Guest 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.
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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