You've got (New) mail!

It's time we all address the 800 lb. elephant in the room and ask it to leave. What is it? It is email. It uses up 28% percent of our work week and has become a black hole of siloed information and dropped balls. This singular container of information has had nothing to do with the rest of the knowledge in your organization, until now. As it turns out....email is both the problem and the solution. 

Let's face it, email is nearly 20 years old isn't keeping up with our lives as it used to....so Oxcyon (and I) decided to change it. Email now works, well...the way it should have always worked. We've reversed the process, literally turning it inside out,  bringing the web 'to' email, instead of simply being content bringing the email to the web. As it turns out, email is both the problem and the solution, a fitting oxymoron by oxcyon. Technology is a funny thing, you warmly accept it for the benefits is provides, but rarely does anyone question if it could be better.  We do everyday, and really see that as our role, and are pleased to introduce you to Centralpoint email portal, an on premise or cloud based solution which gives you control over email, vs. the other way around. Additionally, it comes at just the right time.....before you adopt yet another collaboration technology to add to the mix. I encourage everyone to step back, take a hard look at your enterprise, namely where all the time is being spent, and ask not what you can do to add to this technology, rather what this technology can do for you.

Consider this very important fact....The average knowledge (office) worker uses it 13 hours a week, or 650 hours a year (assuming two weeks’ vacation),1 and yet email technology hasn’t changed much in the 20 years it’s been around—until now, with the introduction of the Centralpoint Email Portal, a patented DITA2 -based email interface by Oxcyon, Inc., a user experience platform (UXP) vendor as recognized by Gartner, Inc., a leading provider of technology research to global technology business leaders. The Oxcyon introduction is expected to help organizations recoup nearly half the time now spent by knowledge (office) workers sending and replying to emails. This approach can cut this in half. Yes, that means that 325 hours per year, per knowledge worker can be saved, which means recovering millions (if not billions), not to mention the elimination of dropped balls, botched messages and the sanity of so many. Another fact which might interest you is that 'It takes 64 seconds to fully recover (psychologically) from an 'email interruption', while working on other things (Loughborough University). Our research during this project also led us to the send vs. reply ratio. It turns out it takes 4.5 times longer to reply to an email than to send it. This is because sending the email is like handing out a homework assignment, and the reply requires that you do the homework. So, it is more a need to have the elements of any needed reply at your fingertips, but they can be used just as easily to author new emails. 



We have all grown tired of countless collaboration tools being introduced to allow people to do what email should've done in the first place. Why not one place, say, one central point? If our platform is supposed to be that one place, then why email? Because it is the tool everyone can and does use, and it is where the vast majority of our information is....it is the digital river, so to speak. I don't see email as a place or destination really, I see it as the vehicle. Given that metaphor, centralpoint is the grand central station of your information, and email represents the 'trains'. By giving you control over email, we can route, sort, track everything which comes in and out.  

Our solution gives you 100% control over the UI of email as well. You may say no need to change it, but consider for a moment any read email (and how it turns grey, as if it has been released from your queue of work to do). This singular presumption is likely responsible for more dropped balls and excuses than anything. Frankly, no email should grey out until you have replied to it, or deleted it from your queue (in which case it wouldn't be there any more). That simple, subtle change would prevent countless mistakes. Another one to consider is the attach file feature. Attaching some file to an email is like having a dead goose hanging around it's neck. Instead, embed the file into the email (as a link). First, it is faster for the recipient to access it, will not clog their inbox, and finally, the link is always live. These types of design considerations were all part of the study, but we have elected to give you an out of the box design, nearly identical to what people expect. The great news is, if you want to change it.....have at it.

This endeavor took many years, and instead of following a DITA construct, you can now build your own on the fly, whatever the need.  This is the rub, for those who know DITA....it never worked because the users must follow the constraint of the organization which sets the 'DITA' (or construct). Instead, it is the user who should be able to create new constructs from the available gallery of DITA objects or elements. In this way, it does work, allowing each user to have the autonomy they need. See 'Centralized Autonomy', (another one of my articles).

This results in giving people back a lot of time. How much time you ask? Our guesstimates show around 300 hours per year, for the average knowledge worker, for some...more. This means huge savings for organizations, and an opportunity to rethink your digital strategy. Before signing with yet another collaboration-like suite of tools, step back and consider your old stand by, email.....and if it can do the job. Now, with Centralpoint, it can. When looking at our Dita email portal, you have to re-think email, as I have, as a form. A form capable of triggering anything (not just an email). Example, an email sent between you and another person, may also feed a back office system, or file it somewhere relative to that client project. To the end users sending and replying to email it means huge savings. For organizations it means setting conditional logic, so that you may 'listen' to email chatter. You can now track the performance of your employees, and guarantee each one is using the appropriate message at the right time....every time. 

There are so many benefits to this approach they are hard to list. The least obvious benefit is that the dita objects can includes calls to disparate, back office systems. This means users can drag and drop today's price list directly into their email, and it is current, when the user chooses to open it (perhaps a week later). It means live data can be sent between users, and email can now be grouped, searched and studied. You can customize your inbox, breaking up all mail from various users, and so much more. 

It also allows them to author and created documents (PDF, Word, Excel, PPT) on the fly while sending emails, which can be stored in any number of locations (Centralpoint, Sharepoint, OneDrive, or more). Centralpoint can be installed on premise, or in the cloud, and supports integration with Microsoft Exchange 2007-2016, but can also support other providers (Google, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail), all without a plug in or download from iTunes (I never did understand iTunes). Centralpoint can even provide users the ability to download a short cut to their mobile device just like a mobile app, but better; as it doesn't need an app at all. 

We are really excited about this release, and the US Patent which was filed, we feel like it could change everything, and invite email to live in its rightful place, at the epicenter of knowledge management. 

Interested? You've got to see it!