Texting is one of the most commonplace things individuals do with their cell phones. Texting in the workplace though was rarely bound to be a designated form of internal communication. According to the co-founder of Cotap, Jim Patterson, “the office has e-mail, but they don’t really have sms information”. Part of why texting in the workplace was hindered, is that it requires every employee to have access to every other employee’s mobile phone number.
Cotap, a mobile messaging app launched for iPhone recently, promised to make texting more handy for the workplace. The app enables employees to communicate either one-to-one or in groups in a very similar way to WhatsApp and MessageMe.
Cotap makes the email address the main contact information rather than the phone number. It then builds a shared list of work connections for each worker to connect with by drawing contacts from each user’s email address book. Those who don’t use the Cotap app can still be added in the collective address book, but will be receiving any incoming message as an email rather than as a text in the app.
Currently, the app only allows messages in a textual form but it is expected that sattachments and task management features will be introduced to it.
What’s more, the Cotap team plans to develop an Android version of the application and this arrangement will cater for employees using Google’s mobile operating systems. With the gradual decline of BlackBerry, individuals are increasingly switching to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and there is a phenomenal split where almost half of the workforce uses Android and half iPhone. There is no cross-platform texting service to use so everyone resorts to e-mail.
So now, do we have to start forgetting web chats, emails or instant messengers? Will SMS be the new medium of internal communication in workplaces? Well, this is a hard question to be answered but the virtues of using text messaging for workplace communications are numerous and Patterson’s new venture will definitely change the way companies communicate among ranks.