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Has Unified Communications Ushered the Death of Email?

Real time collaboration is easy, intuitive and growing exponentially. Tech giants Cisco and Microsoft provide secure and scalable solutions

Today we heard the sad news that email pioneer Ray Tomlinson passed away at the age of 74. Tomlinson proposed the idea of electronic messages that could be sent from one network to another in 1971.

In the midst of The Cold War, where (seemingly probable) nuclear apocalypse would force human civilization underground, the application of email would serve an essential purpose.

Nowadays, it’s the hunting ground of hackers, spammers and clutter bugs, all of which distract us from the very thing email is supposed to help with – efficiency!

The explosion of collaboration

Although, in an era where usage of the top four messenger apps has overtaken the top four social networking apps, it’s difficult to envisage a future where email is not redundant…

 

Messenger app users

 

The desire to communicate, or to phrase it more accurately, collaborate, in real time in an easy, intuitive and consistent manner is growing exponentially.

“Messaging is one of the few things people want to do more than social networking”- Mark Zuckerberg, 2014

This explains the meteoric rise of the likes of WhatsAppSlack and Facebook Messenger. Linkedin recently revamped its messaging functionality to resemble a more collaborative feel.

Even Twitter, infamous for its 140-character limit removed the aforementioned restriction to try and tap into this need to collaborate.

These freemium, consumer-driven collaboration apps serve their purpose, however from a business point of view, they’re a nightmare…

Collaboration still needs to be controlled

Many workers are using free apps to set up work-related groups or ‘rooms’ (in the absence of official company alternatives) to instant message (IM), share collateral such as presentations, videos, images and other company records and property – to combat the geographical barriers that used to hold back team productivity.

However, this brings a host of logistical, legal and unnecessary complications… For example, if a colleague leaves (or is dismissed), the in-house IT guys can’t lock down access in the same way they could with company email accounts (especially if that person created the group).

So how do you balance your workers’ desire to collaborate seamlessly (let’s not forgot they want to do this in order to be better at their jobs) without compromising security, scalability and ultimately control over potentially sensitive information?

Leaders in collaboration

It’s simple. Tech giants Cisco and Microsoft have been leading the way in this area, anticipating this trend for a long time. That’s why at Forfusion, we’ve partnered with Cisco and Microsoft, becoming highly skilled in both of the pioneers’ technologies.

They’ve developed best-in-class collaboration tools and infrastructure (also known as unified communications and collaboration) such as Skype for BusinessSpark (formerly Project Squared), Webex and Jabber.

These tools marry together instant messaging (IM), presence (so you know whether the person or indeed people are available, away, busy, in a meeting or in a call), voice / telephony (VoIP), video conferencing and document / media sharing.

Think of the efficiencies these technologies can bring – a far cry from the woes of email.

Email is no longer fit for purpose

Don’t get me wrong, email has served its purpose fantastically well. It revolutionised communication and productivity. But the needs of consumers, businesses and the world have moved on. Have you?

We love streamlining our customer’s communications and saving them money. Why not give us a call to see how we can help your organisation on 0191 500 9100. Or as a starter for 10, you can use Cisco Spark for free here.

Categorised Under: Unified Communications

7th Mar 2016

Forfusion Marketing Executive Sean Ball