Coronavirus vs. Cloud - Tools for the digital workplace
Cloud technologies have revolutionized the possibilities of the working world in recent years, though many companies have long found it difficult to move away from traditional working methods and maximum personal presence of employees. Flexible and location-independent working was treated more as a trend than a "must have".
In times of lock-down and teleworking, the much-discussed "future of work" became a global project. Companies demand videoconferencing solutions and software for collaborative working like never before.
For a brief overview of common and value-added solutions for collaborative working, see the following technology comparison:
The access to Microsoft's communication tool Teams sets a new record. Last week, the number of users increased by 12 million to about 45 million users worldwide. To cope with this rush, Microsoft has launched an extended support service. Microsoft Teams enables chat-based work in groups. The participants are brought together in a virtual room and communicate with each other via audio and video conferences. On this basis, the tool is a hub for data of all kinds. For example; documents, graphics, pictures, tables, videos or audio files can be shared with Microsoft Teams dedicated chat channels. As a component of Office 365, teams are linked via the Microsoft Cloud with the office tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Google Cloud Service
Google G-Suite enables not only collaborative working, it is as well a management and distribution platform for software and user profiles. The entire company organization can be administered remotely via the G-Suite. The Clou: Laptop or PC do not have “to go through the hands” of the administrator. The user receives the software packages in so-called containers. The highlight, the IT security for the used IT infrastructure is already included.
In addition to email, chat functions of video telephony and the well-known Google services such as maps or search engines, the G-Suite contains a wide range of tools for cooperative work. Goolge Meet for video and audio conferences includes, for example, the useful function of sharing screen contents. In addition, a wide range of programs is available. For example, Google Jam-Board, a digital whiteboard for collaborative creative and interactive work. In addition, various applications are available to create documents, notes, presentations or spreadsheets in real time and in a collaborative manner. The results can then be stored project-based locally or in the Google Cloud and to offer availability to the team members at any time.
The Slack solution from the Australian company Atlassian is a team-based instant messenger for cooperative work in groups. Projects are organized in so-called channels. The channels are created on a theme-based basis and can playback textual content as well as various file formats such as videos and presentations. Slack is compatible with a variety of third-party applications, which allows to extend the original function of team-based chatting by various services. For example, chat bots can be integrated to automatic processes such as room booking via Slack. Slack also offers video and audio telephony as well as image transmission via screen share. Unfortunately does the product not include an integrated video conferencing solution. But most of the known third-party products can be integrated into the Slack app.
The technologies shown are only a small excerpt from the wide range of technical solutions that help maintain the ability to work in the corona crisis, despite spatial separation of employees and to ensure the targeted and qualitative operation of companies and institutions.