The Evolution of Business Communication: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

December, 12 2017

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In the last three decades, technology has transformed the way businesses communicate and collaborate, streamlining the processes to get crucial information from one team to another. But technology isn’t staying stagnant. The evolution of information sharing has progressed from email to chat, and is continuing to elevate internal business teams to the next level: artificially intelligent information-sharing platforms.

You’ve Got Mail

The evolution began with email, which rendered phone calls, faxes, or snail mail useless. The quicker an employee could share information with others, the better.

Email has some drawbacks, however. Response time depends on when a user reads an email. If you need an answer quickly, your only hope is marking it as urgent and hoping the recipient sees it in time.

Oftentimes a good percentage of the email you receive isn’t relevant to you, causing you to waste time opening, scanning, determining whether or not it matters to you and ultimately, deleting. And then deleting again and again as your colleagues hit “reply all” and offer their input on the issue.

Plus, reply threads become unorganized and overwhelming quickly. An entire team might reply to one email, cluttering everyone’s inboxes. But one employee might reply directly to one colleague, and that information was either lost to the rest of the team or had to be repeated in the main group thread. Combing through the conversation to find information is a nightmare.

The need for innovation has generated a new standard for internal communication: chat.

The Next Level of Conversation

Chat is all about the “instant” in “instant messaging.” Platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams have led the way in revolutionizing the way teams communicate with each other. Conversations are organized into channels and direct messages. Notifications keep you abreast of everything being said in real-time, even if you’re not signed in to the app. It’s a shared space for everyone in the company, no matter where they’re located, to communicate and share.

Information is instantly distributed and typically consumed quickly in chat, but information can easily get buried. If you don’t see a document that was shared or an announcement in a channel immediately, the messages that follow make it difficult to find just one item you’re looking for. Additionally, the more channels you join, the more noise you have to sift through and determine if it’s truly relevant to you or not.

The relevance factor is all about context: who does this document pertain to? Why? When? The deluge of information flowing through chat platforms is already creating the need for a more powerful tool: an AI-driven knowledge platform.

A New Era in Information Sharing

Artificial intelligence is already being put to good use in industries like finance, customer service, and even manufacturing, but adopting AI is valuable to every business, no matter the industry.

Think about it: not only does your company have policies and processes to make it run efficiently, but every team within the organization has their own knowledge that must be stored, updated, and expanded upon to run successfully. With so many teams using different tools like a CMS, CRM, Drive, or Paper, the need for a single source of reliable information is paramount.

AI augments team alignment like never before while also mitigating the firehose of irrelevant information. An intelligent information platform recognizes context, or what is relevant to who and when it’s appropriate to share. AI makes it possible to surface new documents created within the platform, via chat or email, with the right teams and no one else - so you never have to wonder if the content within the document applies to you or not.

As with most AI products, you need to build out your flywheel; in other words, the longer you feed an intelligent platform data (or in this case, content), the more capable it will be at adapting and learning in the future. The more content you create within the AI-powered information platform, the better the system gets at identifying what types of content should be shared with what teams. AI also handles the updating of information that lives in the platform, so every person who visits it can feel confident that they’re working off fresh knowledge.

Artificial intelligence is a game changer for internal business teams. The need for a better way to communicate and share information without inundating people with irrelevant knowledge is clear, and AI is ready to solve the problem. Email and chat have widespread adoption; it’s time to take another step forward to improve every aspect of your organization’s information-sharing situation.

If you’re ready to get a peek at the next big thing, request a demo today.

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