By Kari Woolf, global product marketing manager of collaboration at Novell
Email is an integral part of every organisation, driving both external and internal communications on a global scale. Our reliance on email is growing, with figures from the Radicati Group showing that the number of emails sent and received by corporate users will rise at a rate of 13% for each of the next four years.
However, with the rise in social collaboration platforms, questions have been asked about how the two services can continue to function together.
Fundamentally, email and social collaboration platforms should complement each other to bring balance to communications. To do this, email needs to sit alongside social collaboration software and be used in tandem with it, rather than either solution being viewed as an entirely separate application.
What should be considered is how businesses can bring together these tools in one product, saving companies software licensing costs and eliminating the time and hassle users would otherwise spend switching from app to app. Introducing social tools in a familiar setting — where they complement a user’s modus operandi instead of competing with it — can deliver the productivity that leads to organisational success.
However, this can only be achieved if both email and social collaboration tools are as user friendly and functional as possible. In this way employees will naturally gravitate to the tool that best fits their task rather than simply reverting to email in every case, which may not be the most productive tool. Beyond productivity an important consideration is the reduction in carbon footprint that complementary use of email and social collaboration tools can bring, reducing the annual CO2 equivalence of an average inbox from the current value of 135kg per year.
Inevitably, businesses will increasingly be looking at how email is used in 2013, with many putting in place social collaboration tools that can help increase productivity while ensuring that email remains effective and secure. What they must ensure however is that any solution implemented results in a complementary use of both email and social tools. The end goal is a more productive workplace with a far higher value placed on the way we communicate with colleagues and clients.