How We Communicate

By Richard Hughes on September 30, 2014

The way we communicate in business is changing. For years, email has been the main workhorse of business communication and it has served us well, but its limitations are becoming increasingly apparent. The rise of enterprise social networking, with products like Clearvale, has the promise to supplant email with a more open, transparent and efficient environment for collaboration. But old habits die hard, and despite all the protestations of email overload, people have proved to be reluctant to abandon their inboxes and move to social networks.

Actually, that’s something of a sweeping generalisation. Some people have been only too eager to jettison their email legacy and wholeheartedly embrace a social future. Others have obstinately refused to change their working practices at all. But the majority of people have been somewhere in the middle – open to the idea of new tools and better ways of communicating, but only if they can see how it makes them personally more efficient. And herein lies the problem with most new communication tools – to succeed, it requires a mass migration of users from old tools to new. Otherwise, communication is fragmented across old and new systems, and even harder to manage than it was before.

But everyone communicates differently. For every person who despises their overflowing email inbox, there is another who considers themselves an Outlook Guru and has no wish to relearn everything in a new tool. For every self-appointed social media expert, there is a Twitter-sceptic or Facebook-refusenik. To carry such a diverse community of people forward to any new communication tool requires us to understand the way people use today’s tools, what they like and what they don’t.

This month, BroadVision have announced Vmoso, a real-time enterprise communication tool that aims to ease the transition from the email-centric world to a more open, more efficient, more accountable and more social method of business communication. Alongside the product launch, we are also starting a new blog series, “How We Communicate”. This is a series of interviews with people about how they communicate today, their current frustrations, and their hopes for future innovation. It is only through understanding the way people use communication tools today that any company can plan a successful implementation of new tools and remove the inefficiencies inherent in the current email-dominated world.

If you’d like to take part in the series, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Richard Hughes (rhughes@broadvision.com; @_richardhughes) for more details.