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Survey Shows Business Professionals Suffer From Digital Overload

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BroadVision, Inc. (Nasdaq:BVSN), a leading provider of e-business and engagement management solutions, today revealed the results of a global survey indicating that the main source of information overload people suffer from is not the volume of email received, but rather the number of separate digital business communication channels. BroadVision has identified three common communication and collaboration challenges, along with best practices for improving business efficiencies and eliminating digital duplications.

BroadVision® survey highlights include:
  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents feel overwhelmed by their distributed digital footprint with their work and commercial communications in separate places.
  • 60 percent of respondents spend more than three hours per day emailing, attending phone calls, or meeting with colleagues, partners, suppliers, or customers.
  • More than half of respondents reply to more than ten email messages per day on which they are cc'd; additionally 30 percent reply to more than 25 email messages per day on which they are cc'd.
  • Half of respondents use SMS group messaging and/or file sharing to conduct business.

"A digitally overwhelmed person is inundated with endless email and communication threads in an overflowing inbox, and is tired of information scattered across multiple disjointed communication and collaboration silos," said Richard Hughes, Director of Social Strategy at BroadVision. "Without a unified user experience, businesses may be at risk of fragmented critical knowledge flows across multiple tools and disparate silos with wasteful redundancies and messy inefficiencies."

Three Challenges of Business Communication and Collaboration and How to Alleviate Them

1. Professionals are digitally overwhelmed – Professionals have varying degrees of emails and SMS threads in a bursting inbox spread out across multiple fragmented silos. All this information from different sources leaves people feeling like they spend far too much of their time maintaining different communication channels, and so inundated they find it increasingly hard to locate what is needed to do their jobs.

The Solution: Consolidate all conversations into a unified stream Don't add to the portfolio of tools in use, but rather find a single communication and collaboration tool to do it all. Using a single, unified solution means less time spent trying to find the needed information buried in different disconnected services.

2. Email lacks accountability – Often professionals do not know if a recipient is going to do what is asked of them in an email, or whether they even received the email until they reply. With the ever increasing volume of email, especially when reply-all messages clutter the inbox, it's difficult to separate the email with action needed from an email that is just noise with no request for participation. In order to compensate, a recipient has to read and reply to everything or risk missing an important message, both of which take valuable amounts of time.

The Solution: Inject accountability into business communication – Know when you need to take action by having a clear picture of what is expected, from whom, and by when. Task management is designed to inject accountability into business communication by allowing full views of the discussions amongst all members within a task, while keeping deliverables accountable to assignees. This adds a dimension of structured processes to an otherwise unstructured form of communication, resulting in better business workflows.

3. Fragmented corporate knowledge – A large amount of a company's knowledge is held in email discussions, and these typically live in individual employees' email folders, rather than as a centralized company resource. This is a particularly important issue in the area of group discussions and capturing collective knowledge across time zones and geographical locations.

The Solution: Ensure a single source of truth – By shifting the conversation into a virtual workspace, communication and collaboration can take place easily and securely. The workspace should sit along the existing email system and provide a more streamlined, manageable view of all discussions and file attachments. A single, definitive view of the discussion should be available to all participants and easily discoverable by other network members who are entitled or invited to see it. It enables an organization to connect their entire social ecosystem together to avoid duplication of content and users, resulting in a more efficient way to get work done easier and faster.

Survey Methodology

This research, conducted online by BroadVision, surveyed more than 300 professionals across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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