Arraya Insights | January 15, 2015
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: “This year will be the year the business world finally kicks email to the curb and embraces a newer, more secure alternative communication tool.” It’s one of the tech field’s favorite yearly prognostications and thus far email has continued to go strong. So, will 2015 finally be that year?
Don’t count on it, says one recent survey.
Just the opposite seems to be true. It looks as though email may be one of the things the internet-using workforce can least afford to lose. Email was named by internet-using workers as their most important tool, according to a study conducted by Pew Research. Roughly 61% of workers said email was “very important” to their ability to get things done. That percentage gave email a fairly comfortable lead over the rest of the field.
Coming in at number two was the internet itself. Just over half (54%) of workers said the internet was very important to their ability to do their jobs each day.
The rest of Pew’s list may come as a bit of a surprise, especially considering the mobile nature of today’s workforce. More workers said landlines were a very important part of their jobs then mobile phones or smartphones. And the numbers weren’t even all that close as landlines took home 35% of the vote, compared to just 24% for mobile or smartphones.
Unexpected as that last piece info may be, the key takeaway in all of this is likely email’s continued dominance of workplace communications. Considering the number of workers who stressed the important role email plays in their day-to-days, flat-out kicking it to the curb seems like a long shot at the moment. That doesn’t mean a change is out of the question, but that change probably won’t happen in 2015. Barring a massive, Earth-shaking about-face, of course.
We’re guessing the folks who were hacked, those who fell victim to phishing attempts or even just those who accidentally replied all in 2014 would be more than happy to see email ride off into the sunset. But since it probably won’t, it’s up to companies and their IT teams to provide a communications infrastructure that is secure and intuitive for their end users.
A wealth of alternatives
Arraya Solutions’ engineers have the communications and collaboration experience to help your company design and manage that infrastructure. For example, Arraya’s team recently deployed Jabber – a web presence, instant messaging (IM), voice, video, and conferencing application – for an industry-leading global laboratory management and automation software provider.
Prior to Jabber, the company’s internal communication was based on email as well as third party IM and chat services (think: GTalk, AOL, etc.). This wasn’t the most efficient strategy, however, as email didn’t always garner quick replies and the third party apps were limited in terms of what they could handle. To solve these issues, the company reached out to Arraya to help it find and deploy a real time and cost effective communications solution. That search led to Jabber.
Once Jabber was deployed, it cut down the company’s email traffic by almost 30% and now it’s being used as the go-to app for most of its internal communication. The company’s employees aren’t bound to legacy email and they can escalate an IM chat communication to an audio or video call using the softphone mode. This feature allows them to get more personal with their peers regardless of physical location.
Arraya has seen the same benefits from our own internal Jabber adoption.
“IM at Arraya has not only cut down on email traffic and backend storage requirements, but it’s helped our workforce be more productive and efficient,” said Dan Lifshutz, Arraya’s CEO and co-founder. “Things get done immediately as opposed to at a later point in time after an email thread is read or responded to. It’s also helped with innovation as feedback to new ideas can be provided on the spot.”
But it hasn’t strictly been Jabber that’s made a difference. Arraya also has experienced the benefits of a number of other social learning tools both internally and at our customer’s facilities. These are all geared towards making communication and collaboration easier.
“Social tools like SharePoint, Yammer, Lync, and Jabber have provided a familiar learning community for our entry-level employees up to our C-level executives,” noted David Bakker, Arraya’s CTO and co-founder. “This lets us more easily ask and answer questions in a workplace packed with varying perspectives and insights.”