REAL-TIME Communication

Messenger and chat apps have made the direct availability of messages popular. Messenger app communication ensures exchange within seconds. This is communication in real time.

Definition: What is real-time communication?

Companies continue to inform their employees about important innovations via printed slips of paper and face-to-face meetings. This is the opposite of real-time communication. It can take days for all recipients to receive the message. Messenger and chat apps, on the other hand, have made the direct availability of messages popular. Messenger app communication ensures exchange within seconds. This is communication in real time.

Real-time communication meets the following conditions:

  • Real time is the requirement for a computer system.
    The terminal device that receives the data is always ready for operation.
  • Communication usually takes place via a mobile device, independent of time and place.
  • Data is available without delay.
  • Or: The delay between the time of the input and the time of the output must be sufficiently small for an acceptable "timeliness".
  • The data can be further processed or forwarded without any further delay.

Real-time communication: The Challenges

Fewer and fewer employees in companies have a fixed stationary PC workstation. They therefore only have limited access to the intranet. In addition, they can no longer be kept up to date with classic communication tools such as the bulletin board or notices when things need to go quickly. With the help of real-time communication, companies share or communicate with their employees via smartphone apps, regardless of time and place. Everyone has one in their pocket at all times. This ensures the greatest possible availability.

Application scenarios

Of particular importance is real-time communication in industries where information needs to be exchanged quickly but employees are not consistently at a computer workstation. For example, in the hotel or healthcare industry.

  • X-rays, patient dossiers - the healthcare industry is constantly exchanging sensitive data. These must reach the recipient reliably, quickly and in compliance with data protection regulations. This is how they can make fast, reliable treatment decisions.
  • In hotels and restaurants, employees work scattered around the house and are constantly on the move. It is a daily challenge to coordinate everyone and keep them equally informed.

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Real-time communication: The Requirements

In working environments such as healthcare and hospitality, communication tools are needed to deliver messages without delay. Especially in environments in which employees have to work closely together without always being in the same room, they must be able to communicate reliably in the shortest possible time. This ensures smooth team collaboration even in different work environments.

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Passing on information from top to bottom

Top-down content such as management announcements, offers of services for employees, or changes in the law must be passed on in a top-down stream. In this way, management reaches everyone at the same time. Requirements are reliably implemented, and no one feels excluded.

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Passing on information from bottom to top

A real-time communication should also ensure the exchange from bottom to top. Employees should be able to ask questions or make suggestions using the general communication stream or direct messaging. This strengthens identification with what they are doing. Because they feel they are part of something bigger, perceived and heard.

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Location-independent exchange

Especially in the health care sector, the exchange should be guaranteed in real time and via different devices. Critical information in particular must be available quickly. Data should therefore be available seamlessly and without lengthy login procedures on the device that is currently available: Mobile phone, laptop, tablet.

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Easy creation of messages

It must be possible to create messages intuitively and more quickly without having to enter a subject or search for recipient data. Otherwise, the idea of real-time communication will not be achieved.

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Private exchange

Not all information is intended for all eyes. This is especially the case in the hotel and healthcare industries. This often involves the exchange of sensitive data. Matters that only concern a certain group of people should be able to be discussed in a private environment and only reach colleagues who are involved in a certain topic reliably.

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The structure of the conversation should be clear and easy to view for all parties involved and free of visual distractions such as signatures and From/To information. This not only makes it easier to keep track of the conversation. Responses can also be written and sent more quickly.

1/3 of employees would like to communicate in real time

Real-time communication: The reality check

In the spring of 2017, the market research institute Kantar EMNID commissioned the Intranet - Hirschtec to conduct a survey on digital communication in companies. 1,002 employees were surveyed. The result of the survey: Real-time communication has only partially arrived in the companies so far. This also includes the healthcare and hotel sectors. At the same time, employees report a high demand for it.

  • Almost a third (30 percent) of employees would like to communicate with each other in real time. But these are not common in every company.
  • The "digital natives" in particular have grown up with messenger services and want these to be effective tools for communication at the workplace.
  • In the search for the best talents, companies should be aware of its importance.
  • They have to provide these modern tools if they want to attract and retain employees from the Y and Z generations.

Real-time communication: Current risks

In the absence of tools from employers, employees often help themselves. Instead of using a secure enterprise app, they use WhatsApp and Co to communicate in real time. The frequency of chat use is particularly widespread among employees who move around a lot inside or outside their organization. They consider chat to be an important means of communication in the role of their jobs. This involves considerable risks. 

Private Chat-Apps – Violation of data protection:

  • Employees who frequently handle sensitive or confidential information on a daily basis, for example in the hotel and healthcare industries, risk data protection violations.
  • WhatsApp and Co. are not compliant with the legal requirements in the professional context. Personal data can easily be stolen.
  • Private Messenger services are problematic because they send messages to contacts stored on the phone's hard drive.
  • If a contact changes its number without notifying the sender, highly sensitive data can be accidentally sent to the wrong recipient as soon as the number is reassigned.
  • Employees who leave the company are often not removed from the internal WhatsApp chat. This is how they receive information that is not intended for their eyes.
  • If critical photos, such as contracts, are transmitted, there is a risk that they will be automatically stored in the recipient's personal cloud environment.
  • WhatsApp has a default setting, and not everyone disables it.
  • This data may then be accessed by unauthorized third parties from the recipient's private environment.
  • This is a clear violation of the basic data protection regulation.

The solution: real-time communication via app

Employers do not have to take the risks associated with using private chat apps in a professional environment. There are secure alternatives to WhatsApp. Real-time communication is completely safe with a special employee app for the professional sector.

  • An employee app contributes to data protection.
  • Data transmission via end-to-end encryption.
  • The data is hosted in accordance with the globally tested ISO standard 27001.
  • The employee app was developed for the mobile working day. It is easily used by employees of all generations and achieves a high acceptance among the entire workforce due to its intuitive usability.
  • The software easily integrates with all existing systems and helps all hospitality and healthcare organizations manage the digital transformation.
  • The app can also be installed on your private mobile phone without hesitation.
  • Transferred data however cannot be downloaded.
  • Only employees who are currently employed in a company have access to the employee app.
  • All contact data is managed centrally and is constantly updated.
  • If an employee leaves the company, his access to the app is deactivated. This ensures that data is not accidentally passed on to former employees or strangers.

The functions of the employee app for real-time communication are deliberately similar to social networks such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Due to the popularity of the applications, the acceptance of the application is given from the outset. 

  • Newsfeed for rapid communication with all

In a news feed, employers can reach all employees at once, target group-specific and independent of time and place.

  • Dialogue for direct exchange between two employees

Relevant topics can be discussed in real time between two employees in a protected private message. This offers the greatest possible flexibility in communication.

  • Chat for the safe exchange in groups

In secure virtual rooms, several employees or entire teams can exchange information via chat.

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Checklist: 9 tips for real-time communication


With an employee app, you can ensure that your employees exchange information securely and securely in real time. With an intranet app, you can confidently achieve the following nine points:

  1. Functioning real-time communication at any time, at any place
  2. Secure alternative to WhatsApp
  3. Share company news in real time with all employees
  4. Secure private dialogue between two employees
  5. Secure private chat between groups
  6. Encrypted data traffic
  7. Data-Ownership
  8. Secure data hosting according to the latest standards
  9. Can be used for all end user devices such as desktop, notebook, tablet and mobile phone

 read another use case - digital communication