Is Email an Outdated Form of Business Communication? Email’s Replacement Part 1

Posted by Eric O. Schueler, Senior V.P. of Information Technology

Email on Business Tablet

While recently attending a Microsoft conference I was thrown off guard by the idea that email is an old technology and there are other better ways of communicating in the workplace. After all, email was first used back in 1993 which makes it 21 year old technology!

Is Email An Outdated Form of Business Communication?

Email’s Replacement Part 1

Ask yourself this question. What do your kids use to communicate? Is it email? It is not; It’s with any number of social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. When these teens come into the workplace will they want to use email to communicate? Of course not. But why is this? It’s because email is incredibly inefficient.

We all face inbox overload these days and much of this communication could be done outside the inbox. Let’s pretend you’re a new employee and you have a simple question, “Who do I turn in my weekly reports to?” You could send an email to your supervisor and your question could go unanswered for several hours, days, or forever. Maybe you could CC some other people who might know the answer but now there are many inboxes filling up with messages. Now imagine posting the question to your corporate social networking site and receiving 3 – 5 replies within minutes from employeeBusiness Social Networks you didn’t even think to ask. This is the power of social networking in the workplace! Let’s look at another angle.

What happens to an employee’s mailbox when they leave the company? If you’re like most companies you’ll have IT forward their mail to someone else and archive the mailbox for safe keeping. Then if someone is looking for something they *might* open up the archive and dig through it, but chances are it’s not organized well enough to find anything helpful. All of the knowledge this former employee gained while working for the company is wasted. If the knowledge was posted to the social network it would all be retained and you would have the ability to search for it. You’re probably thinking right now, “but wait a minute, I send private emails that the rest of the company can’t be reading!” I challenge you to take the next few days to think about how many emails you send that are truly private, versus how many email responses could be published for others to learn and grow.

YammerThe product I’m building up to is Microsoft’s 1.2 Billion dollar acquisition of Yammer. Yammer has been described as Facebook for your business but you’ll never catch the Microsoft marketing team calling it that. Within Yammer you can create groups for however your company is organized. You may have a group for Sales or you may have a group for a certain project. With permissions setup, things you post to sales will only be viewable to members of that group whereas items you post to the All Company group are viewable by all.

How do you get Yammer? Starting October 1st it’s now available with all of the Office 365 business packages.

If you want to learn more contact me, Eric O. Schueler, Senior V.P. of Information Technology. (757) 399-3350

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where I will go over another technology that will reduce the size of your inbox.

Watch these YouTube Videos on Yammer:

An open and connected workplace is a better workplace.

Billy loves helping people. Yammer helps keep him connected to his co-workers and customers.


Posted by Eric O. Schueler, A+, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, CSSA, ACSP – Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT. Eric has been in the business of providing IT and consulting for small and medium business for more than 15 years.

Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like computer and IT support and managed service agreements to companies and organizations throughout the United States, Mid-Atlantic and the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, north into Williamsburg and south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected with 24/7 emergency service.

Call today. (757) 399-3350

Images courtesy of by renjith krishnan (tablet with email) and phanlop (social network)