Bridging the gap between email and social collaboration
This new Harris Poll shows that corporate email needs to evolve. Another interesting takeaway for me was based on the following:
1. Social collaboration tools are on the rise in the workplace. Of those people who use these tools at work, 59% say that their usage has increased over the last year.
2. 91% of respondents say that email remains their most frequently used tool for inter- and intra-company collaboration.
These two points (greater use of social software together and strong continued use of email) is hard to reconcile given that email and Web 2.0 collaboration still sit in separate silos. Cars have “crumple zones” to absorb the impact of opposing forces; sadly, the crumple zone here is user satisfaction and efficiency.
Users definitely see a place of social collaboration tools in the workplace, but what has impacted the usefulness of these tools is their breadth of reach. According to this survey, 63% think the biggest problem weakness of social collab tools is that their co-workers don’t use the same system (i.e., they use email only).
We are doing disservice to our customers by forcing them to trade off the benefits of one tool vs. another. What’s needed is a new model with zero compromise. Users should be able to reach any person or group using their preferred method of collaboration and have easy access to content regardless of where it was created—bridging the gap that currently exists between email and social collaboration.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the topic. How do you think email should evolve in order to accommodate users of social collaboration tools?
by Bassam Khan, director of product management, Cisco Collaboration Software Group