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Europe's Largest IT Company To Ban Internal Email 601

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, Europe's Largest IT Company, wants a 'zero email' policy to be in place in 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful, and that staff spend between 5-20 hours handling emails every week. 'The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool,' says Breton. 'The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently.' Instead Breton wants staff at Atos to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it. For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. 'If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.'"
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Europe's Largest IT Company To Ban Internal Email

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @09:13AM (#38201008)

    And if - one day - there is a lawsuit about your work for the client, there is no proof what you did, what you told them or who authorized it...

    At least always send a later email describing what has happened in skype calls...

  • by CmdrPony ( 2505686 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @09:24AM (#38201134)
    It's still used a lot in some European countries and Russia. I'm not from US.
  • by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:09AM (#38201572)
    Besides, chat logs are not a legal and submittable in court. Email is well tested and has a traceable header.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:18AM (#38201698)

    This is probably because of regulatory/legal issues. In many jurisdictions a FAXED document with signatures is a legal document, an EMAILED document with the same signatures (PDF) is NOT a legal document.

  • by mr1911 ( 1942298 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @10:44AM (#38201972)

    I've worked for a company that mandated irrevocably deleting emails as soon as legally possible. Why? "One email, a SINGLE email, can make the difference between a multi million dollar lawsuit..."

    That really only works if all parties on the email have the same policy. I have never seen that work. Unless you consider having your company look guilty due to an all-too-apparent attempt to cover their tracks a success, in which case this usually works like a charm.

    A even more sleazy company could send all its backups to its lawyers, so they are protected by attorney/client privilege.

    Attorney-client privilege is not a magic shield that protects everything one might throw behind the term. The backups are almost certainly not privileged and would most likely have to be turned over in discovery. The only thing this does is lengthen the process and rack up fees that you will ultimately be held responsible for.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @11:42AM (#38202700) Homepage Journal

    I've always saved e-mails (except those with jokes, or large attachments), and several times I've been able to dig up an e-mail to prove to my boss that I had already told him something. At least one even an e-mail a couple of years ago. is a great CYA.

    That being said, I'm surprised as many compaines as seem to be referenced on this thread, actually even ALLOW external connections to Facebook, and IM outside the firewalls to the real world. Do they allow streaming too? Most places I've been too, that blocked off for security.

    Sure, you can email stuff in/out too....but in most places I've worked, of course email was the exception and allowed....mostly going through the company's own email servers.

    I've actually be surprised to see that some of them are allowing webmail private account connectivity from work....

    I prefer email, at work, for most everything, due to being able to do it in batch mode. I can work....and when taking a break, then I go through emails.

    This way, my concentration isn't being broken every few minutes by and IM coming in....or whatever when someone is trying to get you THEN.

    I only generally use the phone if contact and action is urgent.....but email is nice for keeping records of conversations, as well as communicating in an asynchronous batch mode.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @02:11PM (#38204606)
    I have no kids of my own, but I have nephews. The oldest is in college at a good quality state university. I had a conversation with him not terribly long ago and it went something like this:
    Me: I saw you wrote "prolly" on Facebook. You do know that that is not a real word, right?
    Him: What do you mean?
    Me: "Prolly" is text message speak. The real word is "probably".
    Him: (look of puzzlement and confusion)
    Me: I'm not joking. You've never heard of "probably"?
    Him: I've only seen "prolly".

    When you graduate from an American high school and you are a reasonably intelligent person (he's got a B average at college) and you think "prolly" is a real word and you don't know what "probably" is, the educational system may just be broke beyond fixing.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972