Collaboration platforms and software evolve according to employees' working habits. Vendors make the technology more customizable and easy to integrate with existing business applications and email, decreasing the number of unconnected platforms users rely on for team collaboration and communication. These all-inclusive project management and communication platforms may someday make a compelling case for abandoning a longtime business staple -- email.
Employees at Screenpush, a Los Angeles-based interactive marketing firm with 17 employees and branch offices in Dallas, New York and France, were frustrated by having to toggle back and forth from project management tools and email for team collaboration and communication across the company's disparate offices. The company chose Glip Inc., a cloud collaboration startup, to help reach its aggressive, "no more internal email" goal for 2014.
Team collaboration platform addresses organizational challenges
Screenpush builds website and marketing applications and manages small marketing campaigns for its clients -- which range from those in the fashion and sports industry to beverage makers and technology companies. The marketing firm needed a platform for content delivery, as well as monitoring and managing external projects and clients, while also facilitating internal communication, said Joshua Otten, CEO and managing partner of operations and strategy for Screenpush.
"Our biggest problem was retention. We were using a bunch of different project management tools cobbled together -- like Basecamp and Podio -- but they weren't very user-friendly and were too project- or task- based," he said.
Screenpush was still relying on email in addition to their project management platforms. Otten and his employees wanted a team collaboration tool that prioritized communication in addition to organizing files and content.
"We still found ourselves using instant messenger and email to chat, and dealing with many different systems became very overwhelming," he said.
Screenpush made the switch to Glip's Web-based conversation platform after completing a 60-day trial. "It's almost like a Yammer instant messenger plus task management," he said.
Otten and his employees were receiving between 500 and 600 emails a day, a combination of client messages and internal communications -- not to mention spam -- prior to implementing Glip. The conversation platform has helped Screenpush slash the number of daily emails by eliminating the need to exchange emails internally. "It's been our goal to stop using email altogether for internal communications, and we've made it a priority for the New Year," Otten said.
Glip's Web-based conversation platform organizes workflow and content around conversations -- which can be separated into groups of users or by departments. The platform allows users to drag and drop files and also links to outside applications -- such as calendars, said Patrick Carmitchel, product evangelist for Glip. Employees can communicate and share data related to a client from one system without using a third party -- like Dropbox -- to share content. All chats, files and assets are easily accessible and searchable within the Conversation Platform, Carmitchel said.
Screenpush employees have also begun using Glip's mobile app, Otten said. "Every employee is on Glip -- from the front desk [employee] to the graphic designers. It's been adopted very easily."
The subscription-based pricing model per user appealed to the growing marketing firm because it can add employees to the system quickly. "New employees can get right onto Glip, and they understand it really well because it's really intuitive," Otten said.
Expanding team collaboration outside of the business
After achieving better internal communication and team collaboration, Otten and his team began introducing its clients to Glip. Each client has its own group of external-facing Screenpush employees dedicated to working on their projects. Otten and his teams can invite external users -- their clients -- to the Glip platform, free of charge to both Screenpush and the client, he said. Once Screenpush gives a client access to the conversation platform, the client can post requests on Glip to every Screenpush team member working on their account.
The no-more-email objective isn't just a goal for internal email use. Otten and his company are working to encourage their clients to take advantage of the organizational benefits that the Glip platform has to offer, he said. Glip allows users to see if external clients are logged in to the platform so Screenpush employees will know whether the client has ever logged in or still might be using email to communicate with their marketing team. "About 40% of our clients immediately start to use it, and then prefer not to send emails, so that's been really helpful," Otten said. "We don't want to waste time managing the process instead of getting the work done."
Clients are also saving time and becoming efficient by working with Screenpush on Glip, Otten said. "Clients don't have to wait for me or any other employee to forward their email along to the right person to get the work done," Otten said. "They can post a request, which is seen by their whole team immediately."
While the marketing firm has been successful in getting off of siloed email platforms for its own communications, Screenpush can't force its customers to use Glip exclusively. However, adoption of the conversation platform is picking up quickly for external communications, Otten said. "Email by itself doesn't provide a functional workflow -- for us, it's about trading content assets and adding tasks to make sure projects are getting done."
Authors: Julia White
The new year is starting off with a bang – a great new set of Notes customers decided to Exchange and SharePoint. At this rate, 2011 could be one of our biggest Notes “switcher” years, yet. With IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference starting next week, it means that Notes customers...
Authors: Julia White
I’m excited to announce a new release update of our online email protection service Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), which makes it easier for customers to manage hybrid email environments. Many of you already know that Forefront is Microsoft’s line of protection, access and identity management...
Authors: Julia White
A year ago, Microsoft and HP undertook a challenge to provide our customers with solutions to deliver faster business results. Our approach would be to create new appliances for key IT workloads, including virtualization and management, business intelligence, and email. We called this partnership...
Authors: Julia White
In November 2009 Cisco Mail was introduced to the world, but yesterday Cisco announced that they were abandoning this hosted mail service. It should come as no surprise that we have been watching the coverage with some interest and have some thoughts of our own to share.
The Wall Street Journal, in Cisco Pulls Plug...
Authors: Lync Team
Email continues to be the lifeblood of business communications so it should come as no surprise that vendors of all shapes and sizes want a piece of the action. The fact remains, however,
Authors: Julia White
It was just over a year ago that I had the privilege of launching Exchange 2010, standing on a stage in Berlin demoing some of the great new features in Exchange. My enthusiasm has only grown in the past year. Up to that point, I had already been on Exchange 2010 for over a year, and I was eager to see how
Authors: Julia White
What a fun week on the UC Blog! We saw lots of spirited comments from the Notes community, especially in response to my Monday post. Certainly, there is a lot of passion among Notes users. There is
Partner Opportunities to Address Email Archiving Needs with Exchange 2010 SP1
Last year at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2009, we talked to our partners about the new business opportunities made possible by our addition of integrated email archiving and discovery with Exchange Server 2010. In November, we launched Exchange 2010, one of the most successful and exciting launches in Exchange’s history. This week at WPC 2010, we’re focusing on how enhanced email archiving in Exchange 2010 SP1 continues to expand partner business opportunities.
Partners agreed that email archiving and compliance presents a tremendous opportunity to deliver new services to their customers while driving adoption of the full platform capabilities of Exchange; for example, consulting engagements that average $30-$40K in new services revenue.
Moreover, partners gave us great feedback on how we could make the feature set even more compelling: we needed to give customers the flexibility and choice of tiered storage (storing the archive mailbox on a different Exchange database from the primary), support for Outlook 2007, and additional e-Discovery capabilities, like search de-duplication.
Shipping later this year, SP1 adds the functionality partners told us they needed to more successfully position Exchange 2010 archiving, and help customers eliminate PST files, simplify email retention for compliance, and drastically lower the cost for email e-Discovery. Both analysts and customers recognize the importance and value of archiving:
“Generally speaking, companies will not have to wait for SP1 to deploy Exchange 2010 — but they should be mindful of the changes in SP1. The most significant elements of SP1 relate to the archive feature, which will support multiple tiers of storage for primary and archive mailboxes provisioned on separate Exchange databases.” - First Service Pack for Microsoft Exchange 2010: Finishing the Job, Gartner (May 4, 2010)
“PST files are quite a nightmare for IT to manage. We look forward to Exchange 2010 negating the need for supporting PSTs. It’s going to take a lot of headaches away for us,” said Ronald Loewenthal, Customer Service Manager at Super Group, a supply chain management firm.
Our SP1 enhancements are demonstrative of our investments and ongoing innovation at a rapid pace and provide key opportunities for our partners:
For Large Account Resellers (LARs) and Value Account Resellers (VARs), there are now more benefits to land the full value of platform capabilities with your customers that include enhanced archiving, voicemail, information protection and control functionalities.
Delivering even more value over pure messaging engagements, Systems Integrators extend messaging services with new revenue generating offerings including email archiving and voicemail practices.
And ISVs can leverage the extensibility APIs (like the e-Discovery web services API) to enhance the native functionality in Exchange 2010 with advanced compliance and discovery tools.
Attending WPC in D.C. this week? Attend Exchange breakout and interactive sessions this afternoon. And stop by the Business Productivity booth (#155) on the expo floor this week.
Kristin Murray, UC Partner Marketing
Codelco, the world's largest copper mining company is 'All In' with BPOS! Today on the MS Online blog we are proud to provide a guest post by Marco Orellana, CIO of Codelco. You can also watch a great video interview between Marco and Chris Capossela, SVP of Microsoft Business Division. Codelco is a Chilean State owned copper mining company formed in 1976 with headquarters in Santiago. It is the largest copper producing company in the world with more than 18,000 workers and pre-tax profits of over $4 billion in 2009.
There is a great storyline's here with this customer win.
Codelco has taken advantage of the Microsoft Online 'deskless' product to provide email to mine workers who were once disenfranchised from IT because of cost. This is EXACTLY what Forrester analyst, Ted Schadler wrote about in last years report, "Tier Your Workforce To Save Money With Cloud-Based Corporate Email; Forrester Finds Customers Can Save “$1.3 Million Annually With Exchange Online Deskless Worker” Given the flexibility of the BPOS suite, customers can buy solutions that map to their needs. If you want just mail, Exchange Online is available. If you want just SharePoint, we'll support that as well. And if you have workers who need to participate in the flow of information and replace the 'bulletin board' in the break room, we can support a lighter weight solution for them via the deskless offering. NET.
They selected BPOS because as opposed to other solutions in the market, you don't under-buy for your core Information Workers with 'good enough' or over-buy for the task, deskless worker with huge inboxes, video, IM, etc. IT can meet business needs in a agile and cost effective way by managing all the workforce on one central system and bring the workforce together so they can focus on mining not stitching together IT across disparate solutions. Win-Win.