The expanding world of online communication


Technology supposedly makes our life easier and more efficient but I’m here to tell you that the growing number of choices to communicate online for international connections is making my life a bit harder.  Depending on the communication preferences and habits of customers and prospects PLUS those of the product team I’m working with – dev and engineering teams can be especially rigid in this regard – the common denominator of where we all meet appears to be getting diluted.

Why can’t everyone just use Skype or ICQ like the ¨ good old days¨?

Here below is a sketch of my communication chaos…

A sampling of my Online Communication building up to the IBC Convention

Time of DayGeos on the CallComs ChannelType of CallFormat
PMCalifornia, Israel, SpainSkypeInternal Company Team(s)Group Audio
PMNetherlands, SpainWhatsAppInternal Company Team(s)Group Audio
AMUnited Kingdom, SpainZoomInternal Company Team(s)Group Video and Demo
PMArgentina, SpainWhatsAppCustomer1:1 Video
PMCalifornia, Israel, SpainSkypeInternal Company Team(s)Group Audio
PMCalifornia, SpainFacetime (Audio)Customer1:1 Audio
AMGermany, SpainWhatsAppInternal Company Team(s)1:1 Audio
AMNetherlands, SpainWhatsAppProspect1:1 Audio
PMUruguay, SpainSkypeProspectGroup Audio
PMCalifornia, Israel, SpainSkypeInternal Company Team(s)Group Audio
PMCanada, United Kingdom, SpainSlackCustomerGroup Video and Demo
AMNorway, Netherlands, Spain, SpainSkype for Business (formerly Lync)CustomerGroup Audio
PMTexas, Israel, SpainGoogle HangoutsProspectGroup Audio
AMSpain x2SkypeCustomer1:1 Type Chat
AMUnited Kingdom, SpainZoomProspect1:1 Audio
AMNetherlands, Ukraine, Romania, SpainSkypeProspectGroup Video and Demo
PMSweden, United Kingdom, SpainSlackCustomerGroup Audio
PMCanada, United Kingdom, SpainSlackCustomerGroup Audio
PMSwitzerland, SpainSkypeProspect1:1 Type Chat
PMGermany, SpainSkypeProspect1:1 Type Chat
PMNorway, SpainSkype for Business (formerly Lync)CustomerGroup Audio
PMUnited Kingdom, SpainSkypeProspectGroup Audio



I wonder if I’m alone or if you also notice that fewer and fewer of your conversations are happening over Skype in recent months – perhaps you noticed this trend starting somewhere early 2018?  (I did)

With newer and better internet connectivity and technology available, I’m finding that having international calls with my customers, providers, and prospects is getting less and less efficient. Why is this?

It’s because it seems every person has their own favorite flavor of communication whether it be Slack, Skype, WhatsApp,  Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc. and more seem to be coming on the scene – Lord help us all business types who’s job it is to bridge between time zones and technical teams

There are some obvious tendencies:

  • The Spanish speaking world (Spain and LatAm) are heavy users of WhatsApp and is a good place to create groups in this ecosystem
  • Slack has taken a major foothold with more ¨corporate¨ behaving companies
  • Skype (free of charge) video quality is deteriorating for groups and Zoom (free and paid subscription) is its #1 replacement.  Zoom works great
  • An iphone is a nice to have because it is a Face Time is a high performing fall-back network for 1:1 Audio and Video connections 

As I shuttle between different agendas on different email accounts and ask in advance for preferred methods to communicate I’m noticing that my secretarial school skills are back in demand (ie paper and pencil to keep track of the moving variable of what channel to use).

I don’t think I like it but and I don’t know how to fix it and I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who notices this.  Anybody out there have an idea of how I can fix this administrative inefficiency?

A Sample of Online Communication Post IBC

Time of DayGeos on the CallComs ChannelType of CallFormat
AMUAE, SpainSkypeCustomerGroup Audio
AMNetherlands, SpainTelephone CallProspect1:1 Audio
AMRomania, SpainSkypeProspect1:1 Audio
AMUnited Kingdom, SpainSlackInternal Company Team(s)Group Audio
PMSpain x2Google HangoutsProspect1:1 Video
AMUnited Kingdom, SpainMicrosoft TeamsProspect1:1 Audio
PMLatvia, SpainSkypeProspect1:1 Audio
AMUkraine, Germany, SpainGlobal MeetProspectGroup Audio
AMUnited Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain ZoomProspectGroup Video
PMTurkey, Germany, SpainSkypeProspectGroup Video
AMBangladesh, Norway, SpainSkypeProspectGroup Type Chat
PMSpain x2SkypeProspectGroup Type Chat

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’m sorry to say that I think I am experiencing a case of ¨Man vs. Nature¨ whereby there is little we can do to fight the preferences of our customers and engineering teams.  Their preferences is bigger than we are.  

You want to use the channel that is easiest for both customer and engineering team because our job is to enable communication in the format that is smoothest for them to achieve an optimal flow of information sharing, so the channel of least resistance is often the natural way to go, unless performance issues are realized once set-up.

But, if you do have the opportunity to steer to a certain channel here are my recommendations:

  • Group Video:Zoom (its IPO was this year) is my hands-down favorite because its quality is so superior to regular Skype and Slack
  • Group Audio:  WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) is working great and is free of charge and suffers fewer issues than Slack and Skype
  • 1:1 Video: FaceTime (owned by Apple) if the other has an iphone
  • 1:1 Audio:FaceTime Audio (owned by Apple) if the other has an iphone