Why WhatsApp for Business Communication Is A Bad Idea

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Initially built to be used only for personal communications, WhatsApp is now used by employers and employees for business-related purposes because of how much faster the app is in comparison to conventional communication methods.

But the use of a consumer-based messaging app like WhatsApp in a professional setting brings with it numerous potential and immediate problems.

This blog will cover five major problems, and how a collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams puts them to rest.

1) WhatsApp puts your business at risk for GDPR non-compliance

Fact: Though WhatsApp promises end-to-end encryption, it was ranked last by the Electronic Frontier Foundation when it came to data privacy.

Consequence: WhatsApp is connected to employee phone numbers, and can access contact lists and chats which might contain confidential customer data.

This puts your company at risk for GDPR non-compliance. And storing personal information without adhering to the requirements could result in a 20 million Euro fine ($22,421,800 USD) or 4% of your global revenue, whichever is higher.

Solution: Microsoft Teams offers industry-leading compliance commitments that are enabled by default. This includes team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication, single sign-on through Active Directory, and encryption of data in transit, audit log search, eDiscovery and legal hold for channels, chats and files as well as mobile application management with Microsoft Intune.

2) WhatsApp lacks auditing features

Fact: German automotive company Continental AG banned WhatsApp from an estimated 36,000 company devices in June 2018 after information security concerns were repeatedly raised in the courts and by data protection authorities.

Consequence: WhatsApp has no audit log feature, meaning there’s no way to track and record documents, images, and videos sent via the app. The lack of an audit log makes it difficult for you to foster user accountability, detect intrusions, or reconstruct events in order to remediate a security problem (that’s waiting to happen).

Solution: The Office 365 Security and Compliance Center lets you track and audit Microsoft Teams use by administrators and other employees. While on the Audit log search page, you can switch the capability on by clicking the “Start recording user and admin activity”. The audit log tracks user and admin activity for the duration of your subscription plan. For example, Office 365 E3 stores events performed in the past 90 days. You may download system activity reports through automation via the platform’s Management Activity API.

If a user adds a chatbot or channel to a team, an audit log search can reveal who and when. It can also tell who added a connector or tab to a channel. If a user removes or modifies these items, the system logs their activity too.

Likewise, you can monitor changes to organization settings. For example, the disabling/enabling of Microsoft Teams, capacity to schedule private or channel meetings, video conferencing, or screen sharing. There’s also an audit trail for the assignment of team member roles.

3) WhatsApp offers limited admin controls

Fact: WhatsApp only allows you to control who can send messages to a group chat and change group description, icon, and details.

Consequence: With unclear company-wide communication policies, complex user management, and no access control features, WhatsApp can be misused to steal information by employees no longer a part of the organisation.

Solution: Microsoft Teams has a rich set of tools for IT admins to manage the product through the Microsoft Teams admin center, PowerShell controls, and Graph APIs.

Using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), you can designate administrators who need different levels of access for managing Microsoft Teams. Administrators can manage the entire Teams workload, or they can have delegated permissions depending on their role.

In the Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center, IT admins have a host of controls over Microsoft Teams, including being able to:

  • Turn Microsoft Teams on or off for the entire organization

  • Choose how users' profiles are configured and what is displayed

  • Turn off video and screen sharing in calls and meetings

  • Control whether to allow various kinds of content, including animated images, memes, and stickers

  • Limit animated images by content rating

  • Turn off support for tabs from Microsoft partners or side-loaded apps

  • Choose whether the organization can use bots to provide help to users, or integrate with other apps (this does not turn off the T-bot in Microsoft Teams)

  • Set priority notifications for industries like healthcare

  • Annotate and share images securely with data storage policies set by IT

  • You can also suspend accounts and automatically log users out of the application if they leave your company ensuring they no longer have access to company data.

  • Advanced permissions allow companies to grant 3rd party users authority to use specific features & perform certain actions (e.g. send workflows, chat with only certain people etc)

4) WhatsApp can cause inefficient communications, reducing productivity and costing your company thousands

Fact: Research from Mitel has found that inefficient communications costs businesses approximately $10,000 USD per employee every year and up to $5 million annually for a company of 500 employees.

Consequence: WhatsApp group chats only allow for 256 users at a time and don’t allow you to create threaded chats to structure your communication, causing you to create multiple side groups for different aspects of a project, each with different members.

An increasing amount of groups and messages makes it difficult to keep track of details, progress, and updates. Unstructured communication also results in missed deadlines, incorrect work, and unhappy clients.

Solution: Microsoft Teams allows individual teams to self-organize and collaborate across business scenarios:

Teams are a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization.

A team is designed to bring together a group of people that work closely to get things done. Teams can be dynamic for project-based work (for example, launching a product, creating a digital war room), as well as ongoing, to reflect the internal structure of your organization (for example, departments and office locations). Conversations, files, and notes across team channels are only visible to members of the team.

Channels are dedicated sections within a team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, disciplines—-whatever works for your team!

Team channels are places where everyone on the team can openly have conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat (and files that you share in a chat are stored in OneDrive for Business).

Suggested Read: How SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business interact with Microsoft Teams

5) WhatsApp can cause higher employee turnover

Fact: A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development surveyed practitioners on the use of WhatsApp at work: 40% said the app undermined corporate culture.

Consequence: WhatsApp is a great tool to communicate with friends and family, but successful workplace environment requires a level of professionalism, especially during business-related communication. And because you cannot supervise communications within the app, anyone can privately message anyone, create unauthorized groups that breach policies, or use the app as a tool for bullying, prompting targeted employees to leave the company.

Solution: We’ve covered how Teams lets you supervise internal conversations to foster user accountability. However, Team’s pre-approved GIF library, Stickers and Thumbs up features can help you show appreciation to your colleagues in a public and interactive manner, promoting a happier work environment!

From the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and CRM Blogs: Data Migration, Resource Scheduling, Static Marketing Lists, Email

From the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and CRM Blogs: Data Migration, Resource Scheduling, Static Marketing Lists, Email

This week on the Dynamics 365-CRM blog roundup:

  • Created on, created by, modified on and modified by – all you need to know to maintain history during data migration in Dynamics 365

  • Universal Resource Scheduling

  • How to build a segment off of a static marketing list

  • How to set default value of "allow other Dynamics 365 user to send email on your behalf" as "true" programmatically

Read More

How to Automate Email Campaigns Using Customer Data in Dynamics 365

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Data entered in Dynamics 365 can be a powerful trigger for automated email campaigns that send timely messages to convert, up-sell, educate and reward your customers.

By connecting Dynamics with specialist marketing automation services such as ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365 for Marketing, smarter email marketing is immediately at your fingertips.

If you are only using email marketing to send newsletters, or if you aren’t doing any emarketing, you are most definitely missing a trick!

Through automated email campaign builders, Dynamics 365 data can be the trigger for delivering personalized, timely emails when customer actions occur. Rather than individually attempting to identify and react to these events, achieve scale by configuring rules in Dynamics 365 that will automatically send contextual messages.

Here are six examples that demonstrate how organizations of all sizes are using integrated marketing automation for Dynamics 365 to implement smart processes that engage customers.

1. Welcome emails

When new contacts join your mailing list it is the perfect opportunity to send one or more welcome emails, because these new subscribers will be at their most receptive.

Using integrated web forms, D365 is updated when new subscribers are posted. This can include automatically updating a field status or placing the contact in a mailing list which in turn triggers a welcome campaign.

This can be one, or a series, of emails. Examples often include a combination of a link to a PDF resource, introductory videos, links to popular posts, a welcome offer, or another clear call to action.

Welcome emails can also be used to direct recipients to a preference page that will capture more customer information. This added data will then be used to better develop each customer view and improve the personalization of future messages.

2. Re-engagement emails

Inevitably, there will be contacts in your mailing list who aren’t interacting with your email. Who are these individuals, and how do you re-engage them?

ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365 for Marketing track each email interaction and reports these events in Dynamics 365. Using a D365 workflow, these actions can be rolled up to a contact field. For example, ‘Date Last Email Open’ or ‘Date Last Email Click’. 

Rules can be set using this field to route contacts to a marketing list where no recent email interactions have been tracked. This triggered action could also enroll matching contacts in a re-engagement campaign that sends messages which are designed to get them clicking back to your website.

3. Loyalty campaigns

Having a clear visibility of your most valuable accounts enables a series of automated emails to be sent to this audience. Promoting feedback surveys to these VIPs can check the pulse of each client relationship. Survey & form tools can record survey engagements in Dynamics 365 and enable you to reward responders with premium ‘insider’ content and time-limited offer codes via email.

Designed to update and engage customers, these type of automated campaigns make customers increasingly ‘sticky’, reduce churn and help to increase account revenue.

4. Converting prospects

When a contact first engages with your organization, nurture emails fill the gap until they are ready to order.

These events might include a prospect downloading a whitepaper, leaving their business card after visiting a trade stand or attending a webinar.

If these are early-stage interactions, an automated nurture campaign will expose the prospect to your brand, content and product over several weeks or months, depending on your sales lifecycle. When they are ready to make a purchasing decision you will be ideally positioned to capitalize thanks to the informative and promotional content shared in these emails.

Configure Dynamics 365 to track these initial sales engagements and use integrated marketing automation to automatically enroll prospects in a suitable campaign.

In-built email reporting through D365 will alert you when individuals respond to your emails. Recipients’ actions can also be used to adjust message by switching prospect to a different campaign. For example, when prospects download a brochure this event will move them to a new nurture campaign that promotes further content that is contextual to this.

5. Post-sale campaigns 

Once customers have placed an order, another type of email campaign will nurture them through the client lifecycle and grow these relationships.

Depending on the product or service ordered, these messages may include event briefings, recommendations for maximizing usage of the service ordered and making cross-sell recommendations.

Using integrated marketing automation, new customers can be enrolled in nurture campaigns that are relevant to the product / service ordered, promoting greater engagement during this lifecycle.

6. Remarketing campaigns

Known and anonymous web visitors can be tracked through your site with each click reported in Microsoft Dynamics.

Gaining insight about what type of content an individual consumes creates an opportunity to send responsive messages that promote related content. For example, an email click URL could be used as a trigger to populate a dynamic marketing list. In this scenario, new list members will be enrolled into a remarketing campaign that will sends a sequence of emails with content relevant to this URL.

If you are interested in learning more about marketing automation options, contact us to schedule a free demo and speak with a consultant about a solution that fits your business needs and budget.