In search for an alternative to packaged business communication tools, Scopic built its very own messenger. The custom messaging app combines the best of many useful features from other collaboration tools and leading chat applications. The idea was to build a custom chat solution with features needed and aesthetics inline with the company’s image. The key necessities included having the ability to keep communication secure and protected, as well as ensuring the full control of information workflows and communication costs.
The original idea behind the application was for us to have and own our private, personalized internal communication tool. Instead of purchasing an “off-the-rack” application like Skype or Slack, we decided that a Scopic-built tool would offer more personalization, encrypted security and exclusivity.
- Channel Types and Functionalities
Kreo offers both one-on-one and group chats, in which group channels have a ‘share chat history’ feature that allows for new participants to catch up on all the important team discussions. Some other useful functions include being able to mute, pin and hide channels to help users stay focused and better organize their conversations.
One of the most notable features of Kreo is that after a message has been sent it can be edited, deleted, and quoted. Users can also upload files to their messages or simply drag and drop them into the chat’s body.
- Audio calls
Whether it’s one-on-one or a group chat, users can always invite more people to the channel during an ongoing call. The ability to mute the microphone also cancels out unwanted noise to make sure that everyone is heard.
- Video calls
At any point, audio calls can be converted to video calls. In Kreo there are four video representation modes: chat mode, maximized mode, full-screen mode, and mini video component – users can select the one that works best for them.
- Screen sharing
Also known as “desktop sharing”, screen sharing allows other participants in the channel to view the contents of a user’s screen, which helps to improve online meetings and team collaboration.
There are several options when it comes to notification preferences. Users can choose to be notified for all incoming messages, only when they are mentioned in a channel, and they can also opt to receive notifications while they are offline.
Finding himself dissatisfied with existing chat applications, Scopic’s founder Tim Burr saw the necessity and opportunity to build a messaging app that was fully customized to meet the company’s communication needs.
“We came up with the idea of building our own communication app when we realized there was no single application on the market that would serve Scopic’s needs. The nature of our business is remote, and we consider effective and secure communication to be one of the main criteria that drives our success,” Tim said.
The aim was to come up with a solution that would be customizable and mobile, just like the company is. As the company continues to evolve, so will the need for certain features within our chat solution. Having a tool that is flexible is the key takeaway – being able to add new features and change the look of the app as and when we need to. Not only is the company now in full control of the features the chat platform offers, but we also own the source code and can ensure the security of our internal communications.
“The market of messaging apps offers tools with preset features, while in reality, many businesses, including us, need a specific set of those and they are not always present within one software solution. After looking at tens of business messaging solutions, we came to a conclusion to build Kreo: scalable, customizable and unique for every company that would potentially be interested in using it.”
Through a combination of research, competitive analysis and continuous development, Kreo is one of Scopic’s ongoing projects based on the empirical knowledge gained during the different stages of development. Referred to as the “unknown unknowns,” the tasks in this project are built upon following the consistent new knowledge gained, as well as the newly discovered solutions to unknowable challenges by borrowing best practices from previous projects and applying those on new products like Kreo.
During the product adoption phase, we also learn which features users need the most and assess if users enjoy the user experience offered or if changes need to be applied. As with any new product, there is a beta stage, when we gather users’ feedback to ensure any necessary improvements are addressed prior to full distribution of the app.
Kreo was developed using the quasi agile methodology in order to bring the core forward and to easily build on top of it wherever possible. The end result is the Kreo chat application, which is now the main messaging tool that bridges the gaps in communication between the different teams at Scopic.
“The right messaging app for Scopic had to have a scalable architecture first and foremost but it also had to be user-friendly and easily adaptable. That’s what we had in mind while building Kreo,”
– Tim explained.
Scopic’s developers built Kreo, a user-friendly messaging service that provides secure real-time communication to all employees. The messenger’s group communication features, real-time video and screen-sharing allows for a more direct and efficient collaboration between employees and teams. This, very quickly, bridges the gap between over 300 team members and keeps track of people’s availability across several time zones.
Using Kreo’s chat platform has streamlined the company’s communication, and has helped teams quickly problem-solve, as well as brainstorm new initiatives. Since the launch of Kreo, there have been over 2.7 million messages delivered and Scopic has seen around 3,500 hours of communication through audio and video calls.
Owning the chat application gives us the advantages of flexibility and scalability to continuously work on improving and modifying the app, as well as to continue introducing more features along with a superb user experience. This helps us ensure that Scopic’s employees have all the tools they need to boost productivity and communicate effectively every day.
“Today we have our own messaging solution: it has all the features we need and we can add more at any given moment. The way we built Kreo, with its scalability in mind, lets us experiment and have an application that evolves as the company changes. It might be totally different in a few years: we are free to change its design, the set of features we use and the integrations we need. I couldn’t dream of a better business messaging application than what we have today with Kreo.”