In the third and final part of the series, Pehong talks about how it’s hard to break the email habit, but why it’s important to do so.
In which we see how Lydia uses Vmoso to keep both full-time and seasonal workers in the company’s chain of retail stores informed and engaged.
In which we see how Carl uses Vmoso to find a last minute substitute for a consultant who calls in sick, and makes sure they’re fully prepared for the customer visit.
The second installment of a three-part interview series with Pehong Chen, CEO and Founder of BroadVision. In this part, Pehong talks about the five key requirements of a modern business collaboration tool.
I’m Stefano Gargioli, I’m General Manager for EMEA in Broadvision, I’m based in Italy (Rome) and I often travel mainly to Milan, Paris, and London to help out and lead local business activities related to sales and marketing.
How many different services do you send and receive business-related messages through
In total I can say that I mainly use 3 services for asynchronous communication: Clearvale – our enterprise social network (ESN) platform, Vmoso – our unified communication and collaboration (UCC) platform, and email. For synchronous communication I use 2 services: Vodafone mobile services and Skype for fixed line conferences.
If I split between internal and external communication (respectively 70% and 30% of the total), I can say that I mainly use Clearvale, Vmoso and Skype internally, while I mainly use email and mobile phone for external communication.
What’s the first communication tool you check in the morning when you start work?
The first communication tool I check in the morning is email from mobile while I have breakfast because I find useful to collect in a single tool all the alerts from the different business communication tools – my approach is to activate all email alerts from different tools. I’ve developed an efficient approach to quickly scan through emails and read only those updates which are most relevant at that time and I can cancel all the rest with the confidence that during the rest of the day I will handle all the less relevant communications directly on their specific communication platforms. The real difference from the past is that I save a lot of time because I don’t need to store anymore read emails, because relevant threads and document are already centrally stored in the right place on the right communication platform.
How much of your communication takes place from your desk, and how much while you’re away from your desk?
Thanks to the advent of tablets and smartphones most of my communication is happening while I’m not at my desk, in fact in the past I had to postpone replies and messages because it was inefficient to try and use old fashion mobile phones or even the Blackberry devices due to the very small screen, hence I had to dedicate a lot of time to handle communication once back to my desk. Now it is very easy to be always up to date with urgent communications and reply while waiting for a customer meeting or during a conference call (yes I admit that I usually keep on handling multitasking communication on different tools while stuck in a long conference call!)
Do you check messages as soon as they arrive, or save them up for specific times of the day?
As I work in sales I believe that time-to-market is key for success, hence I very rarely postpone checking messages and commenting or approving tasks on the fly.
How has the way you communicate changed over the last 3 years?
I think that the most important change has been to dramatically reduce time dedicated to follow up calls or update conference calls. This increased the efficiency of my team and made it possible to manage more sales processes in a shorter time. As a matter of fact before we could already communicate asynchronously through email, but we all felt the need to communicate more on the phone as email is not efficient for complex collaboration scenarios and often you had to waste a lot of time or even chase people to get a reply just because your email was stuck in someone else’s overloaded inbox.
Email – your best friend or worst enemy?
I first met email when I just started to work for IBM almost 30 years ago and I immediately loved it! In the late 80s I found exciting to have the possibility to communicate with almost 250,000 IBM colleagues around the world at the speed of light… just amazing!
I still believe that email is great and, as already mentioned, it is the first communication tool I check in the morning, but I just feel that after so many years business communication needs faster and multi-dimensional asynchronous tools, hence I’m strongly motivated to pioneer any new tool. I must say that with the advent of ESN I felt the same enthusiasm which I felt when I got on email a long time ago: I strongly believe that we are just at the beginning of the next communication era!
Popup notifications – love them or hate them?
I love them! I’m always up-to-date on what’s happening without wasting time to check time by time.
If I stole your smart phone and only gave it back to you after I deleted every app except one, which one would you choose to keep?
I would choose an instant messaging (IM) tool as mobile is great for quick and short communication. I would probably choose Wechat as I’m using it to chat with my wife and sons, but if I need to use my smartphone to get my job done, definitely Vmoso!
If you could fix just one thing in the business communication tools you use, what would it be?
I would like to have the ability to collect in a single efficient business communication tool all the relevant threads coming from different sources. I believe that in the future integration among different tools will be the key for success.
How do you hope Vmoso will improve your business communication?
It already does! For example with all Vmoso’s available filters for different functionalities I can quickly focus on approvals when I know that some tasks are pending for my review, or go to chats when I need to send quick communications to different members of my team in order to move forward our sales activities.
The first of a three part interview with Pehong Chen, CEO and Founder of BroadVision. In this part, Pehong talks about the business conditions driving changes in collaboration tools.
In which we meet Brad from the Sales team, and see how he uses Vmoso to keep up to date about his competitors.