The EMAIL Lab is a global initiative of The International Center for Integrative Systems (ICIS) and conducts research and hosts educational events at institutions such as MIT and Emerson College. At the ICIS research center, participants examine how email communication is evolving and present practical choices for organizations that depend on this medium for their communication needs. AT ICIS, the Lab collects and analyzes data generated by massive email communications in order to understand business practices underlying in electronic communication management, develop economic models based on the practices and identify new business opportunities from these models. ICIS research center of the Lab also analyzes data and business processes to determine the optimal integration of EMAIL with print and other media to achieve communication goals.

Research Interests

  • Communications Management
  • Email Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Privacy, Security and Confidentiality of Email
  • Business Intelligence Analytics
  • Integration of Email, Social Media & Web

Communications Management

Communications management is the process of planning, implementing, monitoring, and revising various channels of communication within an organization and across organizations. The process also includes identification and deployment of changes based on new policies that organization’s management decides. Team involved in communications management develop corporate communication strategies, design internal and external communications directives, and manage the flow of information. Innovation in communication channels offer new challenges to the communications management team, as it occurred in 1990’s, when electronic media was introduced in communication. For example, Customer Service departments made major overhauls as call centers started incorporating email agents and web-chat agents with their telephone agents. Marketing departments also made significant changes to their communication strategy as web sites, online marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing started getting integrated into their marketing programs, in addition to traditional marketing channels.

Email Management

Email management is a specific field of communication management for managing high volumes of inbound electronic mail that organizations receive. An email management system consists of various components to handle different phases of email management, including:


  • Email receipt module: Receive emails, filter out any SPAM & unwanted content to separate queue (some times called email Filtering) and assign unique ticket numbers based on certain conditions.
  • Data enhancement module: Adds tags to each email for further processing and may include the ability to connect to remote databases and retrieve specific information about the email author and his/her transactions with the organization.
  • Intelligent Analysis module: ‘Reads’ the subject, message & attachments and any tags added by data enhancement module, analyzing its content in an attempt to understand the subject matter of the email. This module may store this ‘intelligence’ as additional tags.
  • Routing management module: Uses gathered intelligence to determine which department/s or person/s in the organization are best suited for taking action on this email and sends the email to them.
  • Response management module: This module ‘writes’ a response, using gathered intelligence. email management systems can be configured to send out certain responses automatically and certain responses to be held in a queue for the review of subject matter experts.
  • Archival module: An essential module of email management system, this module (also called Email Archiving) stores every email received and responses sent in a database that allows easy searching of past email collection. An archive with search capability is legally required for certain organizations such as financial service companies.
  • Analytics module: Uses all the available information from other modules to present statistical reports and graphs. These reports and graphs help the organization to take immediate (increase or decrease staff that handles certain types of emails) and long-term decisions (improve a product or service that received high number of complaints in the past ninety-days).