Posted on September 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm
Email as we know it is like old landline telephones – but we now live in the era of Smartphones
Traditional Email is Like Old Landlines.
Traditional email as we know it is one of the most useful (and overly used) tools we have in business. It is useful because it allows us to send messages, tasks and information in a reliable and stable way. It is a generally accepted and popular communication medium between businesses and everyone knows how to use it; and despite naysayers and the rise of social media, statistics show that every year more and more emails are sent. In 2013 more than 100 billion business emails were sent and received EVERY DAY. By 2017 this will rise to an estimated 132 billion emails daily, according to The Radicati Group.
However, email’s ubiquity is also its downfall. Because it is so easy (and un-structured), it is often over-used without much regard for the recipients (we all want OUR points and requests to come across) and there is no transparency or accountability, which means we all suffer under its yolk of inefficiency. So traditional email is a bit like the traditional landline phone. It was a game changing technology when it first came out, but its success soon created bottlenecks and needed to be improved in order to cope with its success. For landlines it was first the mobile phone (we all remember Nokia) and then there were smart phones (i.e. the era of iPhones and Samsung Galaxies). For email, what is the next generation?
The “Smart Phone” Version of Email
The world has moved on from conventional landline and snail mail solutions. We now live in an era of high transaction volumes, large multinational organisations, big data, automation and communication. So our preferred b2b communication method of email needs to change and adapt for this. And this is not just about handling volume –systems can handle that. It is the people that can’t and then suffer from it.
That is why businesses are looking for the “smart phone” version of email. Smart Email where emails are grouped together, have clear owners, routed to the correct place, are accounted for and can be reported on so that people can be productive and spend their time on value adding activities, not “reading and filing email”.
There are a few options for smarter email. For individuals, check out Mailbox or Xobni. For SMEs check out Gmail’s new tabs, Zendesk, Mail Pilot, AtTask, Workshare or Help Scout. For medium or larger companies, your options are developing custom workflow platforms using software such as Savvion, Tibco or Pega, or using corporate social media tools such as Yammer, Salesforce.com’s Chatter or blueKiwi, or an “email workflow out the box” solution for individual teams or organisation wide use such as YuDoMail.
The key thing to take away is: Email volumes are not going to go down. In fact I predict the use of email is going to continue to increase over the next few years, purely because more and more people are coming online every day and more businesses going digital. So the business community best prepare for this avalanche of email coming their way. They better get “smart email”.