Will email be the next fax?
What do I mean by that then? Well, it is simple really; faxing was the leading edge a while ago but has been superseded by Email and Unified Communications. Some companies still treat fax as a key facility in their armoury. In short, fax refuses to die as some of the market refuses to let go.
As communications progress and develop, the likes of Lync and other Instant Messaging solutions are starting to take ground away from the email market. UC products can be treated with the same guidelines for compliancy as email has for years, surely then there is no need for email any more?
Instant messaging is rumoured to have been conceived as a messaging solution that did not store any history of the conversations. If the industry is now retaining those conversation histories and presentation content etc. then what is the point of email. Let’s compare at a high level.
Email allows you to send and receive information with one or more recipients. So does Lync.
Emails is not real time, Lync is, so you can collaborate more efficiently.
Email can only deal with mail and calendaring. Lync can do messaging, conferencing, telephony, group chat, recording and file transfer.
Both have the facility to retain historical conversations for reference.
Both can be made to be compliant solutions.
Calendaring is about the only thing that Lync cannot do without an email platform such as Exchange.
Considering how much more flexible Lync is; if you added calendaring and appropriate storage to the backend, why would you even need email.
A recent survey found (not unsurprisingly) that teenagers see email as an archaic way of communicating! The teenagers being referenced here are probably not aware of the legal and risk management/compliance issues faced by the working world, but they are none the less the next generation of engineers and developers. Is that not the kiss of death of email platforms such as Exchange? It must only be a matter of time before IM takes the next step to becoming a single platform for all the functions combined? Real time messaging!
And if that path begins, will we all be chanting “Email is dead, long live UC”? Well probably not, those companies who relied on fax before will probably cling on to email as the rest of the world moves forward; it will be slow to die. However there is one major thing email has over IM, you can deal with the message and the contents when you want. Maybe that will be email’s saving grace?