I read with interest the story about Volkswagen turning off Blackberry email to employees after working hours
It's great that Volkswagen is doing this. It's not quite as radical as Atos, who have committed to banning email completely by 2014
We should remember that neither of these solutions are perfect (yet) - employees will miss important emails that actually do deserve attention out of hours. And how does it work with teams in different countries where some people get the mail delivered based on their timezone, and others don't?
Atos, in 2014, will have problems I think in losing the benefits that email was well designed for but will reap the benefits in cutting out the uses that it's terrible at.
The most encouraging thing is that with large organisations like VW and Atos taking these initial steps it forces everyone to examine the status quo. Email has been broken forever, and it isn't until organisations take some tentative steps, and find the pitfalls, that we'll get to the right solution.
Google hasn't invented the ultimate self-driving car, but until they takes the first pioneering steps there will never be momentum behind the concept.
Email is great for messaging. For asynchronous communication between individuals, and perhaps a few others in the CC field.
We've taken it and abused it for:
If we'd have stuck to using it for one-to-one communication we probably wouldn't all hate it so much.
Worst of all it is a remnant of the "push" model, giving very little control to the subscriber. The best the poor, overwhelmed receiver of email can do is filter into folders, or maybe auto-delete (I've got a few auto-delete rules set up for key people :)
So many services today give the ability for users to deal with information on their own terms, rather than opening the fire-hose upon them.
Hopefully these pioneering companies can discover tools that enhance productivity and knowledge. ServiceNow has a chance to be considered as a platform with our workflow, knowledge and Live Feed functionality. There's a lot more we can do.
Can we get there on time to catch VW and Atos?