IT outsourcer Atos has revealed plans to roll-out enterprise social software-as-a-service provided by its recently acquired blueKiwi unit to support its pledge to become a zero-email company by 2014.
Chief executive Thierry Breton announced plans at the beginning of last year to get rid of internal email systems, as he wanted to reduce the company's 'information overload' by encouraging staff to use social platforms.
Breton's zero-email announcement was met with worldwide headlines from an astounded media and cries of disbelief among other commentators.
Atos acquired blueKiwi in early 2012 and has now said it will use its latest ZEN offering, which is released today, to support the initiative.
ZEN is provided out of Atos' cloud infrastructure platform, dubbed Canopy, and includes new collaboration capabilities and native mobile applications for iOS, Android and Blackberry.
"With ZEN we are aiming to bring enterprise social software to the mainstream and turn it into a business-critical application. We've specifically designed it to become the social hub of the workplace where email is out and collaborative activities get done," said JL Valente, CEO at blueKiwi.
Atos has said that it will rollout ZEN globally to transform its business into a 'social organisation', which it hopes will provide a better work-life balance for employees and create efficiencies.
Atos' Breton said at the end of last year that the drive to throw out email was driven by the discovery that his staff received over 100 emails a day, and that reading and replying to these took up to 20 hours of their work week.
He also said that young Atos staff joining the company are unfamiliar with established internal email systems like Outlook, having been weaned on Facebook and Twitter, and external email systems like Hotmail and Yahoo.
The Atos boss said that internal email systems fuel data overloads and generated messages that were not useful and wasted the time of those receiving and managing them.
Breton said at the time: "Businesses need to do more of this - email is on the way out as the best way to run a company and do business."