Business communication
e-mail remains a central communication channel

Although the ‘death of e-mail’ has been predicted for years, the flood of electronic mail into companies continues unabated. One alternative are social business tools, although these are often associated with unrealistic expectations.

According to a study by the Radicati Group, over 100 billion e-mails are sent every day throughout the world. Every business user thus sends or receives on average 121 messages per day. E-mailing is thus almost as widespread as using the telephone and, as users in the German Experton Group report, it remains the most important communication channel today.

Indeed, the market development for social collaboration solutions in Germany alone shows growth of 35% in 2015. However, less than 10% of companies expect to be able to completely replace e-mail with these tools. The tools common to SMEs, such as blogs and wikis, offer properties like those of social media, yet remain reserved for their own employees.

It remains undisputed that social collaboration may be able to reduce the flood of e-mails but not stop it completely. The reason: e-mails hold a greater commitment, while social collaboration tools are more efficient for cooperation among teams. This is why many users switch over to using the better solution in each case. So for instance, Microsoft Exchange can work with Microsoft SharePoint, which has functions in the latest version that were clearly developed as part of a shift towards social collaboration.

For fraudsters and cybercriminals, mail platforms such as Microsoft Exchange and Outlook represent interesting targets due to their distribution. Viruses, malware and spam are only the tip of the iceberg. Increasingly, e mails are intercepted, read or manipulated on their journey across the Internet. But the risk can also come from within one’s own company if employees accidentally or intentionally send confidential information to outsiders.

In terms of e-mail security, the daily challenges for large and medium-sized companies are becoming more and more complex with the quantity of e-mails and the increasing number and sophistication of cyber attacks. Often, it must be guaranteed simultaneously across numerous sites with little know-how or limited resources that all workspaces are at a standardised and current security level.

At the same time, the users expect ease of use and as few hindrances to their daily work and productivity as possible. The balance between manageability and security begins right from procurement. The solution should be uncomplicated and its introduction run quickly and simply, since the SME and enterprise market attach importance to a comprehensive offering from one source instead of having to coordinate a variety of products from various suppliers.

The e-mail market is thus changing. The growing flood of e-mails, more sophisticated attacks and linking with outsourced IT services demand carefully-considered strategies and comprehensive solutions for incoming and outgoing communication. This is where strong e-mail encryption is becoming increasingly relevant. Intuitive operation and the ability to administer it centrally are important so that obstacles to efficient operation are as low as possible. (Source: The Radicati Group, Inc./bs)