*ding* – the phone display lights up, in the middle a bright bar spelling out the words: “New message from…” A short click on the corresponding app and, within a moment, the message that was sent off only seconds before, perhaps even from hundreds of kilometres away, opens up. That’s how communication works today: in real-time, on your smartphone, using apps.
The lyrics to a famous old German folk song are as follows: “A birdie comes a-flying, it settles on my foot. It has a note in its beak: a greeting from mother.” (German: „Kommt ein Vogel geflogen, setzt sich nieder auf mein‘ Fuß. Hat ein‘ Zettel im Schnabel: von der Mutter einen Gruß…“).
The song dates back to 1824. Almost 200 years have passed since, and everything has changed. What was once a birdie is now an app: communication. While the bird would take several hours to deliver a message to its recipient, message transfer today only takes a few seconds, if that.
Our new web 2.0 world is all about direct contact, fast data exchange and communication. This is where communication apps come in handy: they are fast, personal, reliable and will definitely be received and read.
But not only the private sector benefits from these new developments. Apps may also act as helpful assistants to corporations: for most business people and employees, smartphones have become as much part of the basic gear as neckties. So why not use mobile devices for fast internal communication as well? Numerous corporations have already implemented this option for different purposes: for internal document access on the road or at external customer meetings, or simply for informing colleagues about one’s whereabouts or arrival time when on the way to a meeting.
Corporate apps are useful companions that can simplify workflows. Some apps enable access to digital staff newspapers, which include news or information about the company and videos or audio files. This allows employees to keep in touch with their company outside of office space and hours or deadlines, which again leads to a stronger identification with the company and its values.
With some apps, employees can send direct feedback and establish contact by means of a dialogue box. “Establishing contact” can also be applied to contact between companies and customers: once the app is installed on the smartphone, any news or offers can be accessed with one simple click. Customers can CHOOSE to receive offers whenever they want, instead of being bombarded by unwanted pop-up ads when checking their e-mails.
To conclude: communication apps are no longer limited to the private sector, but can also provide great benefits to companies, thus making them a welcome addition in comparison to classic communication platforms – and the little birdie with the note in its beak.