Email is yesterday's tech. And if that's true what does that make voicemail? Ancient history, that's what.

The last 10 years has been an innovation boom. Not always by creating new technologies but by looking at the old ways we do things and re-imagining them in a more practical, streamlined, efficient manner.  

The phone is now over 100 years old, voicemail, was invented in '73 so it's middle aged. Email, while still new, is already a young adult. And let's not forget the plethora of instant messaging, video chat, and text message applications that are contending for your attention. There an abundance of communication methods and means of staying connected. The result of all this communication? Distraction, Distraction, Distra....sorry I was checking my email.

We're not the only ones keenly aware of this. Our favorite soda vendor (unless your a Pepsi drinker like myself), has recognized the need to avoid interruption and has offered it's employees to get rid of their voicemail.

Getting rid of voicemail is a good start but it's only a half measure. You should get rid of email too. Before you throw your arms in the air and cry "Heresy!" I'm not suggesting we get rid of these things entirely. What else am I going to do on my smartphone while waiting inline in the grocery store?

But I do think in the work place these things can be removed . Easier said then done. They are a crutch that we depend on. Yet in truth they are dictating our lives, allowing us to be constantly distracted and at the mercy of our inbox. You will still need a phone and email to communicate with customers, but you can nix it for communication with your colleagues. Imagine the amount of weight that would be lifted from your inbox if you could do that?

We need a more fluid, concise way of communication. Think about how much time is wasted on the phone, or email, giving context to a conversation, explaining the background, going through innumerable threads trying to figure out what's going on. 

Our solution? Salesforce Chatter. Not only do we help our Customers with Salesforce, we use it ourselves. It is at the heart of our workflow. Each day I log into Salesforce before I log into email. Chatter provides me a means to have conversations around the most important things.

I can have a discussion about a task, a contact, a Sales opportunity, a project, anything we track in Salesforce can be commented on. And I don't have to give a back story. I can just start right into the meat of my question. Chatter is email, meets social media, meets instant messaging. It leverages the unique benefits of each communication medium. And I can choose how often I am alerted to posts from my partners. This helps me to stay focused on my work, and avoid the constant distractions that can make your day feel scattered and frantic.

Oh, and if you still want email and voicemail, you can link call logs and email threads to Salesforce records too, keeping track of everything in once place.

As a result, our company has managed to keep 80% of our internal communication in Chatter. By the end of the year I hope it will be over 95%. 

It's a brave new world out there. Care to join us? 

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