There are set to be over 4 billion email users globally in 2021. It is a widely successful messaging system, but can it meet the growing demands of unified business communication?
Email is over 40 years old. Its inventor was Ray Tomlinson, and originally it predated the internet. With internet use becoming more widespread in the 1990s, electronic mail shortened its name to email with its broader adoption as a practical communications tool.
“You can credit email with increased efficiency and productivity, and in generally boosting business readiness, but the pace is picking up and it may no longer be enough to suit growing business needs,” suggests Lee Wrall of Everything Tech.
What Are Email’s Disadvantages?
Because email is so much a part of people’s daily routines, its disadvantages are not always obvious. However, as Lee points out, modern electronic communications are evolving fast, and in this context, email now seems less efficient.
“Dealing with emails can be time consuming,” suggests Lee. “In a sense, they are too easy to send, giving people crammed inboxes to cope with.”
“Many people make email their first choice when, if they considered the nature of the message, a telephone call or talking face to face would be better”
Emails can also come across as impersonal, and lead to misunderstandings.
“You can forget that there are people involved in your transactions, which could prove disastrous for customer service,” says Lee.
Another email issue affecting both business and personal use is security.
“Again, the impersonal but casual ease of use of email leads to people sharing sensitive information or inappropriate content,” warns Lee. “Whether the intention is deliberate, or it’s by accident, the consequences can range from serious to catastrophic.”
Unified Business Communication
There is an alternative to email that allows businesses to better integrate their communications, while personalising them.
“Skype for Business is a unifying communications platform which allows employees to use multiple applications through a single-platform access,” explains Lee.
“It means you can communicate from any location on any device,” Lee continues.
“Skype for Business goes far beyond being a peer-to-peer messaging app, offering a distinctly modern and scalable take on telephony”
In an era where unified communications are becoming a priority, Microsoft’s development of this platform is a software solution that integrates video, messaging, telephony, conference calling and collaboration.
“Interaction is key here,” says Lee. “You can also migrate your telephone services to Skype for Business, so that your employees have multiple communications channels available in one place.”
Along with cross-platform support, the system is also designed to be secure, with encryption and authentication built-in.
“The business benefits are long-term and far-reaching, improving collaboration, and speeding up communications while keeping them direct”
“Skype for Business has the potential to boost productivity, make entire organisations much more mobile and flexible, offers fresh business communication opportunities, and help prepare them for an accelerated future,” Lee concludes.
For an accompanying read, please visit 9 Tips for Running an Effective Skype Business Meeting.