The very early days of my career, back in 1992, the internet and email was just released to businesses and the public. Back then, nobody knew the value of the Internet or email. We were still using fax machines, mailing letters and using a telephone to talk to someone <<gasp!>>
As the junior technician, fresh out of college on my first job, it was up to me to figure out this World Wide Web, and how to configure and use email. After a little while, we were set up on email using a crude MS-DOS email program and UUCP to send and receive it. But my boss at the time said it would never fly...
Fast forward to now and we cannot see our lives without email. It's absolutely vital and a minute of email downtime is regarded as an emergency service issue that we jump on immediately. I wonder what my old boss would say now?
But with all the benefits that email has brought, it has some upsetting drawbacks. My inbox used to get 150 to 300 pieces of mail a day, and it was a full-time job sorting this out, and for years I felt like an email jockey. External and internal email....all flowing into one place and no matter how many rules you put in place to try and manage it, it was just overwhelming.
Now, this has all changed....We as a company changed to a collaboration system. The system allows us to use a text messaging app that allows for very efficient 'chatting' amongst ourselves on important issues.
Conversations flowed, and true collaboration began to happen naturally, without any poking or prodding to force people to use it. We separate areas of collaboration based on topics, on projects or even just idle office chit-chat that is fun and entertaining.
It enhanced the culture of the company! We find people have more fun using this system. They're more engaged, conversations flow easily, and thoughts expressed in words and pictures turn into real actions. Actions that helped accelerate benefits to our clients.
And my inbox? It is far more manageable now.... what a relief, you wouldn't believe it!
What is this collaboration system? It is Cisco Spark. We loved the system so much we began to use the telephony features and replaced our phone system with it. Even outside meetings with remote clients and vendors occur within this new electronic, easy and fun to use setup.
And my inbox? Well, now it is used in the way that it was intended. Sending and receiving information, and not for conversations.