Nylas Aims To Prevent IT Pros From Giving Up On Email

...

Email overload and emerging alternatives have people looking at different communication channels. But maybe email can be saved -- something Nylas is working toward.

For decades, people have been complaining that email, the internet's killer app, is broken. Go back to 2010 and you'll find Google citing customer complaints about email overload as the rationale for filtering technology. Go back further to 1996, when the first free email services began to appear, and you'll find researchers at Lotus Development Corporation, shortly after it was acquired by IBM, talking about email overload at a time when most people did not have personal email accounts.

With the mobile revolution and the rise of messaging and chat apps, people have been able to explore other communication channels.

Willingness to look beyond email appears to be related to age. Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report notes that while Baby Boomers (born 1945-1960) and Generation X (born 1961-1980) favor the telephone first and email second as preferred communication channels for contacting businesses, Generation Y (born 1981-1999) favors the internet/web chat first and social media second for interacting with businesses, with email dropping to third place.

The success of team collaboration and organization tools like Asana and Slack demonstrates that email isn't the right tool for every communication scenario.

However, IT professionals needn't give up on email. There may be better ways to manage projects than email triage, but email isn't past saving. At least that's the hope of Nylas, a startup founded by Michael Grinich and Christine Spang.

Nylas makes an open source email app called Nylas N1. It also offers Nylas Cloud, a set of APIs for integrating apps with existing email providers and account data. Nylas Cloud is an alternative to IMAP and Exchange.

In a blog post, Grinich declares, "Email is the database of your life." In a phone interview, he explained, "There are millions and millions of types of data sources that can end up in email," he said. "It really ends up becoming this personal endpoint that anyone can send information to."

Asana and Slack are great products, said Grinich, noting that his company uses them. "Largely, they're for internal team-based communication," he said. "What they're really not built for is external communication."

As an example, he said that he wouldn't invite someone outside the company to a Slack chat room to provide them with a calendar invite. "Email is the common denominator across everything," he said.

Grinich sees N1 as a foundation for new email experiences. "The reason why N1 is really powerful is because it's built to be extensible," he said.

[See 8 Reasons Cloud Email Is A Smart Move Now.]

The idea is that email can be improved through additional code. Daunted by a unread email messages? Write a filter. Looking for a way to structure email data and add it to Salesforce? Write a plugin.

While Nylas is not the first company to offer an open source email client -- there are others, such as Mozilla's Thunderbird, for example -- its software was built with JavaScript and related technology like React, making it particularly accessible to developers. Grinich noted that the project is already one of the most popular on source code repository GitHub.

N1 is available in two tiers: Developer (free) and Pro ($7/month). A third tier, Teams, is coming shortly. The app comes bundled with various plugins like Translate and Quick Replies that enhance its functionality, and additional plugins can be installed as needed, or created, for those with some knowledge of JavaScript.

Nylas says its software complies with Safe Harbor rules for the US and EU, is PCI and HIPPA-ready, and undergoes regular 3rd party audits and penetration tests. The cloud service encrypts data at rest and its API calls require proprietary OAuth2 tokens. It enforces TLS for public and private networks and it runs on AWS, which has its own strong security protections.

Email has stood the test of time. Maybe the problem is not the medium but the way that messages get handled.

Categories
APPLICATIONS
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    Ikea's Smart Lightbulbs to Get Apple HomeKit Support

    When Ikea launched its new line of smart lightbulbs in March, the concept seemed promising enough (cheap smart home products from a well-known brand with a high-tech pedigree), but the execution fell short: the bulbs could only be controlled via Ikea's remote or base station.The Swedish home furnishings giant will now rectify that oversight by letting Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa devices control the bulbs, according to MacRumors.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Opera Launches In-Browser VPN

    Following last year's acquisition of the SurfEasy VPN, Opera is launching a built-in version to the early release developer edition of its browser.A button in the browser address field lets users see and change their location (USA, Canada, or Germany, with more to come), check whether their IP is exposed, and review data usage stats.
  • 5300c769af79e

    TripAdvisor Gains Google Play Music Integration to Play Trip-Related Tunes

    Through a new update to TripAdvisor, you’ll be able to stream locally-curated or tailored playlists from places all over the world.That’s a fancy way of saying that as you plan your trip to Italy, you’ll hear music you might find while in a cafe, sipping espresso.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Q&A Sessions: Volume 39

    We are back again for another round of the DL Q&A Sessions, this time for Volume 39.The Q&A Sessions is your chance to ask the DL staff whatever you would like, whether it is Android-related or any other topic.