Technologies in use within your organization?
June 18, 2008 2:33 AM   Subscribe

What technology do you used at your work place to communicate between workers / organizational members? Bonus points if you're on a Virtual Team.

I need to collect some information for a school paper. I'm not sure who to turn to, so you're my only hope hive mind.

With your answer to the above question, please include (Short Answers are acceptable):

1. Company Name (can be left blank or make one up)

2. Which technologies have employees/ work teams in this organization used to help them in reaching a decision or accomplishing tasks?

3. Which technologies are available to these organizations (whether or not problem-solving groups are using them)? Do the technologies include the use of telecommuting by members?

4. If cost were not a consideration, which technologies would members of work teams or of these organizations in general prefer and believe would be an asset to meet complete tasks and meet goals?
posted by bleucube to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: PS. PRE THANKS!!
posted by bleucube at 2:34 AM on June 18, 2008


37 Signals has a bunch of products, but we've used Basecamp. It's web-based, so good for virtual teams.
posted by rryan at 4:03 AM on June 18, 2008

I'm on a global virtual team, and my company uses conference calls, Share Point, and MS Messenger.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:01 AM on June 18, 2008

Best answer: 1. Company Name (made up) Schor-Draplama
2. Documentum ERoom (web-based collaboration tool, very awesome), MS Outlook (email, scheduling), MS Livemeeting (collaborative meeting tool).
3. Our organization has sharepoint available, but we were already using ERoom when it because available. We think ERoom is better anyway (faster, more tools, cheaper)... All of these technologies are compatible with telecommuting...
4. We could do a DAR (Decision Analysis and Resolution) to choose a technology, but I'm sure the decision would be ERoom. It's not really too expensive, and it really is powerful.
posted by joecacti at 6:36 AM on June 18, 2008

About half our staff is in a central office but with a couple of telecommute days the other half works in the "field" in more rural areas.

We use VPN, a FTP site, Blackberries, and OWA/outlook. We tried sharepoint, but a lot of our peeps are not technology oriented, so it didn't work out. So for collaboration documents, we use a naming convention to show who has looked at it and made edits. Its not elegant, but it works for us.
posted by stormygrey at 6:44 AM on June 18, 2008

Sharepoint, though have of the staff does not know how to use it; Skype video/voice calls/im chats; Unyte via Skype for desktop sharing during presentations.
posted by anthropoid at 6:46 AM on June 18, 2008

We're using Microsoft's Roundtable - a device with 5 webcams mounted into it, along with some mirrors. It is capable of picking up an entire conference room of people for video conferencing. We use this (with MS Communicator, etc) probably 10hrs or more per week to collaborate between the US and Europe.

We use Sharepoint, as well, but it isn't the most elegant solution.
posted by mbatch at 6:56 AM on June 18, 2008

Preface: We have about 1500 people working with our company as contractors (i.e. not fulltime, but pulled in for specific skills on specific projects). There are about 50 of us who are full-time salaried employees, and of those, maybe 30 sit in the actual home office while the rest of us telework. Teleworkers range from living 5 miles from office to 3000 miles away. Almost all of the work in my division is done in virtual teams.

1. Made-Up Company Name
2. We use email (Outlook and OWA for the remotes), FTP, a telephone bridge system (dial-in 800#s for meetings), and WebEx, and are moving heavily into SharePoint for internal and client use. Mgmt/sales/recruiting use Bullhorn. We do not have VPN access.
3. The stuff in #2 is what's supported by our IT department. Individual teams also use smartphones, Basecamp, ezBoard, etc.
4. We are moving to a centralized project management method, and would like to identify and implement a web-available PM tool. @task seems like the winner now, but not sure we've got the budget for it.

Also, I implement a variety of collaborative solutions for clients. Right now, wikis and SharePoints are popular; I don't see as many pure document repositories as I used to. Collaborative work is a big professional interest of mine, so feel free to MefiMail me if you want more info/resources about virtual/collab work and I'll put on my work-hat.
posted by catlet at 8:34 AM on June 18, 2008

Since you are writing a paper for school, you may also be interested in this article, which includes a discussion/analysis of technology used by the 98 virtual teams they studied. Memail me if you can't get access through your university.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2008

Response by poster: All correct answers - thanks everyone!!
posted by bleucube at 4:28 PM on June 18, 2008

My company uses something called GoToMeeting. I don't know anything about it, though, because I personally never use it.
posted by trip and a half at 5:56 PM on June 18, 2008

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