Having recently spent time looking back over 10 Years of MessageStats I've realized how much as changed as regards reporting as it relates to the messaging environment. For example, 10 years ago we lived in a world where e-mail servers were not the multi-processor behemoths with gigabytes of memory and terabytes of online storage that we know and (somewhat) love today. High-performance storage was at a premium, mailbox policies were the norm, mobile devices other than basic phones were still a glint in the eyes of their inventors and the following questions were what kept most e-mail admins up at night:
- Who has the largest mailboxes?
- Who sends the most mail? Who receives the most mail?
- Why do I have thousands of Public Folders? Are all of them in use?
- That DL Bob asked me to set up last year - does anyone still use it?
- Why is all that mail going to Hotmail accounts... or worse, our competitor?
- How long until my main server runs out of disk space?
These, and similar questions, should resonate with those of you who have been in the messaging space for some time. However, today we have messaging platforms that are highly performant with multiple smaller databases stored on much cheaper storage and replicated for high availability purposes. E-mail servers can handle the thousands if not millions of messages that users send week in, week out - even the one word replies (for more on that particular bugbear of mine, please see my previous blog post on Information Overload). Public folders are being deprecated in favor of collaboration platforms such as SharePoint and Jive. Non-mail unified communications platforms such as Lync as becoming more prevalent and more and more organizations are contemplating move some or all of their users to 'the Cloud'.
The end result is that I am seeing requests from customers for messaging reporting that is moving away from the technical reactive reporting of the past (Who are my biggest consumers? Where are my critical servers?) to something that allows them to understand what messaging means to the business:
- Are our employees productive?
- Who talks to who and what do they talk about?
- How are they communicating?
- What percentage of communication is being performed outside of business hours?
- How long does it take us to respond to external customers?
The MessageStats team has been working on a module that allows our customers who gain insights into these and other questions and will soon looking for people who would like to try out a beta. More on that soon but if this interests you and/or you would like to chat about what reporting means to you today and what keeps you from having a good night's sleep please, as always, feel free to drop me a line.