Business-Messenger in Comparison – How do the Alternatives perform compared to the shadow IT?

While the use of messengers such as WhatsApp is common practice in the private environment, it is still different in the business sector. However, solutions that combine social and real-time communication are also establishing themselves in the professional user environment.

Especially in the area of project work with distributed resources, the use of messengers represents a benefit for those involved. Until now, however, the solutions used have often moved in the “shadow IT” environment and were therefore among the instances that were located next to the official IT infrastructure and were not integrated into IT service management. This is insufficient with regard to the compliance and security requirements of corporate customers, especially with regard to the basic data protection regulation. Accordingly, there is now an offer available that better meets these requirements.

Comparison of Providers by ISG

As a basic functionality, the solutions enable real-time entertainment of at least two participants via text message. The transfer of files as well as audio and video streams represent extended functions.


As part of the “Social Business Services 6 Solutions Provider Lens” provider comparison, ISG also examined the German market for real-time communication/messaging. The report was presented in spring 2018 and shows how the providers perform with regard to the defined requirements.

Criteria of Evaluation

The providers were examined with regard to some evaluation criteria, which can be summarized as follows:


  • range of function
  • platform independence
  • support
  • testing possibilities
  • SLAs and security
  • interoperability
  • presence and awareness at the German market
  • artificial intelligence/ChatBot-integration
  • security and privacy
  • forms of provision
  • numbers of users / critical mass

Rating of Providers

Unify (Atos) and Cisco, for example, performed well. IBM is also prominently positioned with the “Watson Workspace” solution.


Slack, a globally successful provider, has been identified as a “Rising Star” by its increasing presence in Germany. ISG thus believes that the provider will soon be among the leading providers in Germany.

Source title image: iStock/ enjoynz