Category Archives: Collaboration

Banning Office Email? Seriously?

imageGuest writer Melanie Slaugh reports on Thierry Breton’s (a past French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry) startling suggestion – ban interoffice emails. Is he being unrealistic or, is he a forward thinker? Read on – see what you think.

Can you imagine a business without email? Well, a French technology company wants to change the way you do business. Citing an overabundance of spam and a lack of personal connections, the French IT services firm Atos Origin plans to ban interoffice emails within two years.

Instead of rigid, impersonal emails, employees will converse mostly through instant-messaging tools or wiki-like documents that can be edited by multiple users online.

“We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives,” said Atos CEO Thierry Breton, “At Atos Origin we are taking action now to reverse this trend.”

Breton gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal in which he stated that he hadn’t sent a work e-mail in three years. “If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message,” he told the newspaper. “Emails cannot replace the spoken word.”

Breton thinks that only 10% of the interoffice emails his employees receive are important or useful, the other 90% consisting of forwards and spam.

So far, the response to Breton’s efforts to cut down on extraneous emails has been positive in Athos Origin, with interoffice emails declining by 20% in the last six months.

“Atos’ decision … is perhaps the most ringing endorsement yet for the notion that email is being gradually phased out of [the workplace],” wrote BonitaSoft CEO Miguel Valdés Faura on the tech blog GigaOm. “It will be interesting to see how many other large scale organizations will follow in its footsteps over the next several years.”

Web-based email as a whole seems to be on the way out as companies and people grow more mobile. A study done by ComScore, Inc, indicated that the number of web-based emails declined by six percent in 2010, while mobile email increased by thirty six percent.

“Digital communication has evolved rapidly in the last few years with an ever-increasing number of ways for Internet users to communicate with one another,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “From PCs to mobile devices, whether its email, social media, IM or texting, consumers have many ways to communicate and can do so at any time and in any place. The decline in web-based email is a byproduct of these shifting dynamics and the increasing availability of on-demand communication options.”

Many email-smothered employees could very well accept the change with open arms, unless the rise in personalization also comes with a rising in face-to-face meetings or conference calls.

Author Bio:

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer.

She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @ gmail.com.

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Filed under Collaboration, Communication, Email, Guest Writers

The Never Ending Debate: Does Social Belong in Business?

Guest writer Grace Kang takes a look at social media, and lays out a logical and persuasive case for employing social media tools as a business builder. 

imageThe term “social” may sound like it belongs anywhere but the office, but the truth is, the success of the world’s best businesses can be traced to their leadership’s reliance upon increasing their workers’ networking, relationships and and transparency.

Instead of having individual employees focused on completing tasks alone, by encouraging employees to expand their own networks formally and informally, businesses are able to leverage their employees’ communications for better growth. Business collaboration software and online tools can help make the process easier.

Why does social belong in business?

  • People everywhere are choosing to communicate through social media. In a survey by Central Desktop, the participants indicated that 49% were using document collaboration tools, 19% said internal social networking tools, 18% were using wikis, 9% using discussion threads, and 5% using activity feeds.
  • Social media is a great place to build long term relationships
  • It makes it easy to engage prospects and customers with games, contests and more. In the survey, 22% said they used social tools to connect with customers, and 18% to win customers.
  • Social software for business is getting better. To see the evolution of social collaboration tools, check out “The State of Social Collaboration”, a neat infographic that illustrates how social tools have changed since they were first introduced in the 1970’s.
  • Its only going to get bigger, and you need to be there.

Even if a business is physically spread out across the country or even the globe, using social networking within the organization can have a dramatic positive impact on the company’s current and future returns. Collaboration software and online project management meld together through Central Desktop, which is a social software for business that provides employees who are located at separate locations a cohesive means of sharing ideas, planning projects and ultimately adding value to their shared business.

As transparency increases between groups located on different continents and between business units and functional centers, efficiency also will increase. Concerns that would normally have to be fed up and down their respective feeding chains are shared immediately for a fast response from the appropriate personnel.

Avoiding triangulation, wherein a the party in need of assistance goes to a third party instead of the party who can actually assist him or her, reduces staff time devoted to a project while empowering employees to take ownership of their work. As a result, employees take more pride in their work, act more efficiently and are more likely to produce a high quality product.

Social Collaboration Promote Employee Ownership and Morale

Employee ownership of work also makes it easier to identify supply chain problems early on and correct them before they snowball into larger concerns. The increased communication between departments bleeds into increased communication within departments. Greater clarity of duties, concerns, issues and other tasks at all levels reduces the chances that employees will spend their time working on the wrong types of projects, while increasing employee morale.

Allowing employees to mingle at a virtual water cooler means fast tracking discussions of interdepartmental issues, so that resolutions can be found in a timely manner.

A business group located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, can benefit greatly from learning about the solution that a group located in New York City or Hong Kong implemented, rather than working to try to figure out a solution to the problem themselves, which would take more time that they may not have to spend on the problem. Business collaboration software and tools like Central Desktop are leading the way.

Bio:

Grace Kang is a writer for Central Desktop, the leading social collaboration software solution for mid to large sized businesses.

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Filed under Collaboration, Communication, Enterprise Applications, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, Productivity Software, Social Networks, Software, Windows Tips and Tools