According to META Group, it is. In a survey of 387 worldwide corporate executives, 80 percent said they see e-mail as a more valuable communications method than the telephone, and 74 percent said they would have more difficulty if they lost e-mail access for five days than if they lost phone access. The top three reasons they prefer e-mail are 1) response flexibility, 2) easy communication with multiple people at once, and 3) default creation of a paper trail.