One often hears the phrase “technology is your friend” To what extent the friendliness/support is, in being a most effective “companion” to assist you to cope with your daily activities or business plans depends on how you embrace it.
If you are continually missing appointments; must wait till you get to a PC to respond to emails or cannot remember your contacts details; or routinely ask people for their contact details/ business cards – you must be getting it all wrong; you definitely need this friend!
Currently, electronic mail has not entirely replaced postal services; however, in the coming years, all indications are that electronic mail will, indeed, replace postal services. Electronic mail is apparently on a progressive, disruptive path to eliminating postal services. The use of emails will over and above its current instant delivery capability, also facilitate and encourage the acceptance of digitally signed documents.
A digital signature is an electronic, encrypted, stamp of authentication on digital information such as e-mail messages, macros, or electronic documents. A signature confirms that the information originated from the signer and has not been altered, rendering it legally binding.
Most financial companies and even legal institutions in most developed countries already accept digitally signed documents. Naturally, you need special software to digitally sign a document to attach as a PDF to an email. Such an action authorises approval by yourself without having to pick up a pen to append a signature or having to be physically present.
You are able to organize your calendars and contacts such that accessibility is always at hand if one needs to get in touch with your contacts be it in the office or lounging around a park, watching your children play; even on board/at the underground train station.
Email, calendar and contacts syncing is a simple tool which is not offered entirely by all domain host providers. It works wonders along with your calendar and scheduler. And for those needing an essential CRM tool to just help with email contacts and plug into an existing sales app, you can do so with a useful add-on like Outlook Customer Manager.
There are indeed other advantages to assist with decluttering emails. (solving the frustration of unimportant mails getting in the way of the ones you need to access frequently); a clutter service offered by Office 365.
Additionally, to avoid retaining important attachments in emails, one can, with a click, save large file attachments to your cloud storage – freeing up space in your mailbox in the process.
With all that relevance of emails, it is critical that you source the best one – even if it costs a bit more than the (free) webmail services provided by Outlook (Hotmail), Gmail and Yahoo. Naturally, with a paid service, you should be almost freed from the scourge of spam and malicious items like phishing and viruses embedded in documents. In some cases, they are screened even before landing in your mailbox.
Other perks like a ‘catch-all service’, data loss prevention, in place-hold (both compliance features) and advanced threat protection can be added to these essential services for a more peaceful emailing experience. You can, for instance, use In-Place Hold (also known as Litigation Hold) to place user mailboxes ‘on hold’ and preserve mailbox items permanently or keep mailbox items deleted by users or via an automatic deletion processes. This feature is especially crucial for those in the financial and legal sectors – requiring emails and its contents to be preserved for a minimum of 7 years typically.
Security is the central factor that has kept the postal service in business – well at least for now.
Here is a checklist when shopping around for a good email solution – whether cloud-based or on-premise. It should allow you to benefit from the following:
• A decent sized mailbox – with archiving ability – 50GB is the new standard size (don’t get short-changed!).
• Sync emails, calendar and contacts onto multiple devices – and it must always work!
• Customizable domain (.com or .net or any other you have bought) with the option to add more domains plus few email aliases. (info@ …sales@ etc).
• Sync to an active directory – to keep user profiles and allow for ease of single sign-on or extra security features like two-factor authentication (prevents unauthorised people from accessing your emails by pairing to your phone via an SMS code).
• Finally, the mailbox (since you are storing contact details or using it along with a CRM or ERP solution) should be GDPR-compatible.
• The ability to add features in future, like extra archiving space, advanced threat protection and enterprise voicemail (phone to email) capability. These are signs of a good email solution/offer.
Preparing yourself to use the solution can be free if you have the time. Most software suppliers like Microsoft (via Office 365) for example, have support sites with primary training material and “how-tos” on their respective websites.