A virus attack which hit the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) was so severe the agency pulled the plug on its email systems. Twelve weeks later the agency is yet to fully restore email and has only a rudimentary web site in place. But as the Washington Post reports, some of the agency’s staff and customers have found …
Rise of the -- humans!
To quote Scotty: "How Quaint!"
Kickin' it Old School
That's what I like to see. Don't sit and whine about the system being down, use what does work and keep the mission going. Albeit somewhat slower...
"staff gave out personal cell phone numbers" -- eek!
Sorry, I shuddered when I read that; maybe EDA customers are a better breed than mine.
Given the staff I do battle with every working day (sigh), e-mails are definitely a lesser form of communication. But even outside the confines of the disorganisation for which I work (where single finger typing is normal), I do believe that a phone call to a customer from someone who has access to all relevant information can often achieve much more than an e-mail.
E-mails come into their own when the client is in a foreign country and either the cost of the call or the time difference are factors.
Harder to 'kick the can' when you have to deal with a problem face/voice to face/voice in real time. It's very easy OTOH to take one look at the CC distribution list on an email and just assume someone else on the list will deal with the problem.
Email can also be flagged for attention later, whereas your priorities will change quickly if you know that person is going to be calling again in 4 hours and you don't want to have to blow them off again.
They should learn from this and work out how to maintain the improvement when the email system comes back online. Rather than punting an email at 300 random people and assuming even half of those people really need to be a part of the conversation, take time to find the right person and email/call them instead.
I speak as one who finds myself on several email distribution lists in a large organisation for technology and teams I've never even interacted with, let alone finding the subject relevant or the issue at hand being something for me to be involved in.
Maybe I'm a rarity but, in theory, I much prefer dealing with people in writing than by phone; much easier to organise what you want to say and having the dialogue down in black & white means less chance of things being said and then either not done, or denied later.
Unfortunately most corporations seem to place the importance of email correspondence somewhere below that of a Post-It note, so emails tend to either be ignored, or responded to by someone who doesn't make it past the subject line, before pasting in a canned reply.
THe SiDe StoRy
The US doesn't need an Economic Development Administration (EDA) it needs to restore the US Constitution and create an Economic Disaster Administration so it can kick the banksters out, arrest the oath breakers, and regulate the monetary system.
EDA is spending money this country doesn't have.
I don't give a crap that it started in 1965, today we don't have any money, and printing can only happen so much before everything falls apart, it's legal counterfeiting. It may create something now and then, but it leaves big bills, to be saddled in the end without truly informing anyone of their consequences. It leaves and constitution nullifying treaties along the path as well. Their language is disgusting, they talk about regions instead of states. That's agenda 21 language.
The US doesn't need the EDA it needs cops to arrest these Agenda 21 oath breakers before the eugenics part of the plan is complete. In the end I don't care if the EDA survives, it's another UN conduit like ICLEI http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=11454 who steal your sovergnity and leave the locals saddled with all the over budget or unpayable bills. It's a hell of a list, I bet if you are reading this you are in it already.
WIth the commerce dept's behavior corporate personhood, unlimited corporate campaign donations, hacking journalists, etc. They're nothing but criminals as far as you can see and then some. They hate the US Constitution, they break their oaths, they are monetary terrorists. You can't even tell me something they've done that matters. The year is 2012 not 1965.