Here is a list of 5 free enterprise chat messengers to chat between teams. If you have a small or medium business and want to provide a credible medium of instant chat within your team, then you can give these free services a try.
Now, we have already covered many free LAN chat messengers, that provide similar functionality. However, they require all the members of the team to be connected to same network. But in case of these enterprise chat messengers, the team members can be located in any part of the world on any network, and still they can have a private chat with each other.
The best part is that these services do not require any server to be setup. Just sign up with these free private chat messengers and start chatting. These services have been specially designed to be used for business as free enterprise chat messengers.
I will give a brief overview of features of each of these, so that you can see which one works best for your organization.
HipChat is one of my favorite enterprise chat messenger. It comes in both free versions as well as paid versions. In free version also, you can add unlimited number of employees of your organization and do one to one as well as group chat. In addition to that, the free version also lets you transfer files between team members.
To use Hipchat, you just need to create a free account. The first person who signs up the account becomes the admin of the organization. After that, he can send notifications to other team members to sign-up to the service.
To use Hipchat, you need to download its free IM client on PC. It has apps for Android and iPhone as well, that let you stay connected to your team while on the move. Of course, it has a web based client as well, that let’s you use Hipchat directly from its website, without a need to download anything.
If you are looking for a simple enterprise chat messenger that does not have any restrictions in terms number of employees who can sign-up, with basic capabilities of chat and file sharing, then HipChat is one of the best option out there.
And if you are looking for more features (audio chat, video chat), then you can upgrade to paid version of HipChat. Hipchat also comes with a very strong API that lets you connect to lot of other tools out there, like, Zendesk, Github, Uservoice, and lot more.
You can read its full review here.
Hall is another free enterprise chat messenger that is free for teams of unlimited size. It is a lot like HipChat, actually. You can use it directly from web, or get its clients for Windows, Mac, Linux. It also comes with apps for Android and iPhone.
The free version of Hall lets you have one to one chat, group chat, and private file sharing. It also has integrations with many other services, like, Dropbox, Box, Github, Zapier, NewRelic, and more.
Hall does not requires you to sign-up with your work email address, so you can use your normal email address from free email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com etc.) to sign up with Hall. This is a great feature if you do not have a specific work email address for your teams (there are many small businesses which do not), then you can still use this enterprise chat messenger.
Hall has a paid version as well, that comes with User Management and Data Export features.
You can read its full review here.
Slack is another free enterprise chat messaging service. This one is also free for unlimited number of users, for as long as you want. It comes with native apps for Mac, iOS, and Android. Apart from that, you can chat from its web interface as well. Slack lets you do one to one chat, as well as group chat. It lets you share files, send inline images and videos in messages. Apart from that, it comes with a nice concept of channels, that let you stay connected to different groups of people for different topics. Slack is also pretty good in search feature and lets you search message history quickly.
The free version of Slack lets you search across 10,000 messages, provides a total storage of 5 GB, and supports 5 external integrations (integrations include Asana, Bitbucket, Google Drive, IFTTT, MailChimp, and lot more).
The paid version of Slack provides unlimited external integrations, lot more storage space, and many other features.
You can read its full review here.
Glip is another very solid free enterprise chat messenger, that is actually a full fledged enterprise collaboration platform. Like others in this list, it also allows you to add unlimited users to your organization. Apart from one to one chat and group chat, free version of Glip chat gives your organization 500 minutes of free video chat as well. Feature of file sharing is also available in this. Additionally, it lets you share files directly via Dropbox and Google Drive as well.
One interesting feature of Glip is that it lets you chat by sending email. Let’s say you have a group created in Glip and you want to send them a message and a file, then you can send an email to a specific email address (from your registered email address) and send any message and attachment. Glip will add that to the conversation.
It also comes with chat from web interface, desktop app, iOS app, and Android app.
Now, talking about collaboration features, Glip supports team calendars, that integrate with iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook. Also, it comes with a feature of Notes, that is basically lightweight collaborative note editing.
Paid version of Glip gives you enhanced Admin functions, more video chat minutes, and more storage.
Perzo is the last one in the list. It is another very useful online enterprise chat messenger service. This website also provides one to one chat, group chat, file sharing features. The website has a very simple and nice user interface.
Perzo also provide password protected private messaging feature to send messages with password protection.
The main feature of Perzo is security. Each message you send is encrypted end to end, with a different security key. So, if you want to have a more secure chat communication, then Perzo would be preferred choice.
When I started searching for enterprise chat messengers, I had a feeling that most of them would ask me to setup something on my server, to enable team communication, and would have a limitation on number of users that can be part of an organization, in free version. However, I was very surprised to “discover” these services. It is quite amazing that all of them provide enterprise chat messenger for unlimited users. Also, nothing needs to be installed on your server, so no additional overhead for your IT department. Just signup for free account and enable instant chat communication within your team, spread all over the globe. This just shows how cut throat the competition is in this niche, which is obviously beneficial for cheapsters like me ;)
Do you use any of these or any other service to provide enterprise chat capability to your team? Let us know your feedback in comments below.