Somewhat surprisingly, web content and online communication have increasingly become the standard for technology in the workplace. This is a stark difference from days past when applications were silos in their own realms. This structure created an obstacle in the way of collaboration: access to information was restricted, and finding and sharing information was often a difficult endeavor. Now, businesses around the world are incorporating software from tech companies like Google and Microsoft to improve collaboration among employees.
Enterprise software suite Google Apps is one of the prime examples of the evolution of office productivity. Instead of separate applications, Google Apps lumps productivity software, such as Drive, Talk, and Gchat, into one seamless package. Impromptu meetings can be held through Google Talk, a widget that allows for chat, voice, and videoconferencing. Additionally, Google Apps has a number of ways for mobile phones to stay connected even when someone is not in front of their computer. This allows for more collaboration than ever before.
The European financial institution BBVA is an example of a large organization that has begun to utilize Google Apps. Using Google Apps, the 110,000-person company has been able to better collaborate on projects. Employees can work on the same documents simultaneously and share comments about ongoing work. Collaboration functions in real time, with no bulky email attachments required.
Zoho and Microsoft Office 365
While Google claims that more than 5 million businesses currently use Google Apps, it does have competition in the market. Zoho, a smaller company that offers a number of web-based collaboration products, including email, project management, and CRM, says that more than 8 million people use its software—a lot given that the company is not as well-known in the market.
Microsoft is another example of a large company moving into the web content market. Understanding the realities of web-based software, the company is cannibalizing its own native software applications with its Office 365 suite. Office 365 offers some web-based components and collaboration but still encourages users to work with programs like Microsoft Outlook.
An example of how Office 365 has improved online communications in the workplace is the Miami-Dade Public School system in Miami, Florida. Looking to save money, Miami-Dade Public Schools decided to switch from Microsoft’s other, pricier offerings to Office 365. As a result, students, teachers, and other school employees were switched over to SharePoint 2011 as a primary collaboration tool, among others. Before the switch, different departments were using different versions of software, causing confusion and disconnection. With Office 365, all members of the school system are now on the same page, using the same technology.
Content delivery networks and unified collaboration
Unified collaboration is now happening on all sorts of devices across the globe. Content delivery, as a result, is important to ensuring that information is being properly captured and accessed all around the world.
As we enter into a new stage of information technology where data is stored in the cloud, content delivery networks (CDNs) are available to provide what is needed, when it is needed. CDNs are capable of doing so no matter the device, whether it is a laptop, smartphone, or a new and innovative wearable computer.
It no longer matters how a user is able to access data. Rather, what’s imperative is that the delivery component is capable of providing the “push” needed for collaboration in real time. Network carriers are getting closer, but as more data is shared between different devices, CDNs will be available to ensure that web content is being properly delivered, on time.
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