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April 29, 2014

Kato –Leverage Group Communication

ss-kato
Kato is a messaging tool for enterprise organizations. Designed as a reliable and flexible alternative to existing business chat solutions, Kato allows companies to create virtual “rooms” around any topic or department.

At its most basic level, Kato is a quick tool that organizations can use to communicate more efficiently. Rather than relying on email and IM, Kato users rely on the company’s web-based platform. Conversations are unified within Kato’s dashboard, which is where you’ll go to scroll through and see all the most recent discussions going on amongst your colleagues. Skip over a conversation about marketing if your focus is on sales, and hone in on the topics that matter most to your department. When an important event happens at your office—for example, if a customer leaves a comment on your company blog—an immediate notification will pop up in your Kato chat room. You can also share files, images, and even videos from within chat rooms, which enables you to keep the documents you post in context with the conversations they pertain to.

Kato integrates with dozens of popular business applications, including Asana, Desk.com, GitHub, and SendGrid. The more apps you integrate, the more real-time updates you’re able to bring into Kato. This is yet another way that Kato works to ensure team members are able to stay on the same page without increasing the burden on managers or slowing down the workflow.

Practical Uses:

  • Search through past conversations before asking the same question twice
  • Internally share documents and videos with colleagues
  • Find out who’s attending an after-work happy hour
  • Take part in multiple work conversations happening simultaneously

Insider Tips:

  • Communicate privately with one-on-one chats
  • Kato’s “unread counter” turns red when you’ve been mentioned in an ongoing discussion
  • Invite people from outside the organization to chat inside restricted rooms
  • Mac users can download the Kato app

What we liked:

  • Users in multiple organizations can choose to collapse rooms from certain groups, while leaving others open
  • Members with access to all unrestricted rooms can see each other and talk in one-on-one mode
  • Admins can create restricted rooms that are only visible to certain people
  • An unread message counter is included on Kato’s browser tab

What we didn’t like:

  • Kato doesn’t offer some advanced personalization features, like profile pictures

Alternatives:

Company Info:

  • Launched: 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: West Oakland, California
  • Founded by: Andrei Soroker and Peter Hizalev
  • Web site: https://kato.im

Costs:

  • Free for students, non-profits, and startup accelerators
  • Free for teams with fewer than 11 people
  • $5 per user, per month for larger groups