As we continue to integrate Cisco’s acquisition of PostPath into the Cisco SaaS-based Collaboration portfolio , below are some salient characteristics of how email will evolve and change: Universal. Email will be delivered from the cloud (or from mixed cloud-and-customer-premise infrastructures) and accessible everywhere, at any point in time. Users can access email securely through any PC, browser or mobile device, with a rich, intuitive, multi-function user experience available in every platform; although there will be a diversity of client types on every platform, browser-based clients will grow ever more important. Limitless. The dream of a bottomless inbox will become reality. Email systems of tomorrow will be massively scalable, and be able to accommodate any amount of storage. This near-infinite capacity will come hand in hand with high performance and 100% reliability, backed by real local and geographically-remote redundancy, and by customer-based data and system isolation to guard system-wide contagion failures. Automatic Data-mining and Data-organization. Whereas email today often drowns you in information, future email systems will improve productivity by organizing your data for you. It will do personal data mining, extracting useful information and making semantic connections based on subject or content. It will have context-based relevance, automatically bringing you the information you need for your current activity. It will also be extraordinarily searchable — not just at the individual level but also, depending on configuration, within teams and groups. By Duncan Greatwood, Senior Director of Engineering, Collaboration Software GroupAt the Heart of Future Collaboration. Email has been the central form of communication for over a decade and the bulk of corporate data is still stored in email. Yet, email today exists in a silo. Email communications are not readily shared across content collaboration platforms. In its next evolution, email will remain at the heart of communication but it will be tightly integrated with a variety of collaboration approaches. For example, any email content can be shared through any social networking mechanism with a single click. Conversely, social networking content can be immediately published for a pre-defined email community. Email integrated with social collaboration becomes a tool for both ad-hoc and process-driven workflow, from brainstorming to supply chain management to project monitoring to community interaction. And companies can feel comfortable endorsing these new modes of collaboration because communications and sharing of content can be managed by secure policies and appropriate control of access rights.Customizable. Finally, we see an email platform that is customizable and configurable — by end users, IT, ISVs and partners. Customers will have a choice in selecting best-of-class services, such as social software, IM & Presence, CRM, business intelligence, unified communications, etc, to integrate with email. There will no longer be vendor lock-in as customers, partners and developers work with easy-to-use APIs and mashup-capable clients to deliver features and configuration that best fit the needs of the individual, team or organization.