KEEPING TRACK OF ALL THOSE EMAILS

You might be the best client a company ever had, but someone new there is sure to ask: “And who are you again?”

A survey by Manpower Group found that 84 percent of all employees plan to look for a new job in 2011. That doesn’t mean they’ll all get one, especially in this economy, but those that do are likely to leave behind a big load of digital flotsam and jetsam.

Oasys Mail ManagerEmployees who move to another firm typically don’t leave notes for the new guy or gal, and their old archived email gets lost or is difficult to recover. (We have been asked many times by new employees to identify ourselves and offer proof of our press status, even at companies where we were the first to ever write about that firm, when they were small and insignificant.)ema

Another survey estimated that the Internet sends and receives about three million emails a second. Put those two surveys together and there is probably a lot of old employee email to look through just so the new employee can get up to date. As a practical matter, we’ve found that the new employee never gets completely up to date.

The leading company for handling this problem is Salesforce.com. They’re a contact management company, which simply means they keep track of all your business and personal contacts and even suggest new ones. This information all exists in the cloud, as they say, meaning it resides on their servers and can be accessed from anywhere. The cost is a low $5 a month per user. Salesforce works with Microsoft Outlook and Google’s Gmail.

SalesForce

We recently came across a competitor from England, with a more limited program called “Mail Manager.” This has a one-time cost of $182 per user and handles the email problem instead of total contact tracking. The program works only with Microsoft Outlook, the most common email program.

While Salesforce exists in the cloud i.e. the company’s own servers, Mail Manager resides on your computers. It places email in folders in suggested locations automatically if you wish. You can open these messages years from now, without the Mail Manager program, because they’re saved in Outlook’s “msg” format. The search function is excellent. Besides searching by date or key-word, the program will search for similar spellings, including misspellings and foreign variants. The program also has a screen grabber and mark-up tool, so you can add screen snapshots and notes without leaving Outlook. Mail Manager has a 30-day free trial; go to Oasys-software.com.

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