Texas-Based Startup SayHey Messenger Takes on Instant Messaging Giants

Instant messaging is the future of workplace communication. And that future has arrived.

Some 3 billion people — that’s approximately 40% of the global population — send approximately 23 billion instant messages each day. That’s around 270,000 IMs per second.

This figure will only grow as smartphone adoption increases and younger generations age into their prime working years. Researchers have found that digital-native Millennial and Gen-Z workers strongly prefer to communicate with colleagues by text rather than voice or face-to-face meetings.

Even email, which is regarded as a less invasive form of professional communication, compares poorly with texting. By one measure, instant messages have an open rate that’s 4.5 times greater than email. Internal workplace emails, which one would expect to have a much higher open rate, often go ignored as well. One recent study of 56 million work emails found that while 77% were opened, just 37% were actually read.

A few years back, 7T Inc., creators of SayHey Messenger®, saw an immense opportunity in the shift away from voice- and email-based workplace communication. Today, despite sharing the space with Fortune 500 competitors like Microsoft, Salesforce (which owns Slack), and Meta (which owns WhatsApp), SayHey Messenger® stands out as a secure, private, and fully-compliant app for users in heavily-regulated industries like healthcare, banking, finance, and insurance.

The Features You’d Expect in an Enterprise Workplace Chat App

SayHey Messenger®’s founders decided early on to develop an intuitive workplace chat solution. One recognizable to users more accustomed to consumer-style interfaces, rather than a totally reimagined product. Potentially, one that does not work for everyone or the complex interfaces that often result in a user adoption struggle as in the case of Slack. Combining this with an Admin Portal that offers complete message moderation tools and user management, instant audit capabilities, keyword monitoring, data exports, and inclusivity features is what has set SayHey Messenger® apart from the existing messaging apps on the market.

SayHey Messenger® has two deployment options. SayHey Messenger Enterprise is designed for larger organizations that are seeking a messaging solution. One that’s fully integrated into their existing enterprise software platforms. It’s deployed in the client’s own secure private cloud environment behind their firewalls and security protocols with customizations to suit the company’s unique workflows and processes.

SayHey Messenger Business is a SaaS platform with a web app for desktop use and mobile apps for iOS and Android. With deployment in a matter of days in a secure AWS cloud environment, launching a branded business instant messaging app has never been easier.

So they built a user-friendly messaging platform with the sorts of familiar features business and enterprise users expect from a workplace IM suite:

Mobile and Web Apps

SayHey Messenger® has fully-functional iOS and Android mobile apps as well as a web app for desktop use. It works well on small- and large-screened devices, a necessity in dispersed, hybrid, and remote work environments.

Custom UI

SayHey Messenger® is your messaging app. Each deployment’s mobile and web apps are customized with the client’s logo, company colors, and other branding elements for a messaging platform that reflects your unique business aesthetic.

Group Chats

SayHey Messenger® offers direct and group chat capabilities. Users can customize their conversations and maintain “need to know” firewalls around sensitive discussions.

Scheduled Messages

SayHey Messenger® supports asynchronous communication, another “must have” for organizations with remote employees or dispersed teams.

External Messaging

SMS text messaging capabilities provide users with the ability to communicate with clients, partners, and others outside the organization via text. This external messaging feature allows users to leverage the popular communication method without compromising their organization’s regulatory compliance or losing any client data.

Expressive Interface

Drawing on their experience with earlier chat tools, SayHey Messenger®’s founders developed an expressive interface — complete with emojis, Giphy videos, and animations — that recognizes work-related conversations can (sometimes) be fun.

SayHey Spaces

SayHey Messenger® describes this feature as “a partitioned virtual space for team collaboration and companywide broadcasts.” It’s an improvement on clunkier workplace collaboration tools that leave key people out of the loop (or loop in too many peripheral players).

ERP/CRM Integrations

SayHey Messenger Enterprise is designed and built to integrate with existing business CRMs and ERP platforms, plus other backend business software systems. This expands the range of potential use cases and makes it easier for new users to make the transition.

Designed for Data Security and Regulatory Compliance

SayHey Messenger®’s early surveys of the business instant messaging landscape revealed massive data security and compliance vulnerabilities.

For years, major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase allowed their employees to communicate with clients on personal devices using non-compliant consumer messaging apps. Those lapses eventually resulted in approximately $1.8 billion in SEC and CFTC fines.

Other heavily-regulated industries have similar vulnerabilities. For example, healthcare providers, insurers, and other enterprises that handle sensitive information are bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The fine for a severe HIPAA violation involving the willful disclosure of private health information through insecure communication channels is $50,000 per occurrence. And because HIPAA violations are rarely isolated events, a larger organization could easily see fines that far exceed $50,000.

SayHey Messenger® addresses heavily-regulated users’ needs with layered security and risk management features that meet strict industry and regulatory compliance standards, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS:

Data Sovereignty

Instant messaging data is valuable. Those messages contain sensitive information. And many organizations are required to retain communications to comply with regulations and record-keeping laws. SayHey Messenger® gives users full control and ownership of all of their messaging data. It’s securely stored in its encrypted cloud environment, so the organization maintains control over retention and backups. They also have instant access to data audits in addition to reporting capabilities.

Comprehensive Auditing Tools

SayHey Messenger®’s built-in auditing and e-discovery capabilities enable users to generate real-time reports organized by topic, user, keyword, and message content. This empowers internal auditors. So, this allows them to review potentially-noncompliant message data and take corrective action while still practical to do so.

Keyword Monitoring and Moderation

SayHey Messenger®’s proprietary machine learning capabilities can automatically flag designated keywords and expert messages containing those terms for moderation, thereby reducing manual moderation workloads. Users can also flag offensive or potentially non-compliant messages for further review, removing them from view pending moderation.

Total User Management

SayHey Messenger® admins have full control over user permissions and data. Critically from a compliance perspective, organizations and their admins have full ownership of user data and communications. This is a key difference from consumer-grade chat apps and open-source chat apps. This is due to the designs in them that make data leakage inevitable (and greatly increasing compliance risk as a result).

Private Cloud Environments

SayHey Messenger®’s enterprise users can set up private cloud environments for secure hosting and data storage. Smaller business users can take advantage of the platform’s secure AWS environment.

Data Encryption

SayHey Messenger® encrypts user messages and messaging data, keeping sensitive information under wraps.

Moving Beyond the IM Status Quo

In a rapidly growing industry dominated by big incumbents like Microsoft and Salesforce, SayHey Messenger® stands out as virtually the only secure, compliant workplace messaging app for users in highly regulated industries.

There’s no question that SayHey Messenger® has found a large, productive niche for itself. The company serves clients in industries as diverse as healthcare, banking, investment services, and insurance. And as more and more users in more and more industries become aware of the risks of non-compliance and the importance of tight data security, that niche will only grow.