Email Is So Five Minutes Ago ;-)

24 Nov 2005 (Thu)

Interesting piece of information from a recent report in BusinessWeek Online (curiously dated November 28, 2005), dubbing wikis as “Killer Wikis”:

…it’s easy-to-use and practically free wikis that proponents say offer the promise of collaboration beyond e-mail, even though big editing kinks remain and other quirks and security flaws are sure to surface. Internet research firm Gartner Group predicts that wikis will become mainstream collaboration tools in at least 50% of companies by 2009. At Ann Arbor (Mich.)-based Soar Technology Inc., an artificial-intelligence company that works on projects for the Office of Naval Research, wikis enable the company to slash in half the time it takes to complete projects. Soar engineer Jacob Crossman says that’s because the wikis eliminate the usual flurry of back-and-forth attachments and resulting document-version confusion that’s rife in e-mail. At Dresdner, Rangaswami says that among the earliest and most aggressive adopters, e-mail volume on related projects is down 75%; meeting times have been whacked in half.

GREAT NEWS TO ME, given that my Masters thesis is on wikis. At the same time, since Dresdner is a Socialtext customer, the BusinessWeek report also sounds like a follow-up on one of the corporate wiki’s customer webpages:

1UP.com, the gaming division of Ziff Davis Media, one of the largest technology magazine publishers in the United States, has been a Socialtext customer for one year. 1UP.com was created to consolidate the online activities of several leading magazines. New General Manager Tom Jessiman sought an efficient and effective alternative to email and attachments as a way of working together.

This customer case study shows how use rapidly evolved from strategic planning to day-to-day coordination and communications, supported the brainstorming and launch of a new product and has led to promising experiments in group writing. Using Socialtext Workspace for group communications has reduced email volume dramatically to result in soft cost savings in excess of $1 million per year for a 50 person team. Project communication accelerated the project cycle of a four-month project by a month.

The initial reason for adopting Socialtext was as a substitute for group communication by email and attachments. When General Manager Tom Jessiman started the job he noticed, “a lot of confusion using email, well over 100 group emails a day, which was unwieldy, even nightmarish. Nobody knew what was the latest version of an attachment, everything was lost in inboxes and you had to data-mine your emails to find anything.”

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Posted by J.K. in Collaborative, Constructive, Discursive, Facilitation, Learning, Technology | View Comments |

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