Shafer is also encouraging Global Crossing employees to use a tool called "clean up" to delete all redundant messages in a thread.
"If it's one continuous e-mail thread, the last e-mail in the thread has everything else in it. So all you need is that one."
Schafer says "conversation view" and "clean up" are helping Global Crossing put management of the inbox into the hands of the end-user.
"They can use the clean up features to rapidly delete enormous amounts of useless data," he says.
Co-Authoring Office Docs in SharePoint 2010
Global Crossing is making SharePoint 2010 available on the extranet and securely granting access to customers and partners and collaborate with them through the "co-authoring" feature.
Co-authoring in Office 2010 allows a user to invite a group of people into SharePoint to work on a single Office document together, rather than having people e-mail around different versions of the same document.
In this case, co-authoring through SharePoint 2010 on the extranet solves the problem of having 50-page documents from law firms or vendors go back and forth over e-mail, piling up multiple copies of large files within Outlook, says Schafer.
"Putting these documents out on the extranet so our internal users can collaborate with an outside legal firm or vendor on just one document with is a big improvement," he says.
Co-authoring in SharePoint 2010 also tracks revisions made to documents and collects metadata such as the content type, who's the owner, who made the last update and on what date.
"It gives us a lot more control," says Senior Systems Engineer Wicklund. "With e-mail there's a chance someone could save or send the wrong copy of an important document, and we'd rather not take that chance."
Global Crossing has been using social networking features in Outlook and SharePoint 2010 to improve communication and relationships among its far-flung workforce.
It starts with Outlook Social Connector, a new Outlook 2010 feature that provides the photo, name, title, IM and phone connection, and other information about an e-mail sender or recipient right from the Outlook inbox. OSC also filters in activity from LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace if a user chooses to connect their account to Outlook 2010.
It's been surprising to Schafer what a difference it's made just to have current photos integrated into Outlook.