I was interviewed last week by Rebecca Buckman of the Wall Street Journal for her article, Email’s Friendly Fire. Becky has covered business technology for a while and is quite a tech savvy journalist, so it was a very interesting discussion and a very good article. I’m quite happy about the way the article turned out – and especially the fact that ClearContext was featured throughout it.
One nice thing about having many thousands of customers is our ability to provide a wide range of reference customers to speak with reporters. Thanks to all the ClearContext IMS customers who volunteered to help us out by speaking with Becky, and special thanks to Mukesh Lulla from TeamF1 and Eric Liebeler from Honeywell, who were both featured in the article.
Mukesh spoke about his use of ClearContext inbox management features such as Defer and AutoAssign functionality to quickly process 300-400 messages daily. Eric spoke about the contact prioritization and message prioritization features that help him identify which messages to focus on first, as well as the topic and filing functions that automatically keep his email organized.
Becky touched on a number of other interesting points. The "colleague spam" she mentions is the type of email thread we had in mind when we created unsubscribe functionality. Other points such as the increasing volume of incoming email from sites like LinkedIn and Facebook as well as other communications mediums delivering data into the inbox are things I’ve written about in my posts on the future of email. It’s not just increasing volumes, it’s the very nature of email that continues to change, creating an opportunity for all sorts of innovation. Becky also mentions IT software policies as a possible obstacle to deployment of new technologies, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the freedom users have to install Outlook plug-ins on their machines.
One of the comments from Microsoft mentions the value of tools like these for users who are completely unorganized pilers as opposed to fairly organized filers. A large focus of ours when we developed ClearContext IMS v4 was making it useful right out of the box for even the most unorganized of email users. In addition to introducing a simple 3-step workflow strategy that anyone can get started with immediately to help stay on top of things, we’ve really increased the level of behind-the-scenes automation we provide to users. For example, appointments can be scheduled and to-do’s can be set up with a single click, and all of that information is automatically combined with related tasks, appointments and emails in a project dashboard. That level of automated organization combined with improved Microsoft search and other desktop search products lets any type of user take full advantage of our products.
It’s good to see awareness building around both the challenges and opportunities that exist in the email world, and it’s especially good to be recognized as one of the companies leading the charge to help make email a more valuable and productive tool for both individuals and businesses. Thanks, Becky!