The Social Enterprise Blog

How We Communicate #5: Stefano Gargioli

By Richard Hughes in How We Communicate on December 10, 2014

Stefano_GargioliFirst, tell us a little bit about yourself

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.

How We Communicate #4: Sandy Adams

By Richard Hughes in How We Communicate on October 22, 2014




sandyFirst, tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m BroadVision’s General Counsel: I bring a mix of law firm and in-house legal experience to the wide array of issues and opportunities facing the company. As in-house counsel I’m expected to provide business-savvy solutions to the legal issues encountered by the company. Primarily, I work either from my home office in Illinois or from corporate headquarters in California.


How many different services do you send and receive business-related messages through (and what are they?)

Most of my communication inside BroadVision is either on Vmoso or Clearvale, with occasional emails or Skype messages. Skype for phone calls or department meetings. Outside of the company, most of my business communication is through email, mobile phone calls, and/or texting.


What’s the first communication tool you check in the morning when you start work? And what device do you access it from?

I log into email, Clearvale, and Vmoso within the minutes of starting my work day. Since most work is now assigned through Clearvale and Vmoso I check both of them prior to going through my other emails (unless I’m waiting for a reply from someone outside of BroadVision, in which case I scan my emails for these replies). If I’m in the office, whether home or corporate, I always use my laptop. If I’m traveling I primarily use my smartphone or iPad, but will switch to my laptop if I need to review or draft documents or write a lengthy response.


How much of your communication takes place from your desk, and how much while you’re away from your desk?

90%/10% if I am in the office; 20%/80% if I’m out of the office.


Do you check messages as soon as they arrive, or save them up for specific times of the day?

Varies, but I try to read everything as soon as I notice it. If I’m at my desk I try to read messages as soon as or very shortly after they arrive. If I’ve been away from my desk (whether that be overnight or even for short breaks) then I at least scan Vmoso, Clearvale and email messages when I’m back at my desk and read those that I rate to be the most important, saving or deleting the rest. For email it seems at least 50% are usually not required for my current work – many are from associations to which I belong, or legal firms sending notices of recent decisions or new regulations/laws they believe are of interest to our company, or solicitations from companies/law firms wanting to sell their services.


How has the way you communicate changed over the last 3 years?

When I’m in my home office, I’ve switched almost entirely to Clearvale and Vmoso for my internal communications over the past 3 years, with email and Skype communications becoming less and less useful. When I’m in corporate headquarters, I do like to meet face to face with other employees.

But, the past 3 years have seen a dramatic change in how and who I get information from; I guess you could say this is how I communicate as well although it is mostly pulling information in. This started with Clearvale; I found that I had been missing so much of interest that was going on in the company (sometimes even things I should have known about as there were potential legal consequences) and that I was able to learn about by reading what was posted on Clearvale. I think this might be common for most of us in the finance group, pre-Clearvale I thought because I worked with other departments on issues, deals, and projects, that I knew what was going on in the company. In reality I was quite naïve, fairly unconnected with the other departments; but now I’m more aware of what’s going on; able to read posts on all sorts of topics, learn what’s going on, understand and participate in conversations, and offer advice (even when it’s not directly solicited).

Email – your best friend or worst enemy?

Neither, I’d say somewhere in between. I find Clearvale and Vmoso more informative than email ever proved to be, but there are times when email is still required for legal communications, at least externally.


Popup notifications – love them or hate them?

Again, neither. I sort of tune them out most of the time. But I do like them when they remind me of an important meeting/call. I tend to get engrossed in what I’m reading or working on and lose track of 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 guess it would have to be email; unfortunately that is still how I communicate outside of BroadVision.

How do you hope Vmoso will improve your business communication?

I’m still learning and hopefully improving. Last week I learned how to use filters to choose what I see; I’m able to find what I need to work on and still have time to locate items of interest even when I’m not a direct participant. I’m hopeful that with Vmoso will consolidate all the information I need to work productively, and to be a collaborative and truly connected company resource.

How We Communicate #3: Belinda Gannaway

By Richard Hughes in How We Communicate on October 16, 2014

 

Yesterday I took part in a webinar entitled The Future Of Business Communications – Beyond Email with Luke Brynley-Jones, Angela Ashenden and Belinda Gannaway. It was a great discussion and we could have easily filled another hour. If you missed it, you can listen to the replay here.
 
After the discussion, Belinda kindly sent her contribution to our How We Communicate series.

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First, tell us a little bit about yourself

belindaI am a consultant at collaboration consultancy NixonMcInnes. I help people in large organisations work together better to become more agile and innovative – and better able to respond to customers’ needs. I believe in disrupting the status quo to connect people in new ways, to have better conversations and, ultimately, create new things and ways of working. The office is in Brighton where I live, but I travel a fair bit in the UK and a bit in Europe.

How many different services do you send and receive business-related messages through?

For connecting with colleagues I use a mix of Chatter, the SalesForce social app, Google docs, email and Google chat.

Working with clients I use a mix of email, NM’s collaboration solution – Basecamp – and clients’ own solutions, and text message.

Skype, text, Twitter and Google Hangouts are all helpful for working with distributed teams of associates on different projects.

I”m a bit of a LinkedIn addict at the moment and I also use Twitter (mainly for work) and Facebook (mainly for non-work stuff, but not entirely). Can’t remember the last time I had a lengthy phone call with a friend. I even have email conversations with my mum, and my children Facetime her. Why do I have a landline anyway?

What’s the first communication tool you check in the morning when you start work? And what device do you access it from?

I have a terrible habit of looking at the news, Twitter and my emails on my phone in bed in the mornings. That isn’t a healthy media diet.

How much of your communication takes place from your desk, and how much while you’re away from your desk?

I’d estimate it is about 50/50. But we’re moving to a hot desking environment so I think that will change as I embrace the opportunity to work anywhere. Something I already do, but not enough – especially given there’s a lovely cafe on the beach with wifi only 5 minutes from my office.

Do you check messages as soon as they arrive, or save them up for specific times of the day?

I try and look at work emails in chunks after I’ve completed a piece of work – or had some solid thinking time. This rarely works. Personal emails I tend to deal with only in the evening. Twitter and FB I look at intermittently throughout the day.

How has the way you communicate changed over the last 3 years?

I’m now much more aware of how disruptive interruptions are and I try harder to switch off from them. I do a lot more communication through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook than three years ago. Three years ago I was working as a freelance consultant so I didn’t use a work-based social network. I really enjoy it as a way to stay in touch with colleagues.

Popup notifications – love them or hate them?

I’ve switched them all off except Chatter. But now you remind me, that’s going off too.

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?

At the moment it would be my abs workout. But I’m very faddy. So it will be something else tomorrow. Probably the one that would annoy me most would be if you deleted all my photos as I’m hopeless at backing them up. Comms wise, I’d probably keep Twitter as I can access colleagues, Friends and news from it.

If you could fix just one thing in the business communication tools you use, what would it be?

I love gmail’s ability to put messages into a priority inbox. But I hate the way it stacks messages, so I’d sort that out. I’m sure there is a way to do it, I just haven’t looked yet.

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If you’d like to participate in the series, please contact rhughes@broadvision.com, or @_richardhughes on Twitter.

How We Communicate #2: Hugues Martin

By Richard Hughes in How We Communicate on October 10, 2014

hwc hugues

First, tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m BroadVision’s  Director of Professional Services for Europe, and also act as pre-sales for the same area. I’m based in the south of France, with regular trips to my office in Paris.

How many different services do you send and receive business-related messages through (and what are they?)

Most of my communication inside BroadVision is through Vmoso or Clearvale, with occasional emails (but those are fewer and fewer these days). Skype and GoToMeeting for team meetings.

With the outside world, most of the communication is through email, or skype/telephone when a synchronous communication is needed.

What’s the first communication tool you check in the morning when you start work? And what device do you access it from?

Email through smartphone, but that’s before I start work. I try to not mark any important thing as ‘read’ at that moment, to make sure that I don’t miss any item once I’m really starting to work.

Once I’m at work, it’s Vmoso through the web interface on my laptop.

How much of your communication takes place from your desk, and how much while you’re away from your desk?

90% at one of my desks, 10% away.

Do you check messages as soon as they arrive, or save them up for specific times of the day?

It’s variable. Usually I check as soon as they arrive, unless I’m in a task requiring concentration, in which case I check my messages when I’m finished or need a break from the current task.

How has the way you communicate changed over the last 3 years?

Instant communication has not changed much. Asynchronous switched partly from email to Clearvale and Vmoso in that time. The way I send my information hasn’t changed drastically (except I write it in a different interface), but the way I read other’s information has changed. Now I got a much wider data source to tap from, with mixed blessings. The good part is that I’m much more aware of what’s going on, and able to participate even if not explicitly invited. The bad part is that I might, more than before, miss something important.

Email – your best friend or worst enemy?

Still a good friend. Maybe not the best anymore, I hope it’s not too jealous.

Popup notifications – love them or hate them?

Love them. That is, as long as they happen in the background and don’t interrupt what I’m doing at the 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 still think it would be email; that’s what lets me connect with everyone

If you could fix just one thing in the business communication tools you use, what would it be?

Tricky question. Maybe the fact that they are too many of them.

How do you hope Vmoso will improve your business communication?

Ideally, aggregate all the communication streams I have, so that I have a single point to look at.

Reclaim Control Of Your Business Communication – part 4

By Richard Hughes in Reclaim Control Of Your Business Communication on October 08, 2014

The way we communicate in business is changing. Email has served us well, but its limitations are becoming more and more apparent. This four-part series of animated videos looks at the three major factors that contribute to inefficiency in business communication.

Part 4 – a five point plan for addressing the challenges identified in the series


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