Machine Design

The death of e-mail?


Joel Orr, Copywriter,
(650) 336-3937

Edited by Leslie Gordon,
[email protected],
Twitter @LeslieGordon

People are already rejecting e-mail as their main form of communication in their social lives and are starting to do so at work. What does this mean for engineering organizations and why should you care?

Consider the twenty-something now entering the workforce who mostly communicate via Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. They are why engineering organizations should introduce software such as Yammer, Jive, or Tibbr. These “enterprise social systems” provide companies with a better way to communicate than the point-to-point networks of e-mail. Engineers don’t have to search e-mail and sort through a swamp of irrelevant information.

Yammer and Jive still allow person-to-person communications and all the features users look for in e-mail. But everything happens inside the enterprise firewall. Enterprise social systems are thus more secure than e-mail. The applications also make it more clear that the contents of your communications belong to the company and can be accessed by management. Of course, this is true of corporate e-mail, though that may not be obvious to everyone.

Yammer is said to let users collaboratively create, edit, and publish content with coworkers right from a browser. Users can display team goals, compile notes, and draft documents together online, viewing character-by-character changes in real time as others make edits to a page.

Jive is said to let users follow people, projects, and content critical to their jobs. And Jive doesn’t flood them with irrelevant updates. It’s smart enough to pick out just what you really need to know. Away from your computer? You can access all your Jive conversations and colleagues from a smartphone or tablet. Browsing the Web? Jive brings social collaboration to every Web site and app. Using Microsoft Office or Outlook? Jive lets users share, collaborate, and participate from these familiar programs.

Lastly, Tibbr is said to let users filter and organize information to match the way they work. Most engineers use about nine different applications a day, making it hard to find just the right piece of information to complete a task. Tibbr helps users boil everything down by letting them, say, approve expense reports or order more inventory.

— Joel Orr


© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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