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Tim Stone
Vice President of Marketing for Europe, Middle East & Africa

Spam, junk, more spam ... what are the alternatives to email?

Posted: 7th February 2017

Tim Stone, vice president of Marketing for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) at Polycom, explores the future of business communications.

Did you know we send 182 billion emails every day (1)? In 2016, 72.5% of total email traffic was spam (2), and this is a figure that is only growing year-on-year. On top of that, the average office employee spends two and a half hours a day checking and sending emails, which adds up to 81 days a year (3). 

Obviously, email remains a key form of enterprise communications, but it is no longer the only way businesses can get their messages from A to B.

Some organisations have even banned internal email as a time-saving initiative (4), and switched internal communications onto other platforms, while the co-founder of Facebook has said that email is on its way out of the office (5). Consider the number of emails you receive from colleagues alone; couldn’t these issues be better discussed over an instant messenging application?

Instant messenging isn't the only solution. Providing a range of communication methods within your organisation is one way to better synchronise your workforce. Video conferencing can be a great alternative to long and complex email chains where the conversation is difficult to follow. Modern video collaboration systems often host content-sharing features, so you don’t even need to share documents in advance.

People often resort to email if they want to retain a record of a conversation, but modern communication technologies are designed with this in mind. For example, IP phones can transcribe voicemails and phone conversations into written word and save them automatically. They can also consolidate instant messages into one file where you can easily refer back to them.

In order for a deployment of new enterprise technology to be successful and widely used within an organisation, it needs to be easy-to-use. Organisations need to make sure they implement the technology in such a way that it is as simple as clicking ‘new email’. This can often mean incorporating IM, video conferencing and IP telephony into a unified communications interface that is familiar and intuitive, such as Microsoft Lync.

Implementing alternative communications is particularly important for enterprises as the younger generation moves up the employment ladder. This generation is accustomed to social networks, instant chat apps and texts. They are accustomed to being able to select the most appropriate and convenient method of communication for the content, recipient and situation. In order to reach their productivity potential, enterprises need to emulate this. In the long-term it will result in improved communications, productivity and profitability.

Link2 Portal Fubon Design