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Europe's Largest IT Company To Ban Internal Email

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the 140-characters-or-die dept.

Businesses 601

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, Europe's Largest IT Company, wants a 'zero email' policy to be in place in 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful, and that staff spend between 5-20 hours handling emails every week. 'The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool,' says Breton. 'The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently.' Instead Breton wants staff at Atos to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it. For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. 'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.'"

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601 comments

I've noticed this too (4, Interesting)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200966)

No one wants to use email anymore. When I talk with clients, one of the first things they ask for is do I have Skype, ICQ or MSN. For business stuff, Skype is the clear winner. I talk with clients and managers there. It has a clear advantage too, as you get instant answer and can actually discuss things in real time. Everything goes easier that way.

For friends and personal things, it's also only Facebook, Steam and MSN for me. It would feel weird to send email to them, and they probably wouldn't read it anyway. Email is kind of like sending a letter, but in this case it also loses its charm and personal feel. It might been relevant still up to 2005, but now it's all the way Facebook, IM or you know, actually calling someone. I can't say I really miss email either. I still have to use one to receive registration verifications and or some news and stuff like that, but there's nothing personal in email anymore.

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201008)

And if - one day - there is a lawsuit about your work for the client, there is no proof what you did, what you told them or who authorized it...

At least always send a later email describing what has happened in skype calls...

Re:I've noticed this too (3, Interesting)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201048)

Skype is not only for calls, I mainly use it for text chats (which can be logged). Only time I've used Skype for calling has been to my past girlfriend in other side of the world, so I don't have pay so much. But yes, orders and similar would still be good to handle in email or in some other way, where you have the exact order in one package.

Re:I've noticed this too (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201052)

Ah but those people who say one thing and then never do it. With having it in the written word, you have proof especially when there is a dead line for a project. I agree, there is alot lost in email and even texting that is there in a "face to face" but I think they all have uses.

Re:I've noticed this too (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201236)

Ah but those people who say one thing and then never do it.

Describes almost anyone in a large corporation. No wonder they want to get rid of email.

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201082)

ICQ? Wow, I think we just had a post arrive through a wormhole from the 1990s.

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Informative)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201134)

It's still used a lot in some European countries and Russia. I'm not from US.

Re:I've noticed this too (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201222)

ICQ? Wow, I think we just had a post arrive through a wormhole from the 1990s.

As usual, the geek ignores regional and cultural differences. If it is not part of his world, it does not exist.

Re:I've noticed this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201358)

There is no reason that someone should know what IM programs are popular in other countries. That is about as useful as knowing spelling variation preferences by region/culture for the name Michael.

Useless people prefer to talk. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201098)

When it comes to useful communication, talking is usually one of the most inefficient and ineffective ways to get real work done. Whatever slight advantage might come from the realtime aspect of it is immediately lost several times over due to the lack of any history being retained. This makes it far more difficult to refer back to it later, to share it with others, and to search through large volumes of it.

In most businesses, those people doing the real bulk of the work tend to prefer written communication. It's just a far more efficient way to work. In turn, those who prefer verbal communication are usually those who do the least real work. They're the ones who sit in meetings or phone calls all day "planning" or "discussing strategy" or otherwise not doing anything useful.

Re:I've noticed this too (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201108)

I see the opposite. WE suggest skype, twitter, etc. and they all want Email only instead. Hell some still ask for a Fax number and we have not had one in years.

But then we deal with scientific companies and really really rich people so it's probably a different demographic than you have.

Re:I've noticed this too (0)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201214)

Hell some still ask for a Fax number and we have not had one in years.

I'm still waiting for a telex [wikipedia.org] you insensitive clod.

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201226)

Several potential suppliers have lost my business by not doing email. I work in IT and they try to get me to use a fax???

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201148)

I would have hoped by now that people would realize that tying your communications into a proprietary technology is an exceptionally bad medium to long term decision. At least email is an open standard. If we could get people using open chat protocols that would be fine, but locking ourselves into Facebook, Skype, and MSN is not likely going to end well. I would hope that it ends like AOL did, but people seem to have forgotten about the disadvantages of proprietary walled gardens.

Re:I've noticed this too (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201306)

You don't have to, there is also statusnet/Identi.ca jabber/xmpp and obviously VoIP.

Our entire company just moved to Google Wave (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201322)

It's the next big communication medium. Everything on one page. So easy to use.

 

Re:I've noticed this too (5, Insightful)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201156)

The reasons I prefer email for business are:
- it forces people to organize ideas somewhat instead of babbling around.
- it leaves a trail. There's no argument that someone requested X instead of Y for product Z.
- it can be forwarded, shared and printed.

I have clients that insist on using Skype. They spend 30-40 minutes discussing stuff that could be summarized in an one-paragraph email. During all the talk I have to keep notes, then organize the items discussed and make a doc that I send back to the client asking if they're sure this is what they wanted and then share it with my team. Overall I don't save time.

I can't speak for anybody else, but for ME email is still the preferred business communication tool.

Re:I've noticed this too (2)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201220)

Not only that, but you can't physically talk to three different people at the same time.

I can deal with multiple emails at once. Trying to hold 3 or 4 phone calls at once would turn into a episode of Saved by the Bell.

Re:I've noticed this too (1)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201330)

With text chats and IM, it's easy. I don't think the company in TFA is suggesting they would only start using phones, but instead use Skype, Facebook etc. for instant messages. It's still allows actual chat but doesn't get so much into way as calls do. It saves history of the conversation, too.

Re:I've noticed this too (1)

Xserv (909355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201290)

I agree with you. I work for a sub-contractor to a school district. They can't keep their own communication straight let alone with us. They hold us to contracts so tightly that when things are said it absolutely has to be documented. It can mean the difference of millions of dollars long-term if you get an unscrupulous administrator playing the He Said, She Said game. You'll never win without written backup.

We do have other clients that prefer other mediums but we always ask to record the conversation if in voice so we can archive it. When we get back to it later, someone will write-up a summary to keep things trackable.

Xserv

Re:I've noticed this too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201294)

Aside from all of that: email will always be necessary for official communication. At home, think about how your email address is where bills/receipts are sent, passwords are reset, etc. At work, you might *discuss* a purchase order for $2M worth of server hardware on skype, but the Purchase Order and the Receipt are coming via email :P

using words hard speaking more easy (5, Insightful)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201158)

This is so sad. It's a symptom of a much greater problem: We are reaping the latest crop that was sown by modern education.
The little Johnys and Janes are barely literate. Composing even the simplest prose (to answer an email or any other written communication) just takes too long for the average person entering the workforce today.

Re:using words hard speaking more easy (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201246)

This is so sad. It's a symptom of a much greater problem: We are reaping the latest crop that was sown by modern education. The little Johnys and Janes are barely literate. Composing even the simplest prose (to answer an email or any other written communication) just takes too long for the average person entering the workforce today.

You might be right about this. My daughter got a temp job as an admin assistant while she studies. They asked applicants to respond to a fictitious email, then write a reply to a letter using MS word. Evidently that brought the number of applicants going into an actual interview down from twenty to three...

Re:using words hard speaking more easy (2)

Xserv (909355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201320)

I have heard of temp agencies where I'm from doing exactly this. Particularly the ones that deal with law offices, doctors offices or high-end manufacturing. And you're right -- it definitely weeds down the applicants.

Another company I used to work for would require you give them an email address so HR could send them an email and ask some questions that required longer answers to see how articulate they would be. Seemed to work well for their needs.

Re:using words hard speaking more easy (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201272)

And yet some brilliant manager decided to hire them, instead of an unemployed 50 year old who could read and write.

Re:I've noticed this too (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201288)

Wow I wouldn't do business with someone who wants to conduct them via MSN. Now that's inefficient.

The idea is good, but email still has its place (5, Insightful)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200994)

I agree that most emails are useless (starting from those which are sent just FYI, but are still distracting and interrupting the workflow).
However, if there is one thing I learnt by working in a megacorporation, is that _everything_ has to be in writing at some point.
So many times a colleague or supplier will say "sure, we'll do that no problem" and then weeks go by, without anyone remembering.
For accountability, email is still the way to go.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201038)

Yep. I write everything via email. This is all doubled on gmail account. If i need proof for anything i can just search my mail.
skype/msn/phone conversion does not cover your ass when needed.

for friends/family then of course i use im/facebook/steam etc.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201042)

I think that this could be remedied with the "social network" approach, having all messages searchable and permanent on the server side of things. The real major issue with moving away from email chains of communication would be the context of what employees or clients are talking about if it is looked at years later. Which is why I see email the most viable communication between clients and the people they buy services/products from. Internally it makes perfect sense to do away with email, if anything to prevent the lazy from saying that they had not checked their email yet but have been on facebook all morning.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (3, Insightful)

skovnymfe (1671822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201056)

Discuss things in real-time using but get confirmation in writing.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201076)

Email is still king where I work.

-It's asynchronous, so you can still get information to people who are away from their desks, out sick, working different hours, etc. Phone calls and the internal IM system are used for informal or urgent things, but email still gets sent as a followup for anything important.

-It's handy for reference, since you can go back and look later.

-It's a great CYA tool, so when your boss walks up and says "why the hell did you do it that way?!" you can respond with "because you told me to" and back that up with proof. You can also use it to show that you made repeated efforts to get information and were ignored.

-It's a hell of a lot more professional than facebook.

Of course, I work in a compliance-driven industry that is conservative by nature (aerospace).

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201078)

I agree that most emails are useless (starting from those which are sent just FYI, but are still distracting and interrupting the workflow).

The beauty of e-mail is that the social contract of e-mail allows you to ignore it for longer than a real-time chat. If you want to hold an IM-like conversation in e-mail, most systems are fast enough to support that, but if you've got something you're in the middle of, e-mail doesn't demand instant attention the way a phonecall or chat session does.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201146)

a chat session demands no time from me. I ignore them over emails.

Priority is , walk to my office, call me, email me, any of the other useless communication channels.

Absolute bottom is SMS message my phone. I will ignore you for 7 days if you SMS me.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201248)

a chat session demands no time from me. I ignore them over emails.

Priority is , walk to my office, call me, email me, any of the other useless communication channels.

Absolute bottom is SMS message my phone. I will ignore you for 7 days if you SMS me.

Judging by your user number, I'd say you've been in the game long enough to take a Grumpy attitude and get away with it - I do the same, in the last 5 years I might have sent 3 SMS messages, and responded to none, though I did try to get my wife to start sending grocery lists SMS instead of dictating them over the phone...

Still, I like e-mail the best, most things in life can wait up to a day before reaching my attention, and e-mail is a great way to do that.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201364)

Aren't you such an special snowflake totally untarnished by any communication tool. I'm surprised you didn't thought of a carrier pidgeon, you silly luddite.

email disrupts your workflow but instant messaging (2, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201120)

So you are trying to claim email - which you can ignore until it's convenient for you to deal with - interrupts your workflow but the IM, telephone calls etc which require you to respnd immediately don't?

You and Thierry have something in common: you're both idiots.

Re:The idea is good, but email still has its place (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201140)

I agree that most emails are useless (starting from those which are sent just FYI, but are still distracting and interrupting the workflow).

If emails are "distracting and interrupting the workflow" then you are doing it wrong. The problem isn't email, it's the way people deal with it.
Get away from the mindset that you have to immediately read and deal with every email the instant it arrives and you'll get a lot more work done.

surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it.

There's a good idea. Let's run our business like a bunch of 11 year-olds. Sorry, but the only people who have no use for email are people who have no job and nothing worthwhile to say or do (i.e., your typical 11-19 year old)

For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. 'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message."

Right. Nothing wrong with a crowd of people hanging around outside his office waiting to speak with him directly, rather than just send an email that he can read when he wants. And at the same time there's a few dozen people trying to call him on the phone. Sounds like a wonderful idea. I'm sure this will work out great.

The nice thing about email... (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201230)

The nice thing about email is I can ignore it until I have time to deal with it, instead of constantly being interrupted by inane questions.

The other nice thing about email is there is a trail of the conversation I can use to say "No, you said this" and forward them a copy when they change their mind about something and claim I "misunderstood" them, which has saved my butt more than once on bad specs.

It's also pretty much impossible to get everyone online with a chat-type system at the same time, but easy to CC everyone concerned.

That is insane! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201004)

I work IT and my company could not survive without email. All of our orders from customers and orders to vendors go through email. We have to attach PDF and word documents too. How am I going to do that with text messaging? Email is the most useful and important IT function we have.

Re:That is insane! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201046)

Are you having trouble with the definition of 'internal'?

Re:That is insane! (3, Insightful)

stephencrane (771345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201116)

Are you having trouble with the premise of internal customers, or is it just manners that you find difficult?

Re:That is insane! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201088)

Even more insane would be to, I dunno, read TFTitle of the news where it is stated that only internal email is banned.

Re:That is insane! (3, Insightful)

CoolCash (528004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201160)

Your company could implement a centralized application to store and manage these documents, basecamp, sharepoint, etc. If you just send them via email, the customer/vendor doesn't have a easy central location to search and retrieve information. What if someone leaves one of the companies? Then you have to resend the emails, or their IT dept needs to consolidate email accounts and access. This way, the new employee gets a login and automatically gets all the invoices and documents. Notifications can be automatically sent via, IM, text, snail mail, or even automated phone calls. It won't be easy to get rid of email, but its definitely possible.

SCO are wishing they did this (3, Funny)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201016)

It stops all those pesky logs and evidence of such things ;)

Re:SCO are wishing they did this (1)

CoolCash (528004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201176)

IM's are already logged... txts are logged. Just your way of accessing these logs changes.

Re:SCO are wishing they did this (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201334)

This is literally the only reason I can think to do this. Email leaves paper trails which have been used in court. Whereas IM logs are stored on local computers and easily lost when IT reimages the system.

How will I receive spam then? (1)

TheTruthIs (2499862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201018)

If someone is interested in penis enlargement, a russian girlfriend or the money of an endangered african heir, how will that person be informed without email?

Re:How will I receive spam then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201254)

With IM spamming. This existed since the first IM clients were out. It's much easier to filter/block e-mail than bulks of IM spam.

Everything face to face, phone, or text? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201032)

I'm sorry, but face to face conversations tend to take at least 30 minutes, and an email and response takes maybe 5. Phone calls are so impersonal, and I feel like I'm talking to a trash can. Sending texts is a good thing if you have a good phone, but my work provides an ancient flip phone; I can type 5 emails in the time it takes me to get one text together.

Facebook and Twitter? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201034)

"Sir, people are using our communication tool for unproductive social activities."

"Quickly, build an internal system which is modelled after even less productive, more overtly social software."

Email is vital (4, Insightful)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201050)

This whole IM thing is no different than a phone call. Some communication requires careful thought and so is best written down so you can think about a response. Email is the perfect medium for such communication. Facebook is a general post to anyone who might read it. When you need a private, considered opinion, email is the way. Or am I now too old to 'get' facebook or twitter? They both seem pointless to me. In fact, moving your employees towards them would seem to be a drain on productivity if nothing else.

Re:Email is vital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201282)

You're not alone. I don't get them either. Of course I grew up with IRC, then ICQ, then LiveJournal. All of these new technologies are basically the same thing in my mind and only offer additional violations of my personal privacy. I suppose that privacy doesn't matter if you are using corporation X's facebook-like social networking thing. I just don't see how posting a wall is easier/better than sending a group email when people have to take an additional step to see it.

Re:Email is vital (1)

Xserv (909355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201342)

No, I don't think you're too old to "get" it at all. Your summation of how those services should be used is accurate. It's a paper trail without the paper.

Colour me surprised (4, Insightful)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201060)

This would be the CTO of a company renowned (in the UK at least) for its involvement in a huge number of abortive public sector IT projects. I very much doubt that Breton has much input into those projects though, as Atos is a huge company. He probably does what most executives of his calibre do, and attend pointless senior managment meetings, generally in nice locations with dinner and drink laid on. That's when he isn't schmoozing for more work, a task that generally involves more dinner and drink, all paid for out of the company kitty.

Re:Colour me surprised (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201298)

May be a huge company but it's certainly not the "biggest IT company in Europe". I believe IBM still has offices in Europe...

the spoken word will not replace the written word (2)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201066)

The spoken word will not replace the written word.
Also, some of us have more to say than 128 characters at a time.

The problem isn't the medium. (5, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201074)

So people are receiving lots of emails, of which 90% are useless, and this guy decides the solution is to switch from emails to 'chat-type' services. So now you've got lots of chat messages, of which 90% are useless. Problem solved?

Re:The problem isn't the medium. (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201206)

It's not only that. Those people think their messages are important, or they wouldn't be sending them. They now have to find some other way to get the word out. And they WILL find a way, no matter how annoying or painful it is to others.

They should be looking to fix the problem, not the symptoms.

Please Read the Subject of the Article!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201086)

Guys come on .... The guys wants to ban INTERNAL e-mail. All the other outside stuff will still be by good old log gable, accountable e-mail. Also I've rolls out internal only IM systems, and they too can (and usually do) keep full records of all conversations. So when you promise to do something for a colleague, you better follow up as he'll have a chat transcript anyway.

Good on Thierry!

Secure information much? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201090)

Email is consistent and can be secured. IM, twitter, facebook, skype all require remote accounts. This sounds like another spoiled boss that doesn't know shit about security.

Re:Secure information much? (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201202)

Office Communicator doesn't require an external account. I believe it just needs some room on the Exchange server (I'm not an expert). But it does require you to use Windows and an Exchange server, to wich many /.ers will object.

Re:Secure information much? (1)

evandrofisico (933918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201264)

It is entirely possible to deploy internal IM services, with free software like openfire [igniterealtime.org] , which uses the same protocol as google talk and facebook, without the need to expose internal data and keeping a central log of every conversation. For the twitter necessities there is Status.Net [status.net] , which powers open-source twitter clone identi.ca, that can be installed internally and seems to be API compatible with twitter clients.
I am not advocating substitution of email messages, but sometimes IM can be very useful on a corporation, taking the right steps to keep security and accountability. It is really very useful to help desk staff, for example.

I still prefer email (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201096)

I prefer email for communicating with friends outside of real life.

I like the asynchronous nature of email. I send email when I don't need an immediate reply, and presume the recipient will reply at their convenience. MSN style chat demands instant replies, and at that point I'd rather actually speak to the person. I also like having an archive that's easily searchable, to the extent that I have an app on my phone that forwards SMS messages to email (handy for cut and paste when someone texts directions, for example).

At work, it's worse as we have a culture whereby someone will email you and then follow up five minutes later with a call asking if you got their email if you haven't responded... totally negates the benefit of email.

Atos,once Europe's largest IT company,now bankrupt (1)

spooky_d (522225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201110)

The title looks like an excerpt from slashdot article, cca 2014

EMail has qualities that no other means will ever have: it can be archived, you can search for information in it, and the conversations are logically organized. Good luck to the manager, I think he will need it, soon

It's not the useless ones that matter... (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201122)

20 a day are useful!

And sometimes email is the most convenient medium. Maybe you could have some sort of shared feed, but if you want to send something to a single person, that's just email with the serial numbers filed off.

Spoken words can't replace written ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201124)

Written text can very simple be used a "evidence". If a client requests something in spoken words I will not do anything until I have the request in writing. Just to have a paper trail and avoid typos at the very least.

Email haters (5, Insightful)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201138)

I work almost entirely in email. I hate talking on phones. I hate ringing people. I hate being called.

The phone is so intrusive, it's like the person doing the calling has no care about what the person being called is doing, they think they are the most important thing ever and you should be sitting there just waiting for their call. Telephoning somebody, to me, is like walking up and interrupting the other party when they are in a conversation with somebody else.

Email by contrast is fundamentally polite and efficient, you send the message and when it is convenient for the other end, they reply.

The same problems that phones have also apply to other forms of "instant" messaging.

Most people have no trouble working over email, the few who do I generally find either have some disability (dyslexia), or are just plain demanding and really do believe that they are the most important person and can't understand why you won't spend hour upon hour on the phone listening to their inane drivel (and woe betide you should bill them for it).

Re:Email haters (2)

kennethmci (1472923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201332)

agree with this. im the one who actually does the "work", and believe it or not, require some focus to do this. if every message that i currently receive as an email came through as a phonecall, my productivity would drop. i would no longer be able to focus on work, then take some time to focus on following up emails between tasks. however, i guess, from the client point of view - they just want to find something out striaght away, so i can see why they would see it as more efficient to get an immediate answer with a phonecall. it feels like two different types of workers.... like project managers vs. programmers ? ( just an example! :) )

attachments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201152)

How the f**** do you send documents, most of which being of a size to be emailed?
Oh yes, I know! Silly me! You post them to one of:
1- megauploads or the like
2- some other cloud filesharing thing
3- an internally created copy of the above
4- a Z: share full of insane junk and utterly devoid of any security

Then you IM the link to the guy.

Or, OF COURSE, you request a file transfer through Skype, wait with your computer on for the guy to come back from his meeting and accept the transfer, then make sure it's gone through. Oh, and you can kiss the multiple timezone work goodbye.

Email 2.0 (2)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201154)

So longs as their chat server supports: retention, filing/tagging, search, prioritization, attachments, read/unread, synchronous, asynchronous, out-of-office, calendar integration, 'invisible' status, multi-device access, forwarding, delegation, filtering rules, spam blockers, mailing lists with digests, and a couple of dozen more vital features then it will be a great leap forward.

SMTP may be a bit of a silly protocol for an untrusted network but internally it is near perfect. Anyway chucking IMAP and all the rest of our email infrastructure out with the bathwater is just silly.

who cares what 11-19 year olds do- they're kids (4, Funny)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201162)

Should I also lose all of my social skills, stop bathing and whine about how my parents don't understand me.

The youth unemployment rate is at an all time high wheras the unemployment rate for my, email using, demographic is still nice and low.

I'll pass on job related advice from them, or the head of 3rd tier IT company, thanks very much.

Fire his lazy ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201174)

"For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years."

Ah, so since the lazy-ass CEO doesn't need email then nobody else does either? I suspect the reason he hasn't had to send an email is that he has STAFF to do that for him. Can't let anything get in the way of the hookers and blow, can we?

Our Company (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201178)

Our company, FWIW, uses a combination of email and IM. Email for the official stuff that needs documentation, IM for quick questions and requests and whatnot. I think it works quite well.

What about sending attachments? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201188)

I wonder how they would handle sending files? At least once a month I email my boss a file I might be working on. Maybe it's a PSD of a new flyer or an XLS with our customer info but i'll email it over and maybe he'll email it back with some changes. Works out quite well.

Then there's keeping logs of conversations for accountability. If I email the secretary to order something and it doesn't get ordered, I can just search my sent email for 'order' in the subject and find the email to show I sent it. It doesn't seem as easy to do that with a messaging client as you'd need to search chat logs which aren't as neatly formated.

Ignoring the queue factor (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201192)

I understand why IM / Skype are preferred, and I do the same with my coworkers, but not every communication needs to be real-time. When email and IM are both available, email becomes a "when you have a moment" queue, while IM is "Right Fucking Now (tm)". If someone sends me an email, I'll quickly scan it, maybe flag it on a to-do list, and deal with it when I'm idle or bored.

My expected response times:

Email: 24hrs
IM: 10 mins
Phone: immediate (duh)

The best way to get me to yell at someone, is to mis-prioritize something. Email me a work order, then call 5 minutes later asking why it hasn't been done: yelling. Call me to post an event on the site that's 3 months away, which details you have yet to finalize: yelling. Text me from McBurgerWay to ask if I want anything: yelling.

All three channels have their pros and cons, and should be used appropriately. To completely shun one or two of them, to me at least, seems incredibly foolish and even ignorant.

Europe's Largest IT Company? (0)

Comboman (895500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201200)

Really? If "Europe's Largest IT Company" can't stop their internal email system from receiving 90% spam then they aren't very good at IT. I've had the same work email address for over 10 years and it attracts lots of spam, but our IT department (2 guys) manages to filter virtually all of it. Could it possibly be that this IT company is looking to create a non-existent problem that they just so happen to be selling the solution to?

Re:Europe's Largest IT Company? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201280)

I've seen exactly 1 spam message in my inbox in the last 8 months. I get around 250 spam each week, I just never see it. I've never gotten a false positive on my spam.

Spam filtering is easy if you are just willing to put some time into it.

Re:Europe's Largest IT Company? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201308)

Really? If "Europe's Largest IT Company" can't stop their internal email system from receiving 90% spam then they aren't very good at IT.

I don't know if you're trolling, bad at reading, or exceptionally bad at interpreting what you're actually writing.

Nowhere did it say that the 90% that wasn't useful was spam.
Furthermore it did say that it was regarding internal e-mails, i.e. from one staff member to another, just as you wrote. If 90% of that were spam, you'd be right - but then the problem wouldn't be that they would be bad at filtering out spam, but the fact that on their internal network there's people and/or machines sending spam.
And if they do have a solution for that, given that it's an internal problem, I'm sure they'd love to sell it to themselves - there's bound to be some manner of tax loophole they can take advantage of there.

Now yes, they are probably just trying to deal with an organizational problem (people sending e-mails in the first place, probably to the wrong recipient(s), such as the dreaded e-mails to ALL employees regarding who took their precious iPhone charger that was on their desk) by trying to butcher it altogether... but that's a different discussion entirely.

Re:Europe's Largest IT Company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201348)

What they do not say is that Thierry Breton is a pure politician who tried to appear as a technology expert to the French political class and in the medias - It was easy at this time. Despite many attempts, he was never able to achieve anything interesting as a business manager: The companies he managed are completely controlled by the state so whatever decision he might take, this company will still run, being massively subsidised, but unable to create anything new. Basically, most of his work is to rent IT workforce to officials, ministers etc... This is typical state-controlled capitalism: as creative and interesting that soviet companies in the 50's.

E-Mail is a write-only medium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201212)

If people would actually read email, then email could still be useful, but people only scan for keywords. I often have a hard time believing that I'm communicating with human beings when I read their responses (and those are not the obvious service avoidance bots of eBay and the like). I have occasionally prefaced emails with instructions to ACTUALLY READ the email. It doesn't help though.

That's not to say that more direct forms of communication are much better. You just recognize sooner that the other side is ill-equipped for rational discourse.

first ive heard (2)

kennethmci (1472923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201224)

and i work for atos... we've been focusing on using office communicator more often - this reduces the cost of conference calls, and allows for realtime chat - love the integration with outlook too - knowing if someone is currently available, if they're about to go into a meeting etc. i do however value email and its "audit trail" but i suppose theres enough paperwork outside of this, and technically, big decisions shouldn't only have an email backing it up?

Text message isn't just email on your phone? (1)

s.d. (33767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201232)

For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. 'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.'

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201234)

... my time has no value, so yes, of course I will be available for anything you might need at the instant you might think you need it. If email is forbidden, I guess I can send a fax. If asynchronous communications are forbidden, then there's going to be a fair bit of time during the day with the apps turned off, phone muted and door closed.

They should use slash code. (3, Interesting)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201240)

I have always wondered why more companies don't use Slashdot own software.

Most email that appears to be useless appears so because it is difficult to follow complex issues in a non threaded medium.

Once a discussion becomes threaded it is much simpler to get clarification to the right question at the right moment (and you don't get tons of email with replies that you don't really need to read).

Another means is to have an internal news website, where important announcements are posted and a short reminder or summary about the days topics are sent, instead of sending one message per announcement.

As for people using email as their main tool for monitoring systems, they have my full and undivided contempt.

It seems they are riding a new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201244)

Wave [appspot.com] .

Email vs. Phone/IM (1)

leastsquares (39359) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201256)

'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message

That great if you don't have any other work to do! Email is much less distracting, so doesn't interupt work flow, and can be processed in a batch at convenient times during the day. Phone calls and IM, require an immeiate shift of focus. If my input is really needed for something /now/ then fine, call me. If not, I'd rather you'd not assume that want to be disturbed.

The converse is also true though... if you need my attention urgently and immediately, email is not the best approach as I will make no guarantees to when it will be dealt with. Please don't send an email if you are going to get upset when I haven't responded within any given timespan. You'll probably get confirmation, by email, when I've dealt with it but you'll have to wait until I've finished these annoying phone calls on otherwise non-time-sensitive topics!

# of emails increasing... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201262)

If e-mail is irrelevant why is the number sent going up?

Not that "about" is a relevant source but it is the first I found:

http://email.about.com/od/emailtrivia/f/emails_per_day.htm [about.com]

There were 50 billion more e-mails in 2010 than 2009. Sure most of them were for enlarging body parts... but still- it is not a dead medium.

Re:# of emails increasing... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201286)

Sorry- I should clarify- 50billion more per day. Not total.

Re:# of emails increasing... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201336)

And if you compare 2003 (30 billion emails a day) to 2006 (60 billion emails a day)
2009 (240 billion emails a day) and 2010 (290 billion emails a day).

You can clearly see that # of e-mails going up is increasing. The trend is more e-mail not less.

Spam has made up about 90% of email for several years now.

What I find most important about e-mail at work is (2)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38201270)

...that it is a record of responsibilities and commitments; especially in a corporate environment.

An example is a company I used to be involved with was purchased by "very large corporation." The people in this "very large corporation" had a MUCH different work ethic than the people in our Company. They ducked responsibility like it was a fresh dose of bubonic plague. They weaseled, they professed ignorance, they tried the 'plausible deniability' route, they tried everything. Once they realized that I kept every interoffice e-mail permanently and I wielded these as a weapon against their insipid mediocrity (a superlative they don't deserve) - two things happened. Our meetings became less about "what? I thought you were heading that up?" and more about "here's our current update..." The other thing that happened is that people tried to avoid responding to my e-mails that pinned them to accepting or rejecting their responsibilities, LOL.

Thank goodness I don't have to work there anymore.

Oh, and yes, it was a European Company that bought us.

I only have email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38201346)

My emails seem to arrive instantly also(sometimes with important files attached), if someone sends you an instant messenger message do you think it's different and they're going to read it right away?
No-one I know is still using Facebook.
Email is an open to anyone.

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