Image and data manager, January/February 2010

It’s always difficult with these infommercial style magazines to identify what is really a ground breaking new product or way of working, and one which just sounds really good.  That said, it is worth persevering, although always with an eye for the brief bio or disclaimer at the end of the article.

The theme for this issue is email management and enterprise content management.

Axway have an unauthored article about a recent survey into file attachments and the transfer of digital data.  In addition to obvious concerns about security , there are storage and management issues.  The figures quoted are certainly something to conjure with – a typical user may receive around 149 emails a day, a significant proportion of which will contain attachments, often well over 5 mb each.

Jill Nehrybecki’s first paragraph on email management in her article ‘The liberating effect of integrated messaging’ will be instantly recognisable in many organisations, finding that emails are largely self managed, stored in bulk and with a strong element of finger crossing and hoping like hell that everything will work out.  She advocates a couple of general solutions, including the use of structured document management systems, and ends by warning of a staff member at France Telecom who found one more email was one message too many.

James Dellow, by way of contrast, suggests  in his article, ‘Rage against the machine’, that what is needed is not more control but rather a better understanding of the way in which email is used, and the emotional attachment that some users feel towards their ‘personal’ mail.  James points to staff who migrate emails from employer to employer, who do not understand why storage is an issue, and advocates a work environment where the purpose of email is understood, rather than simply managed as yet another data storage problem.  He also presages a world where email is replaced by Google Wave and instant messaging, a somewhat alarming thought.

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inthemailbox

Archivist, historian, avid reader

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