Virtual Office Software


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Virtual Office Software

One of the greatest challenges in running a virtual office is the consolidation of the different files and tasks of virtual office workers. As most of these mobile or remote users may be operating mostly out of their computer notebooks, it may become a challenge to put everything together. Apart from that, meeting appointments, task delegation, sharing of information, email access from a central mail server, instant messaging and address book management, may constitute some of the standard functionalities available in most virtual office software. Many types of virtual software are classified as groupware and can be used on a subscription basis. This arrangement allows companies operating out of virtual offices to save on their operating costs as charges will be made in smaller amounts on a monthly basis, as opposed to one-time hefty software purchase costs.

Why is Virtual Office Software necessary?

Virtual office software has been developed to solve the issues faced by mobile workers. It is very common nowadays for an entire office of co-workers to be working from various locations, such as the airport, their homes, hotels and in virtual offices. With this, it is a huge challenge when it comes to the integration of files, applications as well as security and enterprise software installed within different laptop computers. Moreover, as the engagement of contracted workers is on the rise with most of them utilizing self-owned computer hardware and software for their work, synchronizing information between a few of these computers would be an IT administrator’s nightmare.

Most enterprise applications today have been built for a local area network setup in a traditional office environment, with a constant number of users within the network. This means that fixed IP addresses can be assigned to these users and therefore network management and control measures can be implemented.

However, virtual office users do not have this luxury as they may be located in multiple offices and moving around the entire time. Apart from that, with different applications installed on the computers of these users, installation of security updates, corporate application updates, Virtual Private Network access or usage logging all prove to be administrative tasks of great challenge. In the end, the only forms of collaborative applications that can be used are restricted to email, voice mail, internet phone calls and instant messaging. In an increasingly competitive environment, these facilities alone would not be adequate to meet work productivity and effectiveness demands. This is where the explicit benefits of virtual office applications come into the picture.

The virtual office application solution to this scenario is the creation of a workspace that offers a platform for anyone regardless whether they belong to the same organization, they are external vendors, they telecommute or of they are mobile business travelers, to connect to one another virtually and easily. The workspace is a virtual environment where all users can log on to and share their work amongst other members who also logged on. The beauty of this setup is the fact that rigorous setups typical of legacy systems are no longer required. A workspace can be set up by any group member, who will then invite other members of the workspace. All this can be done within minutes with a virtual office application.

Everything is organized within a workspace, as the objects within a workspace are centered on projects, people groups or processes. This is why only relevant people will be invited to join in a workspace. Ultimately, all elements related to the project – email, files, data, forms, messages or project management tools – are all available within one interface. Synchronization is the key to the success of a virtual office application, which is why everyone in the team will be able to view the latest progress on the project that they are working on.

Furthermore, as the virtual office application is store in the respective computers of the mobile workers, they are able to work on their portion of the project regardless whether they are online or offline. All they need to do is to get it synchronized later on when they go online again.

Another cool function of the virtual office application is its ability to extract email from external clients such as MS Outlook or Lotus Notes to be incorporated into the workspace. Essentially, any email updates with regards to the project, will be emulated within the workspace. Through this feature, virtual office users will no longer be swamped with unlinked email threads and delayed responsiveness.

Perhaps one of the most remarkable functions of a workspace is the ability for users to view what other team members are working on at the current moment. This is a feature that provides users with the ability to sense the availability of another team member before interrupting him or her either through the phone or via instant messenger.

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