This episode features Dominic Kent, Director of Content Marketing & Communications at Mio. We cover his start in telecom, asynchronous working, changing mindsets around remote work, unified comms influencers, tool overload, shadow IT, a month without emai
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We speak with Dominic Kent, Director of Content Marketing & Communications at Mio, about the past, present, and future of unified communications.
As a remote worker before it was cool, Dominic shares his take on the onslaught of work-from-home advice, saying, “I don’t think there’s a right way or wrong way to work remotely.”
We discuss the evolution of workplace chat and collaboration tools (including Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Cisco Webex Teams, and more) and how they’ve changed our workflows. Dominic shares his thoughts on escaping tool overload and communicating more efficiently.
We also uncover the methodology behind a unified comms influencers chart Dominic created for Mio.
Finally, Dominic proposes a month-long email challenge for reducing inbox clutter.
Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello and welcome to the digital workspace works podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In this series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines, the problems they face, how they solve them. The years they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, they'll help you to get to the scripts for the digital Express inner workings.
Dominic Kent 0:31
Hi, folks, I'm Dominic Kent. I'm a freelance marketing consultant for hire. I'm currently working as the director of Content Marketing and Communications at Mayo, who are a b2b SaaS startup in Austin, although we're all working from from home at the moment. Our product currently ties together the messaging experience between apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams and WebEx teams so very much at the heart of everything. That's going going on in the digital workplace at the moment.
Ryan Purvis 1:03
Great. Thanks for giving us some your time and joining us on the podcast. Looking through your profile, you started working for a company called 5g communications. And I was curious to know if that was 5g was was tied to actual sort of new signal version that's coming out now or some other 5g iteration. Good. Good
Dominic Kent 1:22
question. And one that I think people don't ask me enough when they realize I work for someone called 5g because it actually had nothing to do with 5g Mobile Communications whatsoever. They're originally called Universal Telecom. And they were literally 10 meters down the road from me, and I didn't know they were there. And one night they called me on a recruitment evening where people from outside the recruitment team literally phoned around people in the local area, their CV on a on a job site, and asked if you're interested in coming for an interview for a telecoms company, of which at the time I didn't What they did didn't matter who they were, even though they were literally just down the road. Turns out, they're a telecoms provider. So providing things like your basic phone line that you'd have in your home business telephone lines, like ISDN, and things like that, as well as on premises telephone systems and a little bit of voice telephony. So making calls over the internet at the most basic level. So I start, I started there, literally the day after my interview.
that kind of helped me skip the step of going to university which I applied to, I thought getting a job the very next day seemed like a good decision to make and then I may be taking around and go to university if I wanted to, but I then stayed there for about four and a half years. And over those four and a half years, we changed from your basic telephone lines to more complex telephone systems and then a little bit of more digital things like instant messaging came into play. left in the world, and the rest is history, I guess.
Ryan Purvis 3:04
I was just thinking that the I mean, the irony of all this is we rely on on connectivity. So much now, I mean, it's part of what's already part of our mess, loves mess, love, a hierarchy of needs in order to do our jobs, specifically, I think w base down in Cornwall, and as you say, your teammates, your teams in the US, so you only have really connectivity as a way of interacting unless you're flying out to the US or vice versa.
Dominic Kent 3:33
Yeah, absolutely. It's interesting. You mentioned Maslow's hierarchy of needs. There was a, a, an amended version that I saw years ago actually. And the bottom two tiers included battery, and then Wi Fi. And then Maslow's hierarchy of needs began, which which I thought was funny, I thought was quite fun.
Ryan Purvis 3:55
I thought about battery. Nothing,
Dominic Kent 3:59
no batteries, no Doesn't, exactly it doesn't make any difference does it? Although thinking, thinking about it in the world, in the business world, and even in the consumer world, really, there's nothing that I'm going to do. Maybe I'm a unique case, because I might be able to draft something on a Word document and then not uploaded until I get into a Wi Fi zone or get connected wherever. But there's there's nothing other than that, really, that I'm going to use my device, whatever it is, laptop, mobile tablet, there's nothing I'm going to use isn't connected, I don't think. So the reliance on connectivity is 100%. There.
Ryan Purvis 4:39
That's true. I mean, I, I mean, obviously, with this pandemic, we're all spending a lot of time working from home so you don't really ever feel like you leave in the office because it's really either either you in the same room doing something different during the day. Well, you asked one guy saying he gets out of bed has a shower gets dressed and he walked to spirit When he sits down is this folder? That's me. Yeah, yeah, so this is so much of a gap. But without that connectivity wouldn't be anywhere. I mean, there's a lot of jobs that have obviously gone away because people can't work, or they have been told not to go to work. Because of that. I'll say more manual. But this makes it sound really simple
Dominic Kent 5:25
as frontline workers, and there's a huge difference between the knowledge worker and the frontline worker, although the gap in technology i think is closing, to leave like Microsoft with the team's offering for first line workers and workplace do workplace by Facebook, specifically have a thing a license for that which which is what they need. It's not logging in and having all of this crazy feature set that they're never going to use it's much much more simplified, stripped back version so that they can interact with everyone in their business. That they need to do without being completely overwhelmed by by what it is that they use. But coming back to your point on connectivity, those those frontline workers that are maybe working in a large warehouse which is segmented by by metal walls or something like that they can't actually log into that app anyway because so far away from their Wi Fi point or there's no mobile reception in the building they're working in so whilst the the app might be ready, if you can't get access to the app that says rendered useless anyway.
Ryan Purvis 6:35
no help. Besides that, I'm just thinking that you know, for a person that's packing shelves or packing boxes and stuff like that, I mean, even even walking around Sainsbury's yesterday, I noticed this for the first time when they're packing the the stuff on the shelves actually now taking pictures at the end, which I hadn't noticed them doing before. And I'm wondering if that's not part of some enhanced process now. Maybe because of the volumes The food that's been being bought by shoppers, the hoarding to almost prove that they're actually putting the stuff on the shelves
Dominic Kent 7:10
that there's there's like, they're likely using a kind of like a personal device like a zebra or an Android that you can you upload straight onto your stock system or whatever it is just to prove that they're actually put it in the right place. So that's not not in a position where people are gonna have to scramble for it and therefore spread germs at the moment. But there's also the element of just proving you've done your job, which I think is a big part of what those kinds of devices actually come into play for. You've got less people in a supervisory role that have to come around and say actually did put it in the right place or you've put it on the wrong shelf. Therefore, it's not in the eyeline of the person in the shop and that's what the brand has paid for. they've paid for like the premium shelf dead center at the Do something like that, there's less of that because you can just upload it very quickly. Some kind of machine learning or artificial intelligence in the background recognizes that that is in the right place for that particular brand. And that saves the supervisor walking around the shop and doing all that manual work that doesn't need to exist if the technology can do it.
Ryan Purvis 8:17
Yeah, you remind me we did some Salesforce automation years ago, and one of the one of the steps of the process was that the sales rep This was liquor and pharmaceutical had to take a photo of the building before they entered it. Can you create a new tag the GPS coordinates and you take the image and this was before machine learning became mainstream and confirm that they were within X amount of meters from the designated address. And that was to prove they were visiting the building. Which was fine if they were doing a you know taking an order from a customer and the customer needed to do face to face to face. I run into the the one company fire the top sales guy because He never left the golf course. And he was using old photos and they picked it up. But he was playing golf with his customers. And that's how he was doing his orders, because they got out the office and equal time with him and did the deal. And he was doing all the orders through the system anyway. But they had this process that had to be followed by taking a photo at the building on the day.
Dominic Kent 9:24
If you're if your sales targets your sales quota, through through whatever means as long as you're not breaking a law or doing something unlawful, then I've always been a fan of get your work done whatever means necessary to the point where when I started working remotely on my own accord, it was definitely still frowned upon that you weren't in the office. But then all of a sudden the PowerPoint I was working on or the the sale, the sales deck the whatever it is the RFP would be complete and I would send it across would come up with Surprised to everybody that I had been working while I wasn't in the office. And even though I've worked in all these comms companies, that was not the mentality until probably only a couple of years ago, if I'm honest,
Ryan Purvis 10:12
it's such a big shift for my boss about a couple weeks ago because because he and I had this I've had this conflict since I started about working from home. And I'm not a big fan if we can find either I think there's days where you shouldn't miss days and you shouldn't be in the office five days a week. I think that's a that's a factory mindset. And if you're not at your desk and not working, there's also factory mindset. And he sort of intimated that he's finally seen that you can work from home productively provided you set up for it I think, you know, sitting at home, your dining room table. We eat dinner, and lunch is not a good place to do your work either because I think that confuses your, your spaces. But if you've got the desk and that set up, you can do it, but the whole mindset that he is He sort of clicked on that, that you want to trust people to deliver things. And if you're not seeing them doesn't mean they're not working. And and when they might be working, you know, 2am 266 am, because that's, that's when they work the best. And the tooling now exists in this in this wonderful world of technology we have that you can work anytime, anywhere. And on any device, throw the whole slogan in there. But as long as that document arrives, or that piece of material comes out, you know, it was suitably quite suitable quality of the suit amount of time. You can trust people to do stuff on results basis as opposed to hire to desk nine to six, which is what some old school mentalities will have is that you know, if you're going to be desk nine to six, five days a week, and with you playing solitaire, you will you should, as long as she does come sort of more comfortable.
Dominic Kent 11:57
Yeah, there's a lot of that It was considered Timbo to to work remotely when I first started working remotely. And I think everyone has been as everyone's now being forced to work from home, it's not quite the same planning for him preparing for it. And so you've got a lot of people juggling their kids as well as their work life balance. So that's that's a work life slash parent balance, which is completely different to planned working from home. Then you mentioned, you shouldn't sit at your dining table and work for the day, I think that's fine. If you have the discipline to switch off yourself. I don't think there's a right way or wrong way to work remotely. So all of the thousands of blogs to all of the providers in my industry have written I would say 95% of those are redundant, probably written by people that have never worked from home before. Maybe I'm being a bit skeptical, but what I've read over those thousands that there aren't any that have offered me any good advice. As the someone that has worked from home for years. My girlfriend, for example, she works from the dining room table when she switches off as soon as she finishes her hours for the day or the project she's working for. And she certainly doesn't struggle from not having that work life balance. Personally, I, I work in a different area every time I start a different piece of work for a new client. So if I'm, if I'm working on something for me, I'll do it in my spare bedroom slash office. If I'm doing a guest blog just for myself that I'm posting somewhere else, I might go to a coffee shop, obviously, moment. If I'm working for another client on another day, I'll go work in maybe the dining room or maybe go work outside I have that option as well. Right. So as long as I segment what I'm doing, it either works national life or customer by customer, I think that worked perfectly for me.
Ryan Purvis 13:53
So what you've just said now is exactly what I was trying to imply is that if you have spaces for certain things, Then that's that's a much better way of doing I mean, if you can get away with it, that's great. I know I couldn't when I was younger, but now I'm older. I'm a lot more routine, more habits habitual. But I used to love writing freeform stuff in a coffee shop. Yeah, whereas I'm doing research that I need to be at my desk with with all my stuff laid out and you know, was building up the piles of knowledge as I investigate things, print things out. So things etc. So it depends on what you're doing. I definitely think that's, that's Yeah,
Dominic Kent 14:30
yeah, the, the kind of the asynchronous way of working you mentioned as well. Being able to do stuff whenever you want is very beneficial for me. I know that I'm most productive first thing in the morning. So I typically start at half seven every morning. I will then go and work in my garden if the weather is nice enough, because I know that that combination of working outside and being early in the morning is when I'm most productive. That by that that serves me quite well because everyone in our office in office is asleep that time so by the time that I've reached the peak of my productivity, I can then come inside again and do all the collaborative work that actually needs to the better bandwidth exists in my house rather than outside my house. The Wi Fi is not quite as strong if I said in my garden compared to when I sat next to the router in my office.
Heather Bicknell 15:20
So it sounds like it sounds like you've been working from home for a few years. So you've gone you've undergone that shift from you know, not really having you know, just having email you know, maybe you know some you know, Microsoft Skype, something like that to, you know, this new world of there's a million collaboration tools that you can choose from, how has that kind of changed your your style of work from home over the years.
Dominic Kent 15:48
It's made it I've never found it hard to work from home. When I when I started working from home it was
the option wasn't really bad, but we discussed it a little bit and it was More because I wanted to get more because we just got a dog. So, rather than paying for someone to come work every day, I thought, hey, why not try working from home one or two days a week? asked my boss who said, Yes, let's give it a go, that's fine. But in a company of about 400 people, nobody else was doing it. So people assumed that I was either really ill, or something happened on a Monday and a Tuesday or whenever it was, I worked from home, and they didn't expect me to do anything. Even though I was working for a company that did these kind of messenger tools that you mentioned.
It only became apparent
maybe six months into when I've been working from home two days a week that actually I was working from home rather than just being at home. And that was because the tools that we were working with were evolving all the time we were we were working with broad soft UC one which isn't a particularly well known messenger client. Cisco since bought bras often Everybody knows about WebEx. But I think as they will use in the office more people then started to realize, hey, Dom is online because there's a green light next to his name. And if I message him, he will respond. People don't realize that actually, okay, he is working from home, he's not just off sick at home, or whatever it might have been. And, and as that sort of technology stack called better, and you could do more, and as I move to a different company with even more employees, when I was at musc things, 80,000 employees at musc across 200 or so offices. It became apparent that the companies that adopted those technologies were more productive to work in because everybody was in a different office anyway, so it didn't really matter where I was. I didn't have anyone else in my team in the Maidenhead office, I was working. Everyone was in London, and I was dealing with projects that were global. So the three days a week I would go into the office there in the Maidenhead office. There was No one in my team anyway. So it was I would go in and sit at a different hot desk every day, meeting someone new every day, which was great, but they were in a security team or, or something more to do with shipping. So the shipping company, nothing to do with what I was doing, which was rolling out phone systems and Microsoft Lync at the time. And that kind of carried on throughout the next couple of companies I worked out as technology evolved, and you could do more and it was more obvious that you were working not just absent. That became a lot easier, I think.
Heather Bicknell 18:35
Yeah, it's funny that you mentioned you know, going to into a physical office space because you know, you have to but then there's really no one there that you need to talk to because that's that's kind of by experience most days. In terms of, you know, the way that I work hasn't really changed we do. My company uses Microsoft Teams primarily and you know, of course they use a few other tools as well. Well, but, you know, I work in our r&d office, so it's all of our engineers, but I'm a Product marketer. So, you know, most of the time you know, besides talking to people around you know, the watercooler there's no reason for me to to necessarily be there physically because all the you know, the market hours are kind of spread out across the globe.
Dominic Kent 19:22
Yeah, and I think that was that was something that became most obvious when I was at musc. Because nobody had a set desk either. Hot desking was deemed to be the most productive but certainly the most fashionable way to be working then. This is only five years ago, you would you would go in and the desk he was out yesterday, it would be taken unless you were there at 7am which isn't a problem if you're there 7am every day you want the same desk, but it was good. You can leave anything on the desk. So you walked in every morning and everything was tidy and you went and you plug your laptop into the dock that was there and everything Nice and clean and we had these really expensive desks that went up and down but didn't really matter because you weren't going to be there for more than one day. So I learned a lot about not needing to be in the office there I think because after a while, I realized that those three days I was contracted to be in the office. Nobody was taking note because they weren't there themselves. Anyway, my my line manager was in the London office. So I took it upon myself to come in when I needed to, which was extremely infrequently and save myself the petrol every day, gained a couple more hours in which I could do some work.
Ryan Purvis 20:39
You made me think of when I when I moved to the UK. It was the first time I actually had been in the office every day. All my career before that it was it was working. Either you work from home and then you went to go see customers or you went to the offers to go and do sort of, you know, like a team day or an ad but you know, admin day or whatever. So it's a very much consulting mentality where on Fridays you're in the office because you have to do all your expense claims and see your boss and, and all that kind of stuff. Anyway, I came here that I realized that it was became such a big deal to be in the office, but that whole hot desking thing fed if you like, We're supposed already fed, and just started to take off and within looking at ratios of people to a desk. So you're looking at two people or three people to share desk. And the funny thing that I sort of recollected was back in South Africa, if someone parked in your parking space, people got quite upset about that. And desk became the same sort of thing. Because if you had someone who was getting to the office everyday early and getting that desk, you know if it was it was two weeks of doing the same thing. There wasn't like a an ownership of their desk. And then if they had to do a trip somewhere and come back and someone else has gone into the routine of sitting at a desk, it was quite funny to watch how people got upset about it. I mean, it disk disk. There's this there's no storage or anything like that. It was a it was a chair at a table. With a docking station, which was ubiquitous across the whole organization, there was there was none there was better or worse. But these people were, you know, the amount of support calls we used to get because they were trying to move the the docking station or the screen from one desk to another desk because that was the docking station. And it was they've been using it for four weeks. And now they now use it a new desk and they need this they need the setup was it was hilarious.
Dominic Kent 22:32
Yeah, that's crazy, isn't it? there's a there's two things I'd like to unpack from what you just said. The first one you mentioned coming from consultancy background before you're in the UK. The I think the this is probably the same for for law firms. I think as well. You if you're a consultant, you're either doing some research or you're physically with a client or you're preparing the output of your client visit and that research but I think if If you shrink it right down, that's what you're doing. And none of those need to be in the office. So when I first became a consultant, my, when I was offered the job in an interview, the assumption was, I would work from home because I lived so far away from the office. And I would go and see clients as when I needed to. And Joe, who I interview with, said those exact words, which point I knew that I was going to say yes to this job offer because they just got it. And at that time, I'd only ever worked in service providers and in the telecoms world. It should have been the people that said, I assume just going to work from home and then go and see clients when you need to. It wasn't until jobs literally said those words as he was offering me a job that I went, Okay, maybe this is the kind of business I should be in actually gets it. They are using the technology but also, they realize I don't need to be in the office 24 seven, so that was that was really refreshing. And I think that's a reflection on the consultancy industry. The second thing I wanted to unpack was the kind of free for all mentality you said, and I would extend that to not just designated car parking spaces and hot desks. But, man as the company was so big that didn't fit in the office carpark. We would have the entire pretty much the entire Sainsbury's carpark as well. And that was a free for all as well if you if you were in past half past eight, you probably wouldn't get a space in our extended carpark and then you'd have to go and find a parking space on a side road which then obviously had a knock on effect of annoying everybody that was supposed to pop there because they live that so there's there's all these knock on effects on there have gone free for mentality if you don't scale it,
Heather Bicknell 24:45
huh. That's funny because the company I work for we had a customer once. Use our software to, you know, they observed the concurrency of different users when they came into the office and they built their parking lot accordingly. So they could, you know, respond to the peak demand with parking spots. That's,
Dominic Kent 25:06
that's the most sensible suggestion I've ever heard with that kind of, in the, in the call center and customer service world, which has to spend a lot of my consultancy time there's a lot of workforce optimization that goes on and how many customer service reps Do we need to answer the amount of calls Do we need everyone in the same office doesn't need to be regional doesn't need to be maybe just one in the north one in the south or, or by skill set or whatever it is, and nobody ever gets it right? Especially when they if they change a product, or they introduce a premium support line or something like that. And I think even with the technology that they've got in place there, it lacks a bit of common sense which sounds like what what happened in your example.
Heather Bicknell 25:53
Definitely, I do want to get into you know, unified communications a little bit too if we want to
Dominic Kent 26:00
Talk about that. Where do you want? Where do you want to start? I think great question at the beginning, probably.
Heather Bicknell 26:08
Sure. What is the beginning to you?
Dominic Kent 26:12
I don't know. I've been trying to find that out in my own podcast, really. I've been asking everyone to walk through their career in unified comms so that if I could see a common starting point, my conclusion so far is there isn't one people come from it. They come from retail business backgrounds. People have started off in something completely different telecoms altogether, was one job. I had uncle Graham he works. He's the UCX director for Crestron who are leading supplier of devices for unified comm so lots of webcams and headphones and headsets and things like that, Meeting Room Systems.
He wanted to be a racecar driver
and I think
Unknown Speaker 27:00
Dominic Kent 27:01
the long and short of his story was, he made another rating cut over a mechanic or something involved in that. But he took a different job because it was closer to his house and ended up in unified comms, which is very similar to my story. People don't get into unified comms for any specific reason I don't think I I liked the technology after maybe four or five years when it became unified comms in my mind, but the term had been around a lot longer than that. And that's for sure. I think what unified comms actually isn't where it began. In my personal experience is probably when messaging started to integrate with telephony. Which might be completely different to your guy's opinion. I think. If you define unified comms of which I've been asking everyone on my podcast, for their definition, everyone's is different. So there's no right or wrong answer. My definition would be Something like my definition will be about 1000 words long, but it'll be something like combining everything together every method of communication be calling meetings, chat. and everything in between and everything plugged into it, binding them together in in one place, or not necessarily one place. But one, one preference where you can connect to everything else, which is a downward motion. But that's that's why it's so big and finding the actual,
Ryan Purvis 28:30
and I think, I think it was you saying that audio episode that they got me to sort of connect and say we should chat about this because that's, that's pretty much how I see. Those were the things but how a digital workspace is, and it's not and it's everything, including unified comms in one place in context, so using the right tools at the right time to do the thing you need to do, enabled by technology, and whatever their technology is. Just to carry that forward into the UC space, what I always saw that as is that you know what you're going to want to communicate with somebody. But how you communicate shouldn't be so specific that you have to pick a certain product or type to do it. So for example, if I phoned somebody back in the days of mobile phones running out, you only have one phone number, whether that phone number took you to your desk phone or took it to your mobile phone or to your soft phone, and it didn't matter to the caller. Because as far as they could hold the person. That's all they worried about. That's all they needed. And that's what unified comms really started for me. Whenever that was that was back back in 2002. I think back when Lync was still being rolled out or communication server.
Dominic Kent 29:52
Interesting dimension kind of tying you see into the digital workspace because they're both both so broad terms aren't And you mentioned the having one phone number. Personally, I don't think I need my phone number. If someone has dialed my I don't I don't have a landline number UK or us. So nobody can find me on my business number but then one I wouldn't answer anyway. And to eat wood I guess it would be a surprise if somebody did for me on the on the business number all of my work is done via either messaging, a bit of email, which I'm going to try and eradicate in Maine and do a little experiment where I don't respond to any emails and see what happens. And even in my personal life, I think if someone finds me I assume there's a real emergency someone probably ended up in hospital. My girlfriend's locked herself out or something like that. Everything happens over WhatsApp or Twitter's em.
Ryan Purvis 30:56
So would you consider the WhatsApp call? As a call, or would you call that to say that in for instant messaging,
Dominic Kent 31:05
I would, I would call that a call, but I don't use WhatsApp calling it literally I, I only have a call with someone on a scheduled basis. And that's, I'm lucky because I can work well, I have to work asynchronously asynchronously have my eight or nine hours in the working day. The rest of the Meo team are only there are only around for maybe two and a half hours of those. So we schedule a call. It doesn't disappear. That's that's how I worked previously in a. In a consultancy, when I wasn't in the office, either people would schedule a call because they wanted your time or you would schedule a call because the same reason you wanted their time. So you would schedule there was very little ad hoc calls that are required. I think that's because it's been replaced by the messaging element which I guess the persistent message element rather than instant messaging, you don't have to reply immediately because your message will still be there. The next day, the context will still be there because you can see it on a thread and you can have uploaded a file and put an image on it or something and you can done a slash remind command so that it pops up so that you don't lose it forever. And I think for me, that's why I don't need to call anyone anymore.
Heather Bicknell 32:20
Yeah, I think what you're describing is definitely the way of the future. It's funny, because, you know, I actually had to go and request a work number and it's not because I you know, enjoy, you know, calling people that way. It's because I work, you know, pretty cross functionally. And I work with the vendors and I work with people outside the organization. And it was interesting, when I was researching me, I was like, Oh, yeah, I have this problem. I'm sure a lot of people have this problem. You know, I was reading your your workplace study where it says, you know, the average person uses three kind of chat, you know, communication apps, you know, in their work day and that's definitely me. But I think, you know, it is like the lack of interoperability that makes, you know, calling a number still like the simplicity of it that you know, anyone can dial you that way is still, you know, it's still a necessity for some people.
Dominic Kent 33:16
Yeah, definitely. I think the report you referenced was actually for internal use. And so that's that is 3.3 is the average amount of apps. You have to chat internally. Okay. So there's then the, what if you need to talk to someone externally, and in the world of messaging and chat, which is what it was about? The answer is, well, there's probably going to be another one because the chances of you using the same app as me are pretty slim, because there are so many different choices of apps out there. I mean, I've got I have no six, seven. Myself, but that's because I'm in the industry and it's in my best interest to have all of these and to know how they work. Also Meo does the job of sinking them all together, right? So I need to have them all together for testing purposes and taking screenshots for blog posts and things like that. But even before that, when I was a consultant, I had a couple to chat internally. The, the the tool of choice at stable logic was Microsoft Teams. But I preferred to use slack because I was used to the user interface, one or two other people used slack. So we were using to internally, we're still using Skype for Business as well, because we hadn't fully transitioned to teams. So that's three ways to instant message someone. And then when I needed to talk to somebody else in the in the client world, I was either logging on as a guest user in Microsoft Teams, which is another team's instance. So that's, that's four already, and then whatever else, all my other clients were using, and I'd only have four or five at one time. So I could be using something by eight by eight or ringcentral. A little of those are external Use, I also had to maintain a relationship with all those suppliers in case I do introduce one to procurement or something like that. So I was constantly using their tools to talk to them. So my laptop would be full of
1520 isn't an exaggeration,
all those apps just to talk to different people and Okay, I'm in the industry, but if you think about that relationship of vendor supplier, as well as customer as well as internal, that's, that's a lot of apps to juggle. And while while they will exist for messaging, they also will exist for calling and for meetings. And for me, personally, if you added in a direct phone number to reach me on as well.
That would be over communication, shall we say?
Heather Bicknell 35:48
It is overwhelming, for sure. And I think you hit on something there that you know, you mentioned a preference for slack. I think for a lot of us, you know the tool that we the first one we use the one that we get really familiar with we build all of our workflows in becomes a preference, and then it becomes so hard to shift. You know, my organization, we were in the team's TAP program, we were early adopters. So, you know, we kind of piloted the transition from from Skype to teams, but it was very, you know, lines of business. You know, the sales team was very divided on, you know, I don't want to switch to this new platform, like it's too busy people so complained about notifications, we've done so much kind of internal policy writing, just to make sure that, you know, be locked down the sort of general team that everyone's in to some degree so that it's not overwhelming. But there is, you know, there's always there's always preferences that come into play.
Dominic Kent 36:45
Yeah, I think it's interesting. You mentioned the Skype to Team transition. So every business was my favorite messenger tool. At the time before persistent messaging was a thing that nothing else because the user interface was, at the time it was slick. It was easiest To use compared to all the I'm going to label them traditional telecoms vendors that made a soft phone. I won't name drop any bad examples, but I used to a lot that were just a little bit clunky. And if you compared them to Skype for Business, they had absolutely no chance of winning in a in a procurement or anything like that. Because you would just log on use it, you knew how to share your screen, you knew how to send a message knew how to send the file, it was all pretty obvious. It just worked, right. And when you when you relate that to the system messaging platforms today, they are because there's so much more functionality in them. They're completely different to the basic instant messenger tools. And I think so first time users of these tools, maybe if you haven't used a slack or a team's before it is very overwhelming just to use those as a new way of working if you're not used to it.
Heather Bicknell 37:58
Definitely actually You know, of course Microsoft has some of their own resources as well. But, you know, when we were in this early program, I actually put together you know, a deck, we had a company wide presentation, I have a sort of program for our own organization that I wrote just called learning to love Microsoft Teams that was just walking people through the basics, you know, because there's, you know, there's, there's the functionality of the app itself. And then there's the way there's the quirks with how your organization decides to use it. You know, when do you make a new Microsoft Teams when you create a new group or a new channel, there's a lot of more decision making that needs to happen at that level.
Dominic Kent 38:39
Yeah, and I think if you don't, if you don't govern it, and you let people do what they like, create as many channels as they need, as they think they need to message you in the wrong place. And the same is true in slack and WebEx and everything else. If you don't teach someone the Not the right way or the wrong way, because there's no right or wrong way to use these platforms. But I guess best practice is the right word. If you don't educate people into best practices of using these kind of platforms, it will become a complete free for all. And you'll see all of the conversation will just be a big blur in front of your screen because no one's moved that specific topic to a thread. And I've been I've been playing around with discord recently. Which isn't a business tool, but I think a lot of people are using it in business because it's had so much success in the consumer world, but they don't have threading functionality, which is bizarre to me. So when I was first using only with one or two other people, if you don't check your screen for an hour, you've missed everything that has happened in your old servers on Discord. You've missed the whole context, it's all gone. Whereas if each different topic in that blue screen was just split out into a thread, or in a different channel, be much easier to follow.
Heather Bicknell 40:00
Definitely, it's funny because team still kind of has that problem where people still, you know, it's kind of a UI issue. But if you, you know, if you don't reply to the thread and you just type in the main kind of message bar that's available to you, you won't reply in thread so you can tell kind of the people who haven't gotten as opposed to that etiquette. Of course, everyone makes mistakes now and again, but they're still kind of an issue from UI perspective.
Ryan Purvis 40:25
Yeah, I'm so sorry. I must have a team says one of the most frustrating experiences of working. And I don't know why. In some sense, as you mentioned, scarf has been your favorite. I mean, I didn't like Skype for Business. For a number reasons that I still get. Cold shivers what I have to do a Skype for Business call with some of our customers that are still using it, is that salad ringtone? We try to join a call that besides like a chalkboard, there's a chalkboard. But at least at least some of the stuff that Scott did was actually really intuitive. And he didn't have to spend too much time explaining to you how to use it to analyze stuff. But teams, I mean, I could be on a call even one this morning where I lost the screen share, because it moved down to little tile in the in the right hand corner. But I couldn't because I couldn't see it because I had my notes open. So I'm trying to see what the person sharing is saying, but I can't find the thing and then having to exit the call to come back into the call because that was quicker than trying to find the title. Yeah. And I see they finally are allowing you to see who's actually joined the call. Once you go over for people without having to go to the participants. You'll have a sort of Grandview gators zoo. But you
Dominic Kent 41:43
have up to nine now it's three by three, isn't it? Yeah, I think there's, there's a lot of it's easy to bash teams if you don't spend all of your time in it.
Ryan Purvis 41:51
Dominic Kent 41:52
I've got a lot of friends, former colleagues, acquaintances in the industry that are Microsoft resellers, the Microsoft teams and VPS. And they know everything about everything there is to do with teams. And if you talk to them in a, if you forget full tunnel vision on teams and don't consider anything else, because you use SharePoint, and you use PowerPoint and word and all of that stuff, if you just use that, and you spend a good amount of time learning how to use it correctly, then teams can take over the world. However, the reality is, everyone uses something else. So you'll always be flicking between teams and like you said to Skype for Business for customers that don't have teams when you need a meeting. So you'll go back to that nice UI where it's very simple because there wasn't much functionality on Skype for Business. And then you'll go to your email which you you know, and you love, and you can't let go for whatever bizarre reason that is that is in your mind, and everybody will never let go of email. And then you'll play around with something else because it's new, and you'll think that's pretty good, but it's not quite what I'm used to. So go back again, and you'll Come back to teams. But you'll have all these other things in your mind from those other apps that you've been using. And you'll go, why can't I just do this? Why can't just do that. But if you were just fully focused on teams for six months, you would think it's the best platform in the world. And I've somehow found myself backing teams up there. But I think if
Ryan Purvis 43:19
you're right, if you go all in on teams, then it is a fantastic platform. I mean, you me and Heather and I know some Heather's work colleagues are us a lot of savvy people but but you're prepared to work with the tooling. So for me teams become an easy one to use. I'm quite comfortable. In fact, I've started to prefer it over zoom. But when I talk to people that are non technical savvy, they they get frustrated because just to do a call feels complicated. I mean, the concept of channels, I mean, wow, that took must take in about six weeks of everyday doing something in a channel. To show why you'd use the channel, subtly and indirectly, as opposed to a normal friend, you know, in your face training exercise for people to actually grasp what it what a channel would do for them, you know, just working on a little project, for example, you know, use this channel for communications about this project. If I was to do that, or to send an email, because it's very hard to keep track of all the emails flying in your mail or in the inbox,
Dominic Kent 44:26
I think it's a company size thing as well. I don't see any use for teams, if you're in a company with maybe not maybe department size rather than company size. If your company's less than 20 people you absolutely don't need teams. If your department is three people or less then you shouldn't be using channels I don't think and lots of people do because they have other channels as well. Right? So the channels with three people and do exist, but they also have channels with 100 people. I don't think That's the most productive way to work. And that's where, dare I say instant messaging was better if you if your sole purpose is just to chat, point to point with somebody, either messaging or calling that's that's why the old way of messaging is probably better for
Ryan Purvis 45:15
you say, Assistant, I mean, if you take that we do a lot of project work. So to have a severe group that set up for everyone. And then we have channels per project, I finally got this part through. Now, when you work on that project, you try and communicate in that channel as much as possible. And specifically when it comes to and this is where you'll hear the Marshall ecosystem now begins to become very simple, very powerful. We record the session, every call, we have record in teams, that goes into stream and that link gets published into the channel. documents are shared to the same place. So when we have people come and go, and we have you know, some some comments and we have subcontractors and then come and go, they go look at that channel, and Everything is sort of a I mean, yes, it's not the most easy thing to navigate. But they can at least start and go backwards and forwards and get a sense of what's been going on. When they while they've been away. Or they're starting from fresh. There's some things that have been pending or look at all there's a, there's a tab to the wiki or to the files. And these are things that I found really useful. Just having those tabs that gets people going a little bit quicker. And also takes off the cognitive load of someone else, trying to get them up to speed and forwarding trying to find the hundred emails a day, or sifting through the emails to try and find the documents that they need to look at. or, you know, here's the link to this, all those little things that that are painful. Usually, I think teams is actually starting to make a bit easier. But there's just UI things that need to be to be polished up I think.
Dominic Kent 46:50
Now, I think the exact same applies to things like ringcentral glip, and Cisco WebEx teams, they will do exactly what you just explained. None of them are perfect. You have to spend some time up front installing everything so that your integrations are working all the time and your workflows actually flow rather than come to a stopping point. As long as you do it upfront, then you could almost use any platform can you it's it's when you need to work more collaboratively with external people is when it becomes a bit of a problem. And that's where other ones external phone number.
Unknown Speaker 47:29
Ryan Purvis 47:31
Because actually, the thing I wanted to ask you I don't need so you sent us a few links. One of the mystery reports. But the one that I thought was the most interesting was your, your, your influences chart and the sort of top 50 and I wondered if that's something that you're not tracking more regularly to see who is at the top versus us at the bottom but in their top 50. And it was just assuming to the sort of followers as opposed to Any other sort of metric?
Dominic Kent 48:01
Yeah. So this this was based on Twitter followers. And this this was purely a marketing exercise internally to to get our name out to the wider industry, I think so our platform combinations that we support, supported when we made it and still now as Microsoft Teams slack and WebEx teams. Additionally, there are hundreds more platforms out there, right in the industry that we all know and a lot that we don't know. So this was put together to, one, expose the brand to these analysts and MVPs and C level executives at these brands, as well as kind of collaborate some kind of database such as to reach out to people to send some iterations of the product to for them to provide us with feedback on to see if a particular enterprise analysts or our enterprise model was sufficient for what they're actually talking to customers and other brands about, but also to maybe this was a personal goal rather than a business goal, but to drive some kind of competition into not having the most followers but for growing the UC industry as a whole, because until, until unified comms changed properly to team collaboration, I didn't think it'd be marketed very well at all. It was very, very old fashioned. It was always these are the features that we support. Here's your instant messaging. Here's your telephony. You can have a meeting if you pay a bit extra. That was marketing of unified comms until really very recently, because nobody spent any money on on marketing. And I think that's because the majority of unified comms companies stemmed from the old fashioned telecoms. Say sales way of working, which I guess originated in knocking on doors and asking If you needed a broadband upgrade or a phone line installed, and they didn't have the resource for online marketing, which is the only way Meo works today, it's all it's all online marketing. 90% of it is through our blog. And it's completely different to when I first started at five gene back at the beginning of phase one God,
Heather Bicknell 50:23
yeah, I love this. this infographic, I thought it was really smart. And I'm already like, how could I create my own for, you know, end user computing? Because I think, you know, it is it hits on, you know, sort of the micro influencer trend as well and, you know, people obviously, branding, you know, themselves, you know, in addition to their companies, so, you know, super shareable and interesting and just a great resource in general.
Dominic Kent 50:52
Yeah, it was it was an absolute magnet for traffic as well because 45 of the 50 people shared it on their social media. across all of this there was some search traffic for unified comms influences, which is the name of the infographic. Anyway, I was looking for my own so that I could reach out to the right analysts just to just to do my job and the only ones I could find out of date, I hadn't heard of any of the people they didn't work in the unified comms industry anymore. So there was didn't an actual need to refresh that kind of content. And I don't think anyone else has done anything with it. And I've kind of adopted unified comms influencers or you see influencers as my, my side brand name of my podcast, another website by the same name, and I think probably post Meo, which is something that our CEO Tom talks about quite a lot because we are a startup the the ambition one day is to sell to another company when the time is right unless it completely is a requirement to serve standalone which may or may not be the case, but he's a serial entrepreneur, he built successful companies and, and that's how he makes money in that kind of model. So he very often talks to all of us at me about what is next posed to me. And for me, I think it's maybe taking that brand and doing something with it either in an analysis role, kind of as an industry commentator, or in what I do now, which is freelance marketing for companies that need help in the unified column space, of which there are still quite a few.
Heather Bicknell 52:30
Yeah, I definitely, you know, I definitely see see a need for that kind of, you know, perspective and then having that organized out there is really interesting, and I think it hits on something that, you know, you tend to observe in the wild, you know, I follow all these people on Twitter and you can see them interacting with each other and you get a sense of, you know, who the movers and shakers are in the space, but yeah, kind of putting it down on paper or something else.
Dominic Kent 52:59
Yeah, human human. And the personal brand element as well. I think for me as someone so heavily engaged in social media, so we say, I wouldn't buy from someone. If a salesperson approached me to buy their SaaS product I probably wouldn't buy from them. If they weren't on Twitter and I could actually see what they were talking about every day. If they weren't fully invested in their own product and their own industry, then that's that's a dome for me. I know not everybody works that way. But there's there's a lot of there's a lot of CEOs and one of the influences to the influence on the infographic actually, David Michaels and Evan Castile, they, they're on their own podcast, which is C level executives in the unified comms world, what enterprise comes up rather. And their question is, why aren't you on Twitter? If the CEO of the company, Twitter, or if they're not talking to the CFO, the CFO, whatever, why isn't your CEO on Twitter which really spurred me the first time I listened to the podcast to go from Find all of these CEOs that are on Twitter, because they're more likely the real brand advocates to believe in the product and the industry, not necessarily just running a business.
Ryan Purvis 54:12
So the question How did you decide about someone going on this list? Because you've got the followers. That's one thing, but Oh, wait, how did you decide that say Alka popover is a unified columns? chiefs puts out enough content that unified column specific.
Dominic Kent 54:27
So there's, I guess there was my own criteria. It wasn't biased because I didn't work without getting to work with any of these people. I do work with two do I would do I or would I follow them if I wanted to know more side columns if you don't fit that underlying criteria, not getting on the list. And then is it useful I guess is the next part of the flowchart or are you just regurgitating content? Or are you just spouting rubbish on Twitter with many people And then once once I had a list of useful people of which I think I got to 50 realized there were definitely more than 50 decided I needed to rank them by something, rather than going into some kind of scientific algorithm of posts times followers times engagement, which I don't have the metrics for frankly. I thought the easiest way was to rank them by number of followers, that was kind of the fairest way they, if you have more followers, you are going to influence more people, which, at the time felt right. Looking back on it probably was incorrect to do so. A few. If you look at the amount of people that specific people on that list, are actually following themselves. You can tell they've only grown their following by following 100,000 people, for example, does that make them more of an influencer than someone with 500 followers? their engagement is a far superior ratio.
Ryan Purvis 56:08
Well, I suppose I mean is you've got to have a level of intuition.
Dominic Kent 56:13
Yeah, it wasn't particularly scientific.
Ryan Purvis 56:16
They can be I mean, I was thinking about the cloud scores that was around for a while, which was a attempt at some sort of science for for our strongest influence, but it can be so easily swayed.
Dominic Kent 56:28
I think once you once you include the follower account into anything, it kind of overrides everything, doesn't it? Because you can have 250,000 followers, but follow just as many people and they could have all muted you at the end of the day. So unless you unless you're plugged into a platform, paying for the money to receive all the metrics, you can't, you can't really do a scientific influencer list. I don't think people like the Financial Times do them and they do spend the money and the time when they when they have the resource to do it, but at the end of the day, It's a it was a marketing exercise for a startup not a scientific experiment so I'm while I realized it was definitely flawed, I'm I don't lose any sleep over.
Ryan Purvis 57:12
What are your thoughts on WhatsApp? And it nonetheless integrating with WhatsApp only but but becoming quite a success consumer tool? It's part of business to the extent as well.
Dominic Kent 57:23
My my personal experience with WhatsApp as a business tool is it's dreadful, because and this might be a reflection on the brands rather than the technology. Because the I think there's maybe four or five examples I could give that. They've prompted me to use WhatsApp, great, I use WhatsApp, I'd rather be on WhatsApp than SMS or hang around on their live chat on their website because they want things to do. You get in there, they send you a welcome message. you reply you don't hear back from them because probably the demand for WhatsApp is still outranked by the demand. On their live chat or their email or their call center, whatever it is, and because it's so easy to delete a conversation and WhatsApp, it's gone, isn't it? So, there was a digital marketing agency that reached out to me on WhatsApp because I entered my phone number I thought great. I spent a lot of time in WhatsApp anyway. I'll talk to them now. I cancelled my free trial via WhatsApp. They ignored the message therefore it wasn't cancelled. And I was charged three years subscription, something I wasn't going to be used. That was a terrible customer experience that's been replicated across three from three or four more brands that I've given them the time of using their WhatsApp for business and they just haven't responded. So I think the demand in other areas is still so much that nobody's specifically focused on WhatsApp.
Ryan Purvis 58:50
Yeah, I mean, it's interesting you bring up that customer experience piece too, because that's, that's almost one part of the puzzle the other the other part is internal work where instead of using something like teams, team members are sharing and collaborating via WhatsApp, and necessarily not necessarily sharing documents. But if there's a guy not now for a run, so won't be online, instead of sending the team's two out of office or away this in other words out to the group saying I'm going for a run.
Dominic Kent 59:24
Yeah, this this, this was alien to me until I asked. I asked on Twitter a few weeks ago, specifically the marketing community. What do you use to chat with your clients? I was hoping that it will say slack and Microsoft Teams and WebEx teams talk about a nice blog post about it. But once that was definitely the most popular answer for internal and external, which I don't use it that way. And I think it might be a UK or European thing that this happens more so than WhatsApp. SMS is still definitely big in The US for intercompany communications. I know my CEO talks to a lot of our customers via SMS, ironically. But I I wouldn't, I wouldn't ever imagine a situation where I would talk to one of my customers over WhatsApp, because we will be using slack teams, WebEx, all these business tools, right? Yeah. But it does happen.
Ryan Purvis 1:00:27
I mean, anecdotally, I am part of a forum. And we were discussing how one of the banks is rolling up mobile phones again. It's been five years cutting back their mobile phone footprint, or firm provided mobile phones, because they weren't using they're bringing in devices where they had to now stop running out for a managed device again, because of the because of WhatsApp being used and how the regulators were frowning on their activities because traders are talking to clients or whatever it was, through WhatsApp. They weren't able to extract the content of those messages. But they were legal legal tender anyway. So you know, agreements and contracts, for example, would be agreed over WhatsApp and then put into a contract. And then there are disputes in the contract because they're degrading WhatsApp, to almost eradicate WhatsApp as a business tool for that business. By controlling the device, you can install WhatsApp, you have to use that it's a team's over a federated link.
Dominic Kent 1:01:28
I interviewed Chad Reese, who's the Director of it for the pro Pro Football Hall of Fame represent America. He said exactly the same thing. They moved from Skype to teams. But when they were halfway through rolling it out, nobody got through. Nobody adopted the teams as well as they wanted to when people started talking in WhatsApp groups of which all the same problems you just mentioned. It's not regulated the kind of chosen information The answer to that is, maybe introduce a mobile phone that doesn't allow WhatsApp communications, but then my counter would be, you still have a personal phone, you could still talk to them on WhatsApp, anyway.
Heather Bicknell 1:02:12
Yeah, I was gonna bring up a similar point because I was the, you know, what we're talking about here is shadow IT. And I think, you know, the tendency tends to be, you know, lock it down, shut it down, take it away, but people find a way if it's really their preferred way. People find a way I guess I'd be curious, right and get your perspective on, you know, Shadow it in general and how to handle that. What would you do here, you know,
Ryan Purvis 1:02:40
well, it's funny because that's exactly the question came up in the forum. So you're gonna go give these guys all these devices. So they don't use they don't use WhatsApp on the on the work device, but they still use WhatsApp in their personal lives and they still don't talk to the customer or investor. That way. How you're handling this issue. It's a it's a, there are no because it's illegal. All my no one knows how to you can you can put the person on the hook by having the conversation that they will sign a new agreement saying that they won't do that, but they still might have to do it because the customer context in that way. And he gets into very awkward situations. I mean shadow IT IS is definitely growing. The amount of services that you can go by and your credit card, that that can be up and running quickly without the need of it. Because it is usually seen as the slowest part of the process for good reason and bad reason to the good reason is usually around security and integration and supportability and those things. But the other problem is that you don't normally have the resources in it because it's a cost center to do all that stuff quickly. So you end up being at the back of the queue or looking at some sort of prioritization discussion within the business, we ran into a few problems with that where customers would go and spend and then it is based on the business's budget anyway, so they just take the budget out of the it part in theory, and go and buy the piece of software that they wanted. So a CRM tool or something that's that they needed. The problem is that they would go and buy this tool that sign a contract. And then come bringing it and it's over, they need to make this work with all my other stuff. So now I've bought you know, x y Zed CRM tool, which might have been someone's friend's son's uncle's garage project, but now needs to integrate in with the purchasing system so we can invoice the customer and and build them for it. Well, your tool doesn't do any of those things. So no need to spend a year two years building all the things that the tool doesn't do. Whereas if you've gone through a more normal process, you would have probably had an RFP pee out and got got a tool that was tried and tested and all the rest of it. So, so sad. It is a problem. It's good good things and bad things. I think it's good in the sense that it pushes it to be more aware of what the business actually wants and, and more aligned to it. But it's bad because of all those things that create more complexity in an environment.
Dominic Kent 1:05:22
I think I would just add that personal preference will always Trump it dictatorship. Hmm. There will always be away, someone will always prefer something to whatever you roll out. It might be the best today doesn't mean it's going to be the best tomorrow. And I think fighting personal preference, it's probably the wrong way to go about everything, your IT infrastructure.
Ryan Purvis 1:05:50
It's funny. Yeah, I mean, that's the whole end user experience, thing, or adoption. Another way of looking at it is how do you get that Totally hit for the for the tool that you're rolling out as opposed to that personal preference though don't mean hit that that comes back comes about
Dominic Kent 1:06:09
yeah i think that side of things it's it's it's funny but it's so relevant isn't it? In in the consumer world we use Facebook Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Tick tock, the list goes on and why do you use them to share your content? No for people to respond to your content to say that they like it to say that they love it. You can now upload it you can say something is inspirational. Ultimately you want to comment and you want to share. The same is true of workplace tools, workplace, communication devices, all of those because the consumerization consumerization of technology is embedded into what we do in the workplace. You want someone to say your work is good.
Ryan Purvis 1:06:57
What you're doing the right thing. They were new to be trained to look for recognition.
Dominic Kent 1:07:02
And that doesn't need to be in a quarterly quarterly review meeting, does it? It could be Modi reaction on slack on teams.
Ryan Purvis 1:07:11
Yeah. Do you think that's why generationally is the messaging is more taken up now than it has been in previous generations. I mean, I grew up with Merck YRC. And I mean, that's no different to what we're using now. And teams really, channels and all the rest of it.
Dominic Kent 1:07:29
They do manage business. I don't think that's the reason in knowledge workers for people that work at a desk, eight hours a day, and they work online with other people. I don't think that's the reason No, I think the reason why messaging is so popular in my generation is because it's, it's quicker for us to message someone and continue doing whatever piece of work it is you're doing. You could also send out a broadcast message to 10 people to get their opinion on something, rather than calling those 10 people. The whole the whole notion of calling someone and then not answering the phone is bizarre, I think, because why? Why would you attempt that call? If you know the day, you know, there's a 5050 chance in the monitoring, you could send a message and you know, they're going to reply, eventually. It removes the wait period, it may not be quicker to physically write a message than it is to call someone ask them one question. But over the course of a week, the productivity gains outweigh the immediate losses of not getting that immediate response, I think, and I think that's why messaging is preferred. I know that I can send 100 messages in the morning, get all of those replies overnight, and carry on with my day and I haven't wasted any time calling anybody and not getting hold of them, or calling them and actually going off track or talking about something else because that's What you do, right, which sounds sounds less personal, but if you're what you're doing is needs to be more transactional or more efficient then why would you not go to that modal?
Ryan Purvis 1:09:12
Yeah which is why email was so popular for a long time as communicating because you can batch everything you could get up early send you your 1020 emails in the morning in the may not be lengthy one, which is also good. But then he met again at lunchtime and you've got all the replies back to the stuff you asked for. Or the you have a call because you can see it's gonna be quicker to have a call and to send another email reply. It's like an ABC where you go with with IMS as the next evolution on that.
Dominic Kent 1:09:41
I think if you if you manage your email, in a good manner as well, and we've spoken about email behavior before, it's when you first mentioned that I should read Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Workweek, which I did. And he today only checks his email once a day and that was once a week or whatever it eventually became. I think If you can be disciplined enough to do that, then it works really well. But the reality is people are too scared to take that step in case they miss something that nobody has done that and that's why email still exists. So my my main project will be, as I mentioned earlier, I'm not going to respond to anyone's email, because I know that I don't need to I don't, I don't need email personally. And I would like to drive that behavior and everyone that I interact with whether or not at work, I don't know.
Ryan Purvis 1:10:26
I'm very curious to see how that goes. Because it's an experiment I'd like to do as well, because I'm very, I'm a big fan of his email, which has come against me a few times. As a derogatory comment, I use email too much. I'd be interested to know which experiments like I'd like to try that to see if maybe other channels even gave us a different channel to reply to the email. So you find them you text them, whatever it is, is that what you're going to do? Would you think something else that's that's what I do anyway? Realistically, someone sends me an email.
Dominic Kent 1:11:00
And it could have been something else I reply in that something else anyway. I maybe it's it's, it's tricky when it's external. I personally, I think there's no use for internal email anymore. When it's external, it's difficult if someone is not using a chat platform that integrates with each other, which is a real problem. If you're using teams, and you can have guest access, that's fine. If you're using slack and you share channels, that's fine. But if someone's using a different platform, then your only option is to use an aggregator like that Meo on Udemy. I was rivals but then if you're using a platform outside of what is supported there, there really isn't much of an alternative
that I think will be the
Unknown Speaker 1:11:50
Dominic Kent 1:11:52
issue in my experiment in May, which you're welcome to join me and if you were if you want to do the same,
Ryan Purvis 1:11:57
I'm very tempted I would actually like to see In fact, I think I will. I'd like to do for me with you and this this discuss it at the end. I probably want to put some thought into not only tracking it but thinking but scenarios where there was just no other choice. But to use email.
Dominic Kent 1:12:17
Yeah, which in my mind, the goal is that there aren't any and might have to get creative for some, but I think it's, it's achievable.
Heather Bicknell 1:12:28
I know we need to wrap up for a time here. You know, if our audience wants to reach out to you, you know, where were some good places
Dominic Kent 1:12:36
to look? If you want to follow my email, expedition.
I'll be I'll be documenting on Twitter. I'm at Dom can't do MK NT. I am on LinkedIn as well. Dominic Kent, but I would suggest you read my medium post on sending me a LinkedIn request first. Because I've, I've recently documented those as well, kind of like what I'm doing with email. I've had some horrendous LinkedIn requests. So I've documented them all. And I'm desperately trying to find what that was called, is something called the worst LinkedIn requests. And I think you'll find one on Google if you do find it. So if you do want to connect to me on LinkedIn, and on the ken book, please send me something a little bit authentic, and I'll accept.
Heather Bicknell 1:13:24
All right, well, thanks for joining.
Ryan Purvis 1:13:26
Yeah, thank you very much. For the longer much, much lengthier conversation I thought was gonna be so seem really good. And yeah, I think I'll take you up on it. I never set a challenge. But I'll join you on the adventure of reducing to no to no email. Yeah, let's do it. super grateful. Thanks, everyone. And we'll talk
Unknown Speaker 1:13:47
soon, nice chatting. Just folks.
Ryan Purvis 1:13:50
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