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.
Life can be chaotic. Which so much to do it is easy to frequently miss appointments; have to wait till you get to a PC to respond to emails or fail to remember contacts details. The worst is having to ask people often for their contact details/ business cards.
If that’s the case, you are getting it all wrong and definitely need this friend!
Electronic mail has not entirely replaced postal services; however, in the coming years, all indications are that it will.
The need for emails
Emails are on a progressive, disruptive path to eliminate postal services. It 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 online information such as e-mail messages, macros, or electronic documents. It confirms that the information originated from the signer and has not been altered, rendering it legally binding.
Most financial companies and 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.
We can now easily get in touch with our contacts: be it in the office or lounging around a park, watching your children play; even on board/at the underground train station.
The additional tools
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.
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. To alleviate 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, and clogging up space on your mailbox, you can with a click, save large file attachments to your cloud storage.
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.
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:
• A decent sized mailbox – with archiving ability – 50GB is the new standard size (don’t get short-changed!).
• Should sync emails, calendar and contacts onto multiple devices – and it must always work!
• SMTP is now the standard and preferred Email Protocol so if you are still on POP3 or even IMAP – run away!
• Customizable domain (a .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 (This prevents unauthorised people from accessing your emails by pairing to your phone via an SMS code).
• The mailbox (since you are storing contact details or using it along with a CRM or ERP solution) should be GDPR-compatible.
• Finally, it should provide 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 websites.