The Record Issue 10: Autumn 2018

52 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F or many people, the working day starts with a warm beverage and a review of the hundreds of e-mails they’ve received over- night. Research indicates that when these are coupled with the constant trickle of e-mails during working hours, employees spend an average of between 2.5 and 4.5 hours process- ing and responding to e-mails every day. Some use filters or assign assistants to do the work for them, while others simply ignore e-mails and end up with an inbox with thousands of unread messages. Is answering e-mails a sign of pro- ductivity, or just a distraction from completing primary work tasks? Over the past two years, social media tech- nologies have crept into the enterprise. Some companies use them informally, whereas others have officially implemented enterprise social networking platforms like Microsoft Yammer. However, in most cases, these platforms are just another place to share information alongside the constant stream of e-mail. Today, organi- sations use several types of collaboration tech- niques depending on who needs to be involved in the communication and which work group employees are participating in. The first work group employees interact with daily is the enterprise-wide or divisional work group, which shares broad company communi- cations, new organisational policies and topics that interest all employees – known as ‘outer loop collaboration’. The technologies compa- nies use to share this information could include e-mail, corporate web pages and social media platforms. Second, employees participate in a group with internal and external colleagues who are working on the same core projects and tasks as them – known as ‘inner loop collabo- ration’. Employees typically use e-mail to share information on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis, or store it on platforms like Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive so their colleagues can access it. Productivity transformation comes when enterprises combine the best of inner and outer loop technologies into a single intelligent col- laboration strategy, moving employees away from e-mail and towards optimal tools for shar- ing information based on the groups of people they are trying to connect with. The biggest opportunity for productivity gains and e-mail reductions is within the inner loop and this is where Microsoft Teams can revolutionise the way companies work. Microsoft Teams creates a workspace where employees can converse as large groups or smaller, private groups. It enables them to use group discussion, personalised news feeds, voice and video calling, productivity applica- tions and integrated information from disparate Is this the end of e-mail? Businesses looking to boost productivity should transform the way employees communicate and collaborate by replacing e-mail with intelligent collaboration tools K E I TH HUDG E L L : DXC T E CHNOLOGY V I EWPO I NT “Productivity transformation comes when enterprises combine the best of inner and outer loop technologies”