In professional services, email is central to both internal and external communications. In fact, 80% of important documents in an organization are actually emails. From sharing contracts to providing updates to customers, workers rely heavily on a constant flow of emails. With so much depending on email management, are organizations giving workers the tools they need to intelligently store and classify emails?
In this blog we’ll outline why email management is so important in professional services, and the steps your organization can take to improve its own strategy.
Interacting with clients is carried out by email, and important documents, such as contracts or invoices, are sent and received by email too. Enormous streams of emails come in and out of an organization every day. Despite the large amount of important emails, there’s an even larger amount of emails that need to be discarded. Separating what needs to be kept and what doesn’t is a big challenge.
An intelligent and effective email management solution is essential to eliminating email chaos. Without the right solution, organizations face a variety of issues.
The gap between a document management system and an email inbox can cause siloes, which prevents workers from finding the information they need. Being unable to use tagging or applying metadata to manage emails can also cause organizations to lose business-critical information. This leads to a poor customer experience when the correct customer history isn’t available to workers, causing them to give incorrect advice. If records aren’t maintained correctly or are erased, this can lead to potential regulatory problems.
Organizations use a variety of methods to tackle email management. Some look to additional management software beyond their email client, and while they can be effective, they can also require a great deal of additional rollout and training. Organizations around the world rely on Outlook and the wider Microsoft environment, using a combination of different Office 365 apps to manage their documents and emails.
This can be effective, allowing workers to take advantage of the impressive collaborative and communication apps available on the platform. But using Outlook for email management and SharePoint for document management can create siloes between important records.
Many modern email management solutions aren’t capable of treating emails as the documents of record that they are. To combat email chaos, organizations must create a centralized repository for both documents and emails. With the right modifications, SharePoint can be the ideal email management solution – capable of storing emails and documents in one centralized location for total visibility.
SharePoint is a Microsoft collaboration platform that gives workers a single location to store documents of record. Content is structured in Sites, Libraries, Folders and Document Sets - allowing flexibility for how an organization wishes to store its records. Every record is subject to the same metadata conventions and retention policies, enabling an effective, yet slightly limited level of control over documents. This approach enables workers to access all of their business-critical information from one interface, creating greater visibility and improving discoverability.
However, SharePoint does have its drawbacks. It can’t be fully integrated with Outlook, causing your inbox and its important emails to become siloed away from the rest of your Microsoft environment. Unless workers take the time to manually upload emails to SharePoint, this creates a gap between documents of record, leaving information where workers can’t easily find it. SharePoint also requires users to manually apply the correct metadata. This extra level of administrative work can prevent workers from making the most of the platform’s capabilities and cause mistakes.
With these drawbacks in mind, how can your organization leverage SharePoint for email management success? The answer is to give workers the ability to upload emails as well as documents of record to SharePoint.
In order to create the best user experience for their workers, organizations must find a way to quickly and easily store emails in SharePoint and apply metadata to those files. Many organizations make the same mistakes when it comes to modifying SharePoint, either by adopting ineffective third-party solutions or by using multiple disconnected Microsoft apps. However, there’s a solution that’s much more effective and allows you to make the most of your existing SharePoint environment.
harmon.ie is an intelligent email management system that allows workers to take the best functionality from SharePoint and use it within Outlook, the app where they do most of their work. harmon.ie helps workers take control of their inboxes by allowing users to drag and drop emails directly into SharePoint, therefore simplifying metadata processes.
Using harmon.ie, workers can:
To find out more about the benefits of intelligent email management in professional services, download our free eBook today