Formicary Reduces Email Burden by Transforming How Businesses Communicate

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Embedding Group Chat into Microsoft Outlook brings new efficiencies, added value and real-time collaboration to business communications

According to research firm The Radicati Group, in 2010 business users sent and received an average 110 emails each day so it's no wonder many are suffering from email overload

Formicary Intelligent Collaboration Group, a provider of real-time collaboration solutions, is reducing the email burden faced by businesses by integrating real-time team collaboration into Microsoft Outlook. Formicary Group Chat for Outlook will, for the first time, bring the advantages of Group Chat into the email environment, improving how workers communicate in real-time within the Outlook client.

Originally created with the primary purpose of replacing paper memos to distribute information, email doesn't lend itself well to conversations. Overheads such as headers and signatures can clutter the communication thread and there's a risk of spawning confusing multiple threads as people reply to messages at different times and stages of the discussion.

Persistent Group Chat, one of the features of Microsoft Corp.'s unified communications platform, Lync Server 2010, allows users to have topic-based, multi-party discussions that persist over time - enabling efficient information sharing and discussions as a group. Combining the immediacy of instant messaging with the multi-party reach of email, Formicary Group Chat for Outlook makes Group Chat a seamless, fully functional and integrated element of Microsoft Outlook - already the central communications tool of many businesses.    

Formicary Group Chat for Outlook offers a unified client experience. It will automatically activate Group Chat when Microsoft Outlook is launched and simultaneously run both capabilities from the same window. The new solution retains the same look and feel of Outlook but with the added value of Group Chat - improving business performance by creating a more collaborative workforce and a means of capturing informal knowledge in a searchable, reusable format and transforming it into valuable intellectual capital. As well as creating more immediacy for conversations, Group Chat will help de-clutter email in-boxes as users converse in chat rooms with the rest of the team.

"According to research firm The Radicati Group, in 2010 business users sent and received an average 110 emails each day so it's no wonder many are suffering from email overload," explains Gavin Adam, head of product management, Formicary Intelligent Collaboration Group. "If businesses continue to use email as their primary communication tool, this situation will only get worse. However persuading users to adopt Group Chat as an alternative to email can be a challenge as people tend to resist change.

"By bringing the technology to an application that they already know and trust - namely Microsoft Outlook - individuals can easily switch to Group Chat discussions without having to change screens or alter working practices. Keeping users in their technology comfort zone in this way will not only encourage uptake of the technology and improve business performance, but will ease the implementation, training and management burden associated with any new application. Formicary Group Chat for Outlook is exactly what Gartner describes as a fourth-generation collaboration tool "
Group Chat for Outlook follows the launch of Formicary WebChat for SharePoint last week which transforms knowledge sharing and real-time team collaboration across the business by embedding Group Chat into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010.

Available now, Formicary Group Chat for Outlook brings the benefits of Group Chat to any organisation using Microsoft Outlook 2010. Of these organisations, many may already be licensed to use Group Chat as part of their Microsoft license agreement.

Also supporting the shift towards Group Chat, another solution from Formicary - Email Connector - is designed to help wean users away from email when they are working from remote computers or mobile devices. Formicary Email Connector pushes email to distribution lists into Group Chat chat rooms which users can still seamlessly access from Outlook and other clients and devices.
For more information, please contact Angeline Cheng at angeline.cheng@formicary.net

Notes to editors

Formicary Intelligent Collaboration Group is a leading provider of real-time team collaboration solutions. Formicary's software solutions are specifically designed to extend the value of instant messaging and Persistent Group Chat. Formicary works with many of the primary adopters of Group Chat, including most of the Tier One global investment banks, facilitating better collaboration between both internal and external users to enhance the business through increased knowledge sharing and reduced operational costs.

Formicary is a Microsoft Gold Partner and its suite of solutions are fully compatible with Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Founded in 2000, Formicary has offices in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

A white paper entitled 'The art of building corporate communities' by Gavin Adam, head of product development, Formicary Intelligent Collaboration Group is available on request.

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Angeline Cheng

Formicary Ltd
02079207106
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