Communication Software: Purpose & Examples

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  • 0:04 Communication Software
  • 1:41 Examples of…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Martin Gibbs

Martin has 16 years experience in Human Resources Information Systems and has a PhD in Information Technology Management. He is an adjunct professor of computer science and computer programming.

You use communication software every day, from E-mail to texting. In this lesson, we'll review the purpose of communication software and provide examples of its use in modern systems.

Communication Software

No doubt you have already used modern communication software several times today. This could have been sending an E-mail, composing a text message, or communicating with a colleague over Skype. The purpose of communications software is to connect users via their computers or other mobile devices. By offering a variety of communication options, we can harness the power of computing to talk to other people in almost any part of the world.

Communication software can be either asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous communication incurs a delay. Think of sending letters to friends. You send a letter and then wait for a response. E-mail, discussion forums, text messaging, and comment sections of news stories are asynchronous.

Synchronous communication is real-time. A phone conversation, instant-messaging (e.g., Skype or Facebook's IM), video chat, interactive web conferences, and texting are synchronous.

Wait, did he just say texting was both asynchronous and synchronous?

Yes. Think of how fast and often teenagers text one another. Apple phones now show you when the other person is composing a reply. Even though text messaging is technically asynchronous, real-time interaction with it can be classified as synchronous communication.

While the goal of communication software is to connect users from all parts of the world, it is also a productivity booster. Just think if a space agency had to rely on traditional letters to communicate between project teams. We would never have seen the likes of the Falcon Heavy rocket liftoff!

Now that we know the purpose of such software, let's look at some examples.

Examples of Communication Software

The following are a few communication software tools that both connect people and boost productivity:

E-Mail

E-mail is still one of the most common tools out there, and organizations large and small use it almost exclusively. Although it is a form of asynchronous communication, delays are small, and many professionals have quick access to their E-mail.

For most organizations, E-mail messages can also be legal documents. In the lesson writer's organization, for example, every E-mail is stored and retained. It is the modern day written letter, and it has weight.

Furthermore, people still tend to write E-mails in a more formal tone than other types of messaging. This helps to anchor it as a reliable communication software.

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