Hey! 7 business communications apps to get your co-workers' attention

A look at specialized business communications products and social networks.

Psst!

Social networking, at this point, is pretty much inescapable. Social networks aimed specifically at business users, however, don’t get the same enormous volume of ink as the Facebooks and Twitters of the world, so here’s a look at some of the more interesting apps and services out there.

OfficeChat
OfficeChat

OfficeChat is a fairly typical example of the specialist business communications app in action – accessible via iOS, Android and Windows, OfficeChat lets you message with colleages, hold virtual meetings, share pictures and video, and even confirm deliveries. The basic app is free, though more feature-rich plans are available for a price.

TigerText
TigerText

Security is the name of the game with TigerText, which advertises itself as a HIPAA and SOX-compliant text messaging solution. Encryption and self-destructing messages are just two of the features TigerText uses to keep information where it’s supposed to be, and it’s available for both iOS and Android.

Yammer
Yammer

 Less a pure messaging service than a business-focused social network, Yammer (which is owned by Microsoft) boasts a wide array of collaboration and communication features designed to make workers more efficient. It’s compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS and Windows Phone.

Anchor Mobile
Anchor Mobile

If you’re more interested in communicating with customers than with employees, Anchor Mobile’s White Label SMS platform could be just the thing. With the ability to geo-target users, handle coupons, and build mobile websites, White Label is a robust text messaging system for mobile advertisers.

Cotap
Cotap

Cotap, a startup founded by former Yammer executive Jim Patterson, goes for the stripped-down, bare-essentials look. The idea, Patterson told Techcrunch in October, is to offer premium features like data monitoring and analysis, while maintaining a free-to-play basic option. Currently, only the iOS app is available, though the company’s site says an Android version is coming soon.

Jive Software
Jive Software

Jive’s the long-standing market leader for enterprise social products, and that experience shows through clearly in the company’s flagship, dubbed, simply enough, Jive. The most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for social software rated Jive a leader in the field.

BranchOut
BranchOut

BranchOut is a social network startup that uses Facebook to collect career information about users and use it to help job seekers and HR departments find each other. While it hasn’t killed off LinkedIn yet, it’s won a lot of praise – and raised a lot of money, including a $25 million Series C round last year.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.