Here's something to think about: You and all of your company's employees spend, on average, a little
Here's another thing to consider. Email was invented in the 1960s. Back then none of us had ever imagined an iPhone, or a PC, or a CD player, or a pager, or a VCR or a microwave oven. Heck, I'm not sure I'd yet seen a color television. One of my friends did have a black and white television to which his parents had applied a translucent color overlay. The top 20% was blue and the bottom 20% was green. It turns out that few programs feature a shot showing both grass and sky but if they did, then yes, my friend had a color television. Mostly, people on his TV just looked ill.
So a lot has happened technologically since the 1960s. We've stopped sending telegrams (fun fact: the second 'T' in AT&T now stands for 'T' ... as there are no more telegrams). We've stopped using VCRs. While I use its technological replacement, the DVR, even that is threatened as I now stream from Netflix, Apple, and Amazon, or use YouTube. We've stopped wearing pagers. We've even relegated CDs to the past and are now moving beyond their replacement, MP3s + iTunes to streaming services including Apple Music (love it!), Pandora, and Spotify.
And yet we're still using email. Oh yes, and microwave ovens, although they have evolved; they rotate your food and figure out how long to cook it automatically. And there's been massive technological progress in microwave popcorn.
Back to email.
It's more or less the same technology I first experienced in 1982. And so I've supplemented it with Dropbox, Evernote, Wunderlist, and texting...on my MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and of course "the cloud." Do you think perhaps it's time to say goodbye to email? Absolutely! So what then?
Say hello to Slack. First, to establish its credibility as an important company/product, Slack is funded by a veritable Silicon Valley dream team comprised of Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners,
Kleiner Perkins, and Google Ventures. It doesn't get any better than that.
The Slack product was launched in 2013 and, according to Wikipedia (so it must be true), attracted 8,000 customers in the first 24 hours. Hopefully, none of these companies (or the hoards that came afterwards) are your competitors. It's simply shocking that a small team of smart coders could create a system that's actually better for employee collaboration than email...more than half a century later. (Now I'm making myself feel old.)
So what is Slack? Go to www.slack.com and find out. Watch the video created by Sandwich Video, about how they themselves use Slack after they were hired by Slack to create a video about how companies use Slack. Talk about recursive self-references. Wow!
As I've advised with other new communication tools (Yammer, Chatter, anything social media, or social networking), find a few volunteers in your organization to run a small-scale trial among themselves. Not to be too stereotypical but they probably won't be the employees who were using email back in 1982. Actually, it's a good bet that they weren't even alive in 1982. Interestingly, that year was the beginning of the Millennial generation.
After 30 days have them report on the pros and cons of Slack vs. email. My guess is that the ‘pros’ will prevail and your competitors will hate me. But your employees won't.
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