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February 16, 2012

Live Without Email? IBM’s Email-less Man

describe the imageLuis Suarez, an employee of IBM, made a move four years ago to stop sending email, and instead use social media tools such as Twitter, Google+, and “Connections”—IBM’s internal social network. Suarez desired more open communication that would require less of his time, and while he still checks email daily, it now takes only about two minutes a day, and he uses it mainly for internal meeting notifications and important one-on-one conversations. 

Suarez, who has a reputation at IBM as a social media guru, has set a trend. Ginni Rometty—who began as the company’s new CEO last month—released her first message to employees through a video on Connections, instead of using traditional company-wide email.  Suarez’s limited use of email is yet another example of how some companies are transitioning from corporate email as their main mode of communication onto social networking platforms

For some, like IBM, who is leading in development and implementation of social media tools, there are viable alternatives to email; for other companies, the use of social media internally is far off. In the meantime, there’s lots that can be done to limit email abuse and abusers.

How are you helping your employees use email better?


- David Grossman


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