Last week I posted an article about the loss of productivity our office (and more specifically me) experienced after upgrading from Office 2003 to Office 2007 with a Microsoft Exchange Server. This post is to serve as the yin to that post’s yang.
There was in fact a pretty large learning curve associated with the upgrade, especially with Word and Excel. I feel I had become pretty darn efficient with both of these programs, and familiarizing myself with a new console proved to be kind of annoying. But I suppose some of that can simply be chalked up to simple resistance to change.
So last week I exposed a lot of the problems that can occur with an upgrade like this. Now I want to concentrate on the reasons to make such an upgrade. I can make the statement with no exaggeration that my email efficiency has at least doubled. I can check/send email from home, work, my mobile device, or any computer for that matter and all of my inboxes are in sync. If I send an email from my phone, MS Exchange adds that email to my sent items folder, so I no longer have to worry about what emails I have and have not responded to. I literally used to CC myself on all emails I sent from my phone just so I would have record of that sent email. This annoyance is no longer necessary. The same holds true for webmail (accessing email on the go via a web interface). This used to be just as clunky as phone email. Now with the MS Exchange internet interface I can access my email from any web browser with 90% of the functionality I have with my actual install of Outlook.
The annoyances of using the old webmail and the old cell phone email were so bad that it really kept me from doing any sort of actual work outside the office. I only responded to what I considered emergency emails. Now I am confident that I can be just as efficient in clearing out my inbox from the comfort of my own couch while my wife watches reality TV as I am sitting at my desk at work. And as a business owner that is huge for me. I have seen the light and honestly donít think I could go back to Ďregular emailí.
And the absolute best part is that since we are on an Exchange server now I can add my SPAM rules on the server level, not on the client level. In other words I can create rules that mark emails as SPAM before they even get downloaded to my inbox (and in turn synced with my phone). Another crutch I used to have with working on the go is that I got triple the amount of SPAM as I did regular email. So sorting through the SPAM to find the 1 or 2 actual emails on my phone was unbearable. I donít think I have received a single piece of SPAM email to my phone since the change.
So for those business owners,†branch managers, and IT guys out there; if you want to give a pretty solid boost to your employees in email efficiency I highly recommend giving MS Exchange a shot. You will get pushback up front, but they (like me) will see the light after only a few days of using it.
Shey, you are the man; thanks for making this happen!