Is This the End of the Line for Email?

January 25th, 2012
Sara Hughes, Senior Director of Applications for Product Marketing

Is email becoming obsolete in today’s always on, social media crazed society?  According to a recent article posted on Yahoo! News it is…at least for one company

Atos, an international information technology services company, is instituting a “Zero Email” policy for all internal communications.  They found that on average, their employees receive 200 emails a day, of which only 10% are useful and 18% are spam.  Their goal is to eradicate internal emailing amongst Atos’ 74,000 employees within 18 months.  Employees now communicate with each other through instant messaging and a “Facebook-style interface.”  Within the first six months of implementing the policy, internal email usage has dropped by 20%, showing that their employees are responsive and open to these alternative forms of communication.

According to Theirry Brenton, CIO of Atos, “We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environment and also encroaching into our personal lives…At [Atos] we are taking action now to reverse this trend, just as organizations took measures to reduce environmental pollution after the industrial revolution.”

The value and importance of Unified Communications (UC) cannot be ignored.  “With a growing number of providers offering hosted UC services in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, worldwide revenue was $185M in 1H11.  As the number of providers in each of the three regions continues to expand, the market will grow to $2.0B in CY15.  The telephony portion represents the largest share of the hosted UC revenue – 81% in 1H11.”1

Enterprise vendors are becoming very aggressive in UC.  Over-the-top content providers are being enabled by ubiquitous broadband access – delivering services directly to current traditional operator customers using the Internet.  Telecom service providers are left out of the over-the-top business model, putting them at high risk of being relegated to “just pipes” and more importantly losing core voice to UC OTT providers.  

As we all know, the ways in which we can communicate with one another have grown exponentially over the past few years.  While this technology has provided us with a richer communications experience, it also has some drawbacks.  Many of these new methods of communications work in silos - challenging users to remember multiple email addresses, user ids, and passwords - and do not interoperate with other platforms.   As a result, GENBAND has dedicated significant R&D and resources into our proven A2 Unified Communications solution which includes hosted voice with additional services such as Unified Messaging (fax, email, voicemail, video mail, and SMS), Web Collaboration, video conferencing, federated instant messaging, presence and email integration linked into a single application that is integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes/IBM SameTime.  GENBAND’s Carrier Hosted UC capabilities can be delivered across legacy TDM, Hosted VoIP, PBX and mobile networks, offering users a consistent UC experience on any network, via any device. 

We believe that offering an all-in-one value-added service is where the future of UC is headed, allowing end users to choose the method in which they communicate with others based upon personal preference or need.

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1 Diane Myers, Infonetics “VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers: Biannual Worldwide and Regional market Share, Size, and Forecasts: 2nd Edition

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