TECK TALK: Messaging: Readers’ Ideas for Messaging

Veer Bothra
Some of the corporate messaging issues are:

  • Utilization of company time and resources for personal email
  • Lack of Screening, Intrusive, Direct Reach, Knowing no hierarchy
  • Viruses and thus Possibility of affecting other Functional Systems
  • Legal Angle
  • Privacy / Security
  • Spam
  • Efficient use

Here are a few ideas:

Prioritisation: For “Always-give-special-treatment-to-VIMs” (Very-Important-Mails). Mail is queued or fetched based on a Priority Ruleset. Mail sent to a list of domains e.g. @hotmail.com get low priority, Mail received for specific domains get higher priority in download.

Cancellation: For “Ooops-pressed-sent-button-by-mistake” clumsiness or Second-Thoughts, it can be cancelled or modified.

Personalisation: For “you-are-an-individual-for-me-rather-than-a-group”. If a mail is sent to multiple addresses, a user can ask to personalise the mail sent by individually mailing to each address. That is one email address in the “To” field at a time.

MailMerge: For “Look-I-wrote-this-mail-only-for-you”. Similar to MS Word MailMerge, special tags are inserted at places, which would be replaced by same variables for multiple addresses.

Post-It Notes: For “each-mail’s-own-pencil-scribbles”. Every mail should have a facility to attach notes to it. This may be a thought, an idea, a comment or simply a note on the mail.

Follow-Ups: For “I-will-make-sure-you-don’t-forget-me”. Automated messages with “Drafted” body used for follow-ups or for a request-for-action / request-to-reply which is sent automatically. That is, each message has its own standard follow-up options which shows some readymade options to choose one.

Reminders: For “tell-me-when-my-railway-pass-expires”. Reminder service can be run on local messaging servers for bandwidth cost-saving.

KR Mani
Two ideas for email:

Related Mail: If I am reading any story in web, I can go to any other related stories and get additional references. Likewise, I should be in a position to (automatically) group mail in such a way that, when I am receiving/sending mail, references should go with them.

Escalation of Mail: In India, the email culture has not picked as well in many companies. As a result, emails may lie unread for a few days. There should be system to track my mail reading. If a sales executive has not read his mail (and taken action) for two days, it should be escalated to his manager with notification that action has not yet been taken.