How to manage communication within your company: the end of the email nightmare

By mdangeard, published at 20 April 2009 - 7:38am, last updated 10 years 40 weeks ago.

I recently received a message from somebody who had declared "email bankruptcy": basically his email inbox was getting so big, and he was falling so far behind, that he gave up on trying to manage the information overflow, and decided to open a new email account to start fresh. He was informing his friends that anything that had not been answered would not be, and whoever had important business to deal with could contact him at the new email address. He was not the first and I see more and more of this happening.

There was a time when you could keep up with email, but this is something that is long gone for me as well. I reply to what I can, and everything else will just accumulate there until something happens to remind me to deal with it. Nothing personal, this is just that there is only 24 hours in a day.

Now there is another solution: after looking for the past three years at the various tools/services that could help businesses benefit from the profound changes that web2.0 technologies bring to the way we communicate and collaborate I have found one that really makes a huge difference. As a disclaimer I should mention that I love the service so much that I have accepted the position they have offered me as a VP Business Development. The service is provided by a company called Bluekiwi Software. They were recently mentioned in the FastForward blog here.

What the service does is that it allows you to completely get rid of email for communications within the enterprise and with partners. No more email lists, no more attachments crowding your mailbox, no more confusion on which email has the latest update of a document that has been circulating back and forth between people. And of course no more issues with spam filters that are too lax to too aggressive.
The service allows you to include an unlimited number of guests outside the company, so you can also collaborate with all your partners and service providers that way. And the result of this is a huge gain in productivity, with the added bonus that it completely changes the dynamics within the company ecosystem: people start participating in discussions beyond the scope of their job, and discover others within and outside the company that they would not have met otherwise - the whole promise of social networks realized, without the noise that you traditionally get from other "public" services like Twitter or Facebook.

I am now a user, and all of the sudden email has become secondary. I do not need it to communicate with the people I work with, all messages and all relevant docs are there for me to function. Which means that email is for "other stuff", and I only check it when I have time for it, I don't need to monitor it as much.
With this service it does not matter who is located where, because the online working space that we share is where we meet. And if you need synchronous communication, you can always use Skype (now on the iPhone - I love it), Gizmo5 or the phone. In the end the feel is real, virtual collaboration work.

If you are running a business and you are looking for a productivity boost to help you face these tough economic times, I would advise you to check Bluekiwi. They offer a 30 days free trial so it would not cost you much to take a look, and it could make a big difference for your team and your partners moving forward.
And if you decide to give it a try, please let me know, I would love to get your feedback on the service...