In early 2011, the CEO of a French IT company issued an usual memorandum. He banned email. Employees were discouraged from sending or receiving internal messages, with the goal of eradicating email within 18 months. Critics scoffed. Workers rebelled. But Thierry Breton, the CEO of Atos, has stuck to his guns, reducing message volume by an estimated 20%. His company, by the way, has 74,000 employees in 48 countries.
… So what’s the solution? Our idea: Turn email into a conversation. Get rid of the inbox. Build an online platform where departments can post and respond to messages on central discussion threads, Facebook-style. Then integrate that with Twitter and Facebook so great ideas can be broadcast–with a click–to the world. Conversations isn’t a revolutionary concept; it’s a duh-it’s-about-time concept. And it’s worked for us and 5 million clients. A year from now, we may well be reading email its last rites. Here’s why: