Difference
Mattermost, proudly endorsed by GitLab, advertises itself as the preeminent open-source alternative to Slack and proclaims superiority in virtually every area.
Mattermost’s Team Edition offers a comprehensive set of features which are almost on par with those provided by premium Slack plans, in addition to some added bonuses. The syntax highlighting of code blocks is an especially useful feature for the remote IT community, as it allows developers to exchange code snippets within the messaging platform in an accurate and straightforward manner.
When collaborating with remote workers, there are a number of factors to take into account. One key benefit of Mattermost is the support it offers for a wide range of languages and alphabets, making it a more accessible platform for employees who may not be proficient in English. Additionally, users will only need to remember one login to access all of their teams, regardless of their number. This is an incredibly convenient aspect of the platform.
Finally, Mattermost provides a virtually infinite number of customisation options, including complete markdown formatting for all messages and highly customisable themes to help your business and teams create a unified presence.
It is important to consider the drawbacks of using Mattermost as it requires its own server and the corporate version is quite expensive, starting at $20 USD per user. However, it is worth noting that the free edition of Mattermost offers more features than its commercial counterparts. Unfortunately, there is no cloud-based option like Slack.
Finally, some Thoughts
Slack is indeed an impressive platform and its success is entirely justified. However, it is important to bear in mind that we do not live in a world where one solution is suitable for all circumstances, and it is likely that Slack may not be suitable for your specific needs.
It is clear that all three of the options previously mentioned are not only suitable alternatives, but also have a number of benefits that make them superior. Remote workers are experienced in using a range of these tools, and depending on the organisation they are employed by, they may well make use of a combination of products to facilitate communication and project management.
If your business requires assistance with the onboarding and management of remote employees, our remote placement agency can provide an evaluation of your current situation and recommend a tailored solution to suit your business’ requirements and its dispersed workforce. To discover how our remote staffing and management resources can be of benefit to your business, please contact us on 888.866.7343 and we’ll be delighted to help.
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