Over the years, fragmentation has crept upon organisations leaving communications across the company out of tune with the requirements of the business. Half your employees use email, half use the phone, a few use IM, and a bunch of others install their own apps. You don't know who said what, to who, and when they said it. You …
Use whichever's appropriate
Am I missing someting here?
If it can't wait, phone; if it can, email.
If it's some new instruction and you need to have no excuses from that feckless techie who never does his job, email and keep the read-receipts.
Phone Vs Mail
"If it can't wait, phone; if it can, email."
If you need to converse (eg brainstorm, explain a concept, design a scope) or do something now, then phone.
If you need to give specifics, leave a record (incl BCC someone or notify someone), use email.
Email I find is useful for tennis like conversations as well...
I vastly prefer the multi-layer tennis that is rfc1855-compliant, quote interleaved, email (or usenet) deep discussion. You probably don't know, but the kind that sees ten pages of email flit forth and back with more than half of it being new material on each iteration, and the old cruft trimmed. Gives time to put serious thought into issues, go off on tangents yet pick up the main thread with ease, leave room to edit and boil down, and so on, and so forth.
But that requires discussion partners with a modicum of spelling, grammar, formatting, netiquette, background, and topic knowledge. Since even techies nowadays can no longer be arsed to put the minimal effort required into not top-posting, as compounded by a tendency to write txtliek emails on their bloody phones, you indeed end up with far more ping pong and less achievement in a larger time span. Not counting wasted bandwidth, that's a lot of human effort wasted. So wasting time on the phone is economical again. Or as much as talking to wastes of oxygen will ever be.
You know, people got things done when they had neither email nor phone. Having to write letters by hand is a pain, but it puts a natural pressure on making count what you do write. Not any longer, and it shows.
yorkshire fire service...
... and a burning ambition. Hum.
So what is the problem, really?
How do you integrate paper mail with phone? If not, what is the pressing need to integrate email and phone?
Of course, that's not really the issue. Back when networking became cheap enough suddenly everyone wanted to network everything. Heck, we're still told about wonderful futures where fridges and lightbulbs too will have internet addresses. This really doesn't make much sense, but techies too like to do what comes naturally.
Telecommunications networking is quite a different specialism than is computer networking, yet each wants to play with the other's toys, too, and of course that brings friction. Yes, they're each and differently highly complex and yes, there might be convergence benefits to reap. But, er, there's more than that to consider. Each service has to work, too.
You could start with concentrating on making each system manageable before adding yet more complexity by trying to combine them. In fact, if convergence was the answer then that's not unlikely because converging necessitated simplification, that in turn was the real kicker. Was it the converging, or the making manageable to enable converging, that let you reap the most benefits?
In an emergency....
don't phone us, because our phones work on IP, and the connection's down/the server's crashed/the lines have melted. Email? Ditto.
I think fondly of the days when the main kit I need to do my work was not on a network - no freezes, no crashes, no bloatware: just a modest, dedicated, reliable (albeit rather antiquated) PC with some extra bits. In the brave new world of broadcasting which I inhabit now, everything's interconnected and redundancy is what they give to people who cannot appreciate what a wonderful nirvana we're inhabiting. Bonuses were given to those that designed and built techno-whizz-bangs that take longer to do the job and are not usually reliable for longer than, say, 15 minutes. (You may have noticed that most TV programmes now run for about 60-odd.)
The last time the lights went out, the network fell over, and with it the phones. I hope that firefighters everywhere never let computer networks near those phones.