This is the first article of the series Digital Transformation & Change Management. In this article, we will talk about email clients’ differences and in particular some of their insufficiencies for digital transformation.
Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc. are all big names, Someone who has never been in the industry would have heard these names at least once. Why are they so recognized? Is that because they are all perfect? Absolutely not, in all industries, recognition doesn’t solely depend on the product quality, there are several factors playing an important role as well. A wise buyer is always aware of this pitfall and tries to objectively analyze the product’s functionalities, pros, and cons.
Thanks to several years of experience and dedication to the industry, Zextras shares some of the points a customer should take into account to make the most out of their investment. Below you see some important shortcomings overlooked by even big names such as Outlook and Thunderbird that cost them being:
- Not so smart,
- Risky for everyday use.
In the following, we take a closer look at the important traits these clients lack.
Beware of Limits
Email clients are constantly improving but still, many lack important characteristics.
We cannot expect all modern clients to have the same features but yet there are some that are not negligible. These are some examples you might relate to:
- Easily Accessible – If it requires you to have your laptop with you every time you need to check a single email, you should expect more from your email client. That’s simply not the way we’re supposed to work, taking the laptop out of the bag, waiting for the operating system to boot, and opening the client to check our emails while another person is just one touch away from his email app on his smartphone.
- Cross-Platform – Sometimes you need to access your email through another platform and this is frustrating to find out your chosen email client doesn’t support a specific operating system. For instance, consider a scenario in which you use Outlook on Windows while your colleagues use Linux. This only complicates communications while the main goal was facilitating the process in the first place. Such problems could have been avoided simply by paying more attention to the client’s limitations.
- Consistent Interface- Sometimes your chosen client supports a different platform however the interface might be different through different platforms. For instance, consider Outlook on Windows and macOS. This leads to confusion, less productivity, and in some cases need for training. The consistent interface offers a coherent user experience and better human-computer interaction.
The reason might be that some clients are less vigilant against evaluating their limits or just set different goals. In any case, it’s up to us to be more cautious and try to choose wisely.
Keep that in mind it’s not merely about having specific features, although it can be greatly beneficial, having the mindset of adopting current technologies is much more important for a client. This gives you as the buyer the confidence of choosing a product that will progress as technology advances and new techniques are introduced. Providing users with these functionalities is vital for progressive and modern companies.
This is not the end of the story, if you are fine using only the elementary functionalities it’s safe to say all the clients out there are equally competent for reading emails, setting appointments, and managing contacts, however, if you desire more functionalities to remain competitive in terms of productivity and time management, you should be aware of the limits some clients might have such as cloud storage, messaging, video calls, collaborative editing, etc. This brings us to the next section.
Not So Smart
Collaboration and communication features and support for mobile devices make the platform even more powerful.
You can take benefit from item deduplication to reduce the space used by duplicated items in a volume. It simply stores each item only once, and referencing it when needed in a different location leads to huge savings in terms of space.
Having a platform you can connect to everywhere and start continuing your work where you left off is a necessity nowadays. Of course, old-fashioned solutions such as using cell phones for quick calls and emailing edited documents to colleagues for revision are still practical however they end up wasting too much of employees’ time. To remain competitive, searching for new digital collaboration solutions is crucial.
Consider these facts:
- 86% of executives identify ineffective collaboration and communication as a major cause of failure in business. (Research by Salesforce).
- 44% of the time, poor communication in the workplace is responsible for missing goals. (A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit).
- 28% of employees say poor communication is the reason for missing deadlines. (Research on communication impacts on productivity).
Collaborative editing, document sharing, file management, dedicated mobile apps, etc. are some of the features that facilitate employees’ lives and optimize their time and efforts, which lead to a better outcome for the company. In companion with communication features, which we will talk about later it creates a great digital workplace for companies.
Let’s talk more about some of the most important ones.
- Collaborative Editing – Allows group members to participate and produce works by combining individual contributions. It’s far easier than working individually and sending the final result to the manager in order for them to combine, feedback, and return for revisions, especially in large organizations. Collaborative editing can be useful in different scenarios. For instance, the author works on the new chapter of a long document while the editor works on the previous one. Another scenario is when a document requires multiple revisions because sending it back and forth would be too time-consuming.
- Document Sharing – By sharing a file you give access to collaborators without the need to attach the file in an email and send it manually to them and be confused about which version is the last one. A dedicated file-sharing system makes file management a lot easier compared to using bare email attachments. Although using emails to send files seems easy it’s not the best method and there are several obstacles such as the email system may refuse to transfer the attachment because of virus protection, file size restraints, spam filters may prevent us to see the mail, or even emails might get lost in the inbox. It’s even worse when people use emails as a sort of file storage system that is not capable of. Moreover, this way you avoid duplications and can be sure about having access to the most current version of the file.
- Functional Mailboxes – Employees have their own personal mailboxes. What if you can create an inbox shared between colleagues to be used collectively for a project? Functional mailboxes are pretty useful in different scenarios. For instance, you can create a mailbox in order for the team to receive the latest updates on the project while having the option of delegating to other members.
Collaboration systems allow employees to communicate, share documents, and edit them simultaneously in a digital workplace. Companies use this to facilitate common issues physical workplaces have such as disorganized communications, confusion, misunderstandings, bureaucratic processes, and time loss.
2- Communication Features
Managing emails, contacts, calendar invites, and tasks are quite useful features however they are by no means enough for employee’s today needs. There are other characteristics and different tools that optimize employees’ time in a modern workplace.
Modern features such as text messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, etc. are some of the features successful businesses require today. Let’s see why these features are so important to be neglected.
Messaging apps are considered to be a much better communication method than email messaging. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of messaging apps over emails:
- More organized – each time you write to the same person, the same history is pulled up, making it easy to look back at old messages, on the other hand, emails can get disorganized quickly when Someone responds in a separate email.
- More convenient to use – people on the go are more inclined to answer text messages on their phones rather than reply to emails.
- Better impact on people – worldwide research by Facebook shows consumers overwhelmingly trust businesses more when they can message them.
- Less average response time – a recent customer service benchmark study shows that the average response time for an email is 12 hours up to 8 days while messaging apps can offer almost immediate responses.
- More suitable for multimedia files – emails have attachment support however they are intrinsically text-based while for messaging apps, all media is equal, as long as it delivers the relevant content.
2- Communication Features
A study in 2021 on the most used email platforms shows the biggest share of emails were opened via mobile devices:
Webmail equipped with these features and support for mobile devices makes it possible for employees to work anywhere at any time with the same familiar interface.
Offering the above-mentioned features in mobile devices is crucial as more and more employees are performing work-related activities from their smartphones, or tablets. through their dedicated apps.
Any of the users can remotely access the platform, their list of conversations, and files on the go and continue working with ease. They will never miss any important message from their colleagues even when traveling. Users can also share images, photos, or other files located on their devices.
Risks and Security Cautions
Beware of privacy liabilities: it may cost you a personal data breach or even your job!
Security countermeasures against data loss are essential. These measures should ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the platform and personal data. There are several ways you may lose your data, be it computer crashes, stealing your laptop, or hardware updates, all have one thing in common, you either lose everything or it takes a lot of time and energy to recover them. However, digital transformation particularly using webmail platforms helps to avoid data loss and makes a more secure workplace. Therefore, choosing the right platform is a wise option to reduce companies’ risks and system administrators’ tasks.
What’s the Alternative?
In recent years, the word office lost its meaning as a physical place. Nowadays, more companies are considering more economic virtual offices. The COVID-19 pandemic particularly boosted this process leaving no choice but only to choose the right combination of software to enable employees to work remotely.
The closest solution that comes to mind is naturally the email platform used in the company. It’s familiar to employees and doesn’t need any training. However, as you see before, common functionalities of a mail server platform don’t provide you with all the necessary tools, and security measures your employees might need to work remotely.
Zextras has always tried to collect, study, and invent new tools for customers. They not only offer common functionalities but also provide you with the best solutions for the drawbacks we talked about.
We also strongly suggest taking a quick look at our community articles on Zextras features and how they can transcend your mail servers.