Atos Origin abandoning email

IT services firm Atos Origin aims to become a "zero email company" within three years to help tackle what it calls "information pollution" bogging down management.

UPDATE: Defiant Atos will not return to email

Speaking at an innovation press conference this week, Atos Origin chief executive Thierry Breton said he would stop all emails between Atos Origin employees by instead using new collaboration and social media tools.

Breton said information pollution, or data overload, needed to be addressed by companies. "We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives."

He added: "We are taking action now to reverse this trend, just as organisations took measures to reduce environmental pollution after the industrial revolution."

Breton said the volume of emails Atos sent and received was "unsustainable for business". He said managers currently spent between five and 20 hours a week reading and writing emails. They were already using social media networking more than search, and spent 25 percent of their time searching for information.

Atos Origin said it had set up collaboration tools and social community platforms to share and keep track of ideas on subjects like innovation, lean management, and sales as part of its attempt to reduce needless data exchange and searching.

"Businesses need to do more of this - email is on the way out as the best way to run a company and do business," Breton said.

Such solutions, like the use of Office Communicator, said Atos, provide "a more personal, more immediate and importantly a more cost effective means to manage and share information that supports the way of working in the 21st century". Such tools can reduce email volumes "by between 10 and 20 percent immediately", it said.

Last year, on-demand apps firm said most emails sent at work are "irrelevant". A survey it commissioned found that 70 percent of workers were sent irrelevant emails or were copied on emails of no interest.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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