In the early 90s, while designing email architecture at Nortel, I had a front-row seat to the evolution of corporate communications over email, and all that it entailed on the back-end. Fast forward 30 years, the essence of email remains unchanged, but the need for precise and simplified enterprise messaging has evolved.
It surprises me today that the fundamentals of email haven't really changed much. It works, and it works better now than it did then, but the basic mechanisms and usage remain the same.
New technologies like Teams, Slack, SMS, and other business chat and messaging apps, have gradually eroded the dominance of email as a communication platform, but they lack the widespread distribution and enterprise controls, rendering them more suitable for peer-to-peer or team-based communications, not for organization-wide mass communications
Recently, I had the good fortune to work with some email aficionados at a Fortune 50 organization. I'll withhold the name for confidentiality, but trust me, you know their name. They presented their challenges to me regarding how their organization communicates with their workforce.
Like every large organization, they send out a plethora of messages. They have a People Experience team that keeps staff updated on everything from benefits and internal event announcements to executive leadership messages, utilizing home-grown tools to address this challenge.
A lack of business data integration into the communication ecosystem prevents them from sending messages with context. They need to identify recipients using business data from privileged systems like HR, Payroll, Identity, etc. Sometimes, this data is used to select business divisions, leadership, departments, job codes, physical locations, and many other internal identifying attributes - none of which are populated in the email directory (and can't be for privacy reasons). Moreover, there's often a need to integrate custom mail-merge data into these messages that comes from other business systems.
But it doesn't stop there. The organization recognizes that younger workforces are more attuned to the instant messaging paradigm. Email is seen as a product of my generation and dubbed as "your dad's station wagon." They recognized that a large number of messages are never read. So, this company wanted to embrace these newer communication channels, but with the same level of enterprise controls and broadcast capabilities, coupled with business systems integration.
Much like political strategists measuring audience response, the organization also wanted a mechanism to gauge what resonated with their audience. They sought metrics on what was working and what wasn't. They wanted to understand which messages were being viewed and which were being ignored, and gain insights into how the messages were being consumed.
They wanted to understand how messages were being consumed to drive better communications.
So, after consultations and contracts with this Fortune 50 organization, The Readibots team embarked on the mission of changing the game. Our identity automation platform was a great candidate to host a solution to this problem.
The net result: the creation of a new enterprise communication technology that we call OnMessage. This remarkable application, delivered atop the READI Platform, meets all their needs and more. It's cloud-based, self-service, and integrates with an organization's communication channels. It encompasses all the policy and administrative controls that big enterprise messaging teams expect. Not only does it support messaging, but also direct-injection calendaring, allowing organizations to push events into employee calendars. Moreover, it's completely API accessible, enabling not only your business users to enjoy this game-changing experience but also allowing all your business applications to leverage the same technology. This elevates workforce messaging to an entirely new level — an umbrella over all your communication channels that empowers the business to harness messaging in ways never before possible.
October 2023, the enterprise pilot has been a tremendous success, exceeding expectations, and I'm now thrilled to announce that OnMessage will be GA in January 2024. A big shout-out to my friends and colleagues who all helped make this happen.
Welcome to the new world of enterprise messaging!