• Email for personal, not corporate communication

    Anatole Varin

    Feb. 14, 2013 at 07:30

    Email works perfectly when used what it was intended for: sending private messages to a recipient that you know. Like snail mail at its best it is personal letters from people you know, communicating a personal message.

    However, it often fails when used as a primary channel of communication in a corporate environment:

    • Bad at group communication: cc lists or mailing lists are not reasonable places to discuss topics as it annoys everyone on the list.
    • Lack of accountability and tracking adds inefficiency to annoyance.
    • Poor at file management. Email simply wasn’t designed for this.
    • Not visible to users that were not part of the conversation.
    • Can’t easily include a new comer to an ongoing discussion (try gathering up all of the attachments of an email thread and explaining to the recipient how to then match them to the forwarded email).
    • Poor at collaboration.
    • Poor at archiving, contributing to corporate knowledge. Although the recipients have the information within the thread, the text is not available to the rest of the corporation for reference.
    • Stressful seeing an inbox full of messages though the large percentage of them do not require your action

    There is a slew of other reasons why email doesn’t work well for corporate communication, but this was enough for us to look for alternatives and when unsatisfied by the available offers, build our own tool.

    Email definitely has its place for private communication and won’t disappear, but often fails when used as a kludge for solving corporate communication problems with vastly different needs.

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