Jacob Morgan asks whether email is the problem or the solution?:
“What if when sending and receiving emails we had the ability to access shared document spaces, activity streams, project groups, and other data that we needed right from the email interface (such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook)? I understand the attractiveness of building out new tools and platforms, however I think we may be under-utilizing assets that we already have and those are a broadly adopted, intuitive, and widely understood platform to share information (email). There should be a way to extend email solutions to do more. Most enterprise collaboration suites are looking to move the user away from their email platforms and into a new interface (which may or may not have the functionality to pull in email) which of course makes it difficult for adoption, deployment, training, defining use cases, and a host of other things. I understand the difficulty and the necessity in being able to manage information, however email (and email addresses) seem to be the greatest identifier of people online that we have thus far. So why not leverage that into something more? I’m not saying I’m right but I do believe that email providers have a strong opportunity to move into enterprise collaboration.“
This has been tried before by various vendors:
- Kubi Software, who tried to build in collaborative workspace capabilities to Outlook and Notes. Search my old business site for more on Kubi, www.shared-spaces.com.
- Foldera, where I worked for 9 months, was also trying to do the same thing. Search www.shared-spaces.com for more on Foldera.
- Mainsoft has built an integration for Notes and Outlook to SharePoint and Google, to enable this kind of interaction. What they’re doing is impressive.
- This idea is one of the things I liked about the potential integration between Cisco Mail and Cisco Quad, but Cisco Mail just took a bullet to the head.