February 23, 2022

Will Microsoft Teams kill your mailbox?



5 min reading

Will e-mail disappear? The question can legitimately be asked.

Will e-mail disappear? The question can legitimately be asked. Indeed, if European executives continue to favour the computer to consult their emails (85% of respondents), the smartphone is catching up for this same task (77% of respondents use this channel). Especially since the attention paid to emails seems to be decreasing: in 2017, respondents estimated that they consulted their emails for 5.1 hours per day, compared to 6.5 hours in 2016. It has to be said that the use of email, while it has revolutionised our daily lives, does not always allow us to communicate (and even less to collaborate) effectively.

So let's see, through this article, if collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams have the power to revolutionise our use of email... and if so, how.  

Email or Teams?

Half of the world's population uses e-mail(3.9 billion users in 2019), but it is suffering from a decline in attention. Indeed, many other channels have appeared in recent years.

Although e-mail is therefore in no (or almost no) danger of being entirely replaced in terms of its usage figures, its use is gradually being supplanted by other tools. For example, the collaborative platform Teams has tripled its number of daily users in 2020. From 44 million in March 2020, the number of users rose to 115 million in October 2020, before reaching 250 million in April 2021. This is enough to empty the mailboxes of employees (a little), who can now use chat channels to communicate with each other.

The organization of information

Until now, many employees have used Outlook to organize their emails. It is a solution that suffers from certain shortcomings: to organize information, it is necessary to create folders and then sort emails manually or using automated processing. This is an endless task that is never perfectly executed, and it is also time-consuming.

Teams, enhanced by Microsoft Viva, revolutionises this usage by creating teams and channels according to the projects to be carried out. The information then organizes itself, around the people concerned, without any loss of time.

💡 To go further and use the right communication tool at the right time in your internal communication, read our top 11 best communication tools.

No more replies which cross each other...

Emails work in such a way that when two people reply at the same time, their replies cross-pollinate. Depending on the order in which they process their messages, they may reply to an old message without realising that there has already been a follow-up to the exchange. This is impractical, especially when the exchanges involved require clear and effective communication.

To overcome these drawbacks, why not opt for Microsoft Teams? The platform arranges your discussions in chronological order, making them easy to find. It also allows you to reply to a discussion in one channel without interfering with new items in the meantime. No more overlapping messages and the resulting loss of information.

📌 Make internal collaboration even smoother with these 11 Teams apps to urgently integrate

... And the versions of documents that cross and get lost

We've all sent an email without the required attachment, only to be followed by a second, slightly disappointed message: "with the attachment, it's better"... What if this classic scenario ended with Teams? The platform allows you not only to chat with your colleagues, but also to work with them on various documents. Only one version of these documents exists, which is always updated and shared with all the people involved. This is called co-authoring, so the document is hosted in your Microsoft Cloud Server and can be viewed and modified from any workstation (computer or smartphone). You also have the possibility to consult previous versions via the version history. It is then easy to find them again, since the shared documents are directly stored in SharePoint: a good practice that promotes knowledge management. No more untimely sending of emails with the risk that the attachments get lost.

💡 To go further, discover how to turn SharePoint into a real EDM (electronic document management)
Will Microsoft Teams kill your mailbox ?

Teams, more transparent and relevant

More than 306 billion emails are sent daily. That's an average of 33 emails per person every day! Are all these emails really necessary, and especially relevant? What if there was a faster and more efficient way to share information?

With Teams, no more loops of emails you receive without actually being involved, no more missed information when a contact is not added, and no more invisible readers with hidden copies (Bcc). Each person can be notified when his or her opinion is required, while the organization into channels offers optimal information flow and sharing.

💡 To go further and make your internal communication more effective, discover our 7 tips to boost internal communication within a Digital Workplace

Teams integrates Outlook to centralize usage

Not ready to give up on your e-mail box? No problem! It's possible to send an email to a particular channel, but also to organise meetings from within Teams using the classic email box features. So you get the best of both worlds.

To go even further and optimise the use of these two tools in parallel, these two tools can be integrated into a personal Dashboard on your Digital Workplace.

Teams vs. e-mail: distinct functionalities

As you will have understood from this article, the idea is not to replace one tool with another. Whether it is Teams or the mailbox, each tool has its advantages and its particularities: the objective is therefore to make them complementary and to adapt them to the new work practices while accompanying the change.

Email is a personal identifier for all platforms, which is not the case with Teams. It can also be used to leave a written proof, to answer formal invitations, to send signed contracts to your HR or to a supplier, etc. Its official nature is a definite advantage, which Teams is not intended to replace. While email was the preferred channel for communicating outside the company, Teams now allows you to communicate even outside the organization. There are two types of communication: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous communication is an exchange of information in real time. In the case of an instant messenger such as Teams, if the conversation is live, it is called synchronous communication. Conversely, communication is asynchronous when the exchange is delayed. Whether it is email or Teams messaging, both tools can fall under synchronous or asynchronous communication depending on the frequency of communication (whether the discussion is live or delayed).

But while e-mail allows for rapid communication, it is not very effective for collaboration. This is where collaborative platforms take over. So it's not a question of predicting the death of e-mail, despite its shortcomings, but of welcoming the welcome complementarity that collaborative platforms such as Teams bring.

💡 To go further, find out how to optimise your Teams meetings with Microsoft Whiteboard.

Things to remember

📌 Email remains a fast and efficient way to communicate, especially with people outside the company

📌 Microsoft Teams is a way to unclog mailboxes, thanks to the collaboration spaces it offers;

📌Teams now offers the possibility to communicate with people outside the organisation;

Teams allows you to centralise information, share data and documents.

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