No more internal e-mail for Atos, an IT firm

It began as simple time saver. No more stamps, no more phone calls when a quick email would suffice. It changed the game in office communications. But for all the ease ... writing, reading, answering and culling emails can take up to five hours a week of valuable office time and all that information - too much information is estimated to cost US corporations a trillion dollars a year. Our project Game Changer follows a communications technology company ready to delete email.

Part Two of The Current

No more internal e-mail for Atos, an IT firm

Too much e-mail in your inbox? Don't blame the Viagra sellers. Don't blame Nigerian royalty. Blame Ray Tomlinson. The Boston engineer invented e-mail in 1971 as a way of getting some use out of a new computer network, and to interact with colleagues who didn't answer their phones. It turns out, the first e-mail messages were as memorable as most of the ones we get today. We aired some examples.

And so, on the foundation of those shallow, uninteresting messages, a worldwide empire has arisen of shallow and uninteresting messages. This is a natural for our project Game Changer and if e-mail changed the game, Thierry Breton is about to change it again.

Thierry Breton is the CEO of Atos, one of the largest information technology companies in the world. It has 80,000 workers in 42 countries, including Canada. An internal review found that on average, only 15% of employee e-mails are actually useful. And the time soaked up by all this email?

On average, 15 to 20 hours a week. So Atos has a plan -- to do away with internal email by 2014. Holger Kormann is the General Manager of Atos Canada, and he joined us from Mississauga.

No more internal e-mail for Atos, an IT firm

Still, it would take courage to permanently close that e-mail box. Imagine how much courage if you worked for IBM; if you specialized in social computing for IBM? Better yet, if you worked for IBM in the Canary Islands? Luis Suarez has that kind of courage. He's been living the no-e-mail dream since 2008. We heard from him.

No more internal e-mail for Atos, an IT firm

E-mail has its drawbacks, but as killer apps go, it's murder. These new platforms may be the future, but e-mail will be hard to polish off. To help us sort through this cluttered inbox, we were joined by Jonathan Spira, author of Overload! How too Much Information is Hazardous to Your Organization. He was in New York City. William Powers, author of Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. He was in North Eastham, Massachusetts.

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