Study shows that Email has to change!

Date: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 19:57 Source: Cisco press department

Harris poll finds that Email remains the primary method of collaboration in the workplace, but it's time for Email to evolve

Study shows that Email has to change! Image credited to Verizon Business

Examining the ever-changing landscape of collaboration, and assessing the growth of social networks, Cisco announced findings from a study about end users' collaboration usage and preferences in the workplace. The poll found that out of the respondents using social networking for work, fifty-nine percent say that their usage of social networking has increased over the past year. The study also found the most frequently used application for collaborating with others is email (91%), but that what people want from their email is changing. The findings highlight that an evolution of email is warranted.
The study, conducted by Harris Research, polled more than 1,000 end-users from across the United States and found that email is the preferred collaboration application at work for a variety of reasons. Respondents like the fact that email provides an easily-accessible record of communication and the ability to communicate with many people at once. Users also rank email prominently among various collaboration tools because there is a high level of comfort in using the application to easily communicate with others inside and outside their organizations. However, the poll showed there are many pain points associated with the way most email solutions function today.

• While email remains the preferred method of collaboration, many respondents complained they receive too much irrelevant email (40%) and that they lack the ability to collaborate in real time (32%). End users also dislike the fact that they have very limited storage (25%) and that large volumes of email come into their inbox with no organizational structure (21%).
• In addition to email, the Harris poll found that other applications being used by respondents to collaborate with others in the workplace include shared spaces (66%), voice calls and teleconferencing (66%), web conferencing (55%), video conferencing (35%), instant messaging (34%), and social networking (17%).
• Half of those using social networking for work by-pass IT restrictions to do so. The study participants who prefer to use social networks indicated they would like to have control over who sees their content as well as be able to share with groups of users using different tools. The respondents also indicated the desire to collaborate in real time without having to open up an additional application.
• To address the needs of end users, Cisco is focused on providing an integrated collaboration experience between its recently announced hosted email solution and a variety of the company's other collaboration offerings including enterprise social software, unified communications, IP telephony, instant messaging, and presence. This seamless collaboration platform combines various data sources and allows communications to turn into shared content with a few clicks of the mouse. This new type of collaboration plus the evolution of email helps enable better teamwork, whether ad-hoc or formal, internal or external, and will deliver improved inbox efficiency, via topic organization, to accommodate growing email volume.

"The findings of the recent Harris Poll study were not a surprise to Cisco," said Duncan Greatwood, senior director of engineering, Cisco Collaboration Software Group. "What the study is really showing is that there is a need to innovate from current email offerings. People want to use email as a platform to collaborate on documents, initiate an instant message or video conference, and have ample storage. They want to link their email into social networking tools that are tightly integrated and can help boost productivity. Cisco is addressing both email and social networking and the integration of the two into our collaboration portfolio."

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