Last week, VMware launched a completely new Socialcast user experience, a secure enterprise chat and social collaboration platform that is part of the VMware Workspace ONE suite of productivity apps. Today, we’re talking to Ashka Vakil, a senior product manager for Socialcast, about how the newest updates help workers accomplish more together.
1. Chat is a huge part of the redesigned Socialcast experience. Not only can you initiate one-on-one chats with better features, but you can also create chat groups. Why is the focus on enterprise chat for this release?
Ashka: Real-time collaboration is critical today. End users expect to work quickly and efficiently. Companies need to accelerate processes for a competitive advantage. Real-time collaboration technology, like enterprise chat solutions, enable today’s always-on, mobile workforce wherever they are. The entire enterprise collaboration market is moving in this direction.
2. What is different from all the other chat apps out there?
Ashka: Socialcast isn’t a standalone enterprise chat app. Instead, it integrates chat into team collaboration, project management, file sharing and other capabilities. Additionally, it weaves these functionalities into other critical apps you use for work. If you’re in sales, for example, you probably depend on Salesforce to get your job done. Socialcast Reach APIs allow you to connect with your marketing team in Socialcast from Salesforce. This is just one of the many integrations available in the Socialcast Integration Store that make conversations seamless across the apps everyone is using.
Don’t forget that you can still post messages. So again, chat isn’t standalone but one of many features that you can access from a central space. Modern teams need a single, secure communication and collaboration tool that allows them to triage their work, collaborate quickly and find expertise fast. By blending synchronous communication (like real-time chat) with asynchronous collaboration (like feed-style posts), Socialcast helps teams choose the best communication style for their needs in the moment. That is a huge differentiator.
3. For someone who hasn’t been using the Socialcast mobile app, why should they download it now?
Ashka: The refreshed Socialcast mobile app reproduces the same easy experience you’ll find using Socialcast online. Chat now has social features that allow users to like, bookmark, search and delete chat messages. Users can create new groups, join or leave groups and view group information. Group admins can add or remove members or other admins. Now, you can seamlessly switch between the browser and app to continue collaborating without losing context.
The mobile app is also a secure way for users to continue working no matter where they are. On mobile devices, in particular, you’ve got an increased risk of having corporate data accessed on a public network or by an unknown user that picks up the device. Socialcast syncs to your Active Directory and supports single sign-on (SSO) so it’s incredibly simple for IT to manage and control accounts and passwords for users around the world. IT can also set password requirements, reset them at any time and prevent users from accessing Socialcast outside of the corporate network or VPN.
Many mobile apps employees use to share information don’t contain corporate data like that. They just aren’t built for the enterprise. We have Socialcast users in government and healthcare organizations sharing highly sensitive information. That says a lot.
4. How will these changes help make people more productive at work?
Ashka: Users can connect with their teams from anywhere. They can quickly collaborate with teammates in real time with one-to-one chats or group chats. They can ask questions, brainstorm ideas or share posts with their team on any device. These robust capabilities are accessible anywhere, any time, on any device. That’s important because today, work has to happen now. Often, if you can’t reply, share a file or provide an update in seconds, it no longer matters.
5. What’s next for Socialcast?
Ashka: As a component of the secure productivity apps suite in Workspace ONE, Socialcast integrates with other productivity apps, like AirWatch Content Locker, VMware Boxer and AirWatch Browser. We’ll also continue supporting integrations with other business-critical solutions such as Service Now, Skype for Business, Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Drive and more. On the horizon, we’re working on the ability to thread chat messages, presence, more intelligent notifications, the ability to customize interface colors and integrations on mobile. The way we work is constantly changing—and so is Socialcast.
Thanks for chatting with us, Ashka! Don’t miss the Aug. 10 webinar where you can see the new Socialcast user interface and chat experience. Register now.