The dictionary defines collaboration as working with “another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” So why is it that so many collaboration apps don’t work together?

When you think about it, modern business communication has two primary components: email and the myriad of collaboration apps that claim to be replacing email.

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Non-Collaborative Collaboration:

The dictionary defines collaboration as working with “another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” So why is it that so many collaboration apps don’t work together?

When you think about it, modern business communication has two primary components: email and the myriad of collaboration apps that claim to be replacing email. As has been well documented many times in past blogs, and despite the wishful thinking of those claiming to be the heirs to the email throne, email is not dying. In fact, it remains the one app used by more business people than any other, and all evidence shows it is only continuing to grow. (The Radicati Group anticipates that there will be over a billion corporate email accounts worldwide by 2015.)

Why? Because email isn’t the problem. The way we use it is.

More specifically, the way we “misuse” email is the real problem. By trying to force email to be a productivity app rather than the communication tool it was designed to be, we render it highly ineffective and inefficient. Which is unfortunate because the average worker spends more than two and a half hours of every workday in email.

So, because email wasn’t good at what it wasn’t designed for (SHOCK!), an army of collaboration apps rose up to try to replace it.

A lot of apps.

Apps designed to better manage our time, tasks, files, projects and generally make collaborating with co-workers easier. Some of these apps do these things well enough. Unfortunately, what none of them do well is put us in touch with the rest of the world the way email does. That means that even if they can reduce the amount of internal email, they still don’t do anything to stem the tide of external email you continue to receive every day.

Not only do they fail to eliminate email, many of them actually generate new emails that fill our inboxes.

The result is we still live in our email, but now we also have a bevy of other apps that we must also go in and out of throughout the course of our day. To add insult to injury, many of these apps don’t communicate well with each other, if they communicate with each other at all.

Seriously, how collaborative can a collaboration app be if it doesn’t play well with others?

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The Intersection of Email and Collaboration

Some collaboration apps claiming to eliminate email actually do a good job of reducing internal email, but they do nothing to stop or control the flow of external email. That is to say, email from those outside of your company or organization. More importantly, they don’t allow those same customers, vendors, or outside partners to join or become part of the internal collaborative conversation.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

—Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride

Now ask yourself, how collaborative can an app really be if it excludes many of the people most important to your business? Everyone keeps saying “collaboration,” but to paraphrase Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.”

The solution doesn’t lie in abandoning what remains the single, most effective way to message more people on the planet than any other. Nor is it found in collecting multiple “collaborative” solutions that are actually limited by the scope of their collaborative abilities.

It would seem that the real answer lies where email and collaboration actually make contact.

Think about it. How much better would collaboration tools be if they communicated with each other and lived right inside the app you live in most? How much more collaborative would an app become if customers, clients and partners were also part of the collaborative process? How much more could you get done if everyone had visibility to all the conversations, files and tasks that are related to them?

On average, 63% of all email is internal. By moving internal conversations into collaborative workrooms, Contatta can easily reduce the size of your inbox by over 60%. But it can reduce it by even more, because, unlike other apps, we’re also moving many of your external conversations into workrooms as well.

Not only does Contatta create a more efficient and effective collaborative environment, by moving messages out of your inbox and into collaborative workrooms, you not only reduce the size of your inbox, but you get more done in less time. It’s about a place for everything and everything in its place.

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One Place To Live

The paradigm shift Contatta is calling for isn’t just about a smaller inbox. It’s about replacing a whole bunch of products with a whole product solution that results in less email, fewer meetings and more collaboration on the things that actually move your business forward. It’s about a better way to work.

We’re talking about real collaboration and communication. We’re talking about reducing the size of your inbox by turning email into conversations. If you’re going to live in an app, why not make it more habitable? Why not make it someplace you actually want to spend time in?

But like everything else, don’t just take our word for it. Join our public beta and experience for yourself exactly what the switch to Contatta can do for you, your team and your entire company. Public beta is free and guests don’t have to have Contatta to join your workrooms. You can create as many workrooms as you like and invite as many guests as you like.

Find out more about Contatta at Contatta.com or join our public beta today.