Office Automation and Collaboration

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In world today, many companies, especially larger corporate organizations rely on various types of office automation equipment and software. As technology improves and corporations expand their offices across the country and around the world, group collaborations software becomes a necessity, rather than a convenience for companies wishing to becomes global market leaders.

The company I work for is one of the world’s largest home warranty companies. We currently employ over 50,000 people and have all types of home warranty vendors across the country.

Supporting an organization of this magnitude requires a massive information technology infrastructure. We have been a technology leader and innovator of technology for many years, but we also rely very heavily on technology from other types of companies.

Office automation is “the use of computer systems to execute a variety of office operations, such as word processing, accounting and email. Office automation almost always implies a network of computers with a variety of available programs”. (Powell, 2006) My company has a massive internal network established and uses a variety of office automation equipment and collaboration software.

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Collaboration software or groupware, as it is sometimes called, is defined as “computer-based systems that support groups of people engaged in a common task and that provide an interface to a shared environment”. (Brown, 2006)

One of our main products may company uses for communications is Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes “delivers email, calendars and scheduling capabilities, integrated instant messaging, personal information management tools, discussion forums and reference database with basic work flow along with a powerful desktop platform for collaborative applications.

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”(IBM, 2006)

While Lotus Notes has many useful and powerful features, and its great collaboration within our own organization, it does have some draw backs. I find that it is often quite slow, lacks some features other email applications have and it is not really compatible with programs such as Microsoft Outlook, which seems to be the standard for business communication making it somewhat difficult to collaborate with businesses or individuals not using Lotus Notes.

Specific business units within my company find Lotus Notes extremely useful and make extensive use of its unique capabilities. However, I believe the majority of users in my field would prefer to use Microsoft Outlook as their primary email and personal information client. With a company this size there are so many files that must be transferred between people and email is not always the effective means to do that. My company has a large document sharing and files service that allows users to store and share files of any size and any type in a central location that anyone in the company, and approved contractors and customers, can gain access too. The system allows for rights and privileges to be established for each file or group of files so that only the people that are authorized to view the file can get access.

This is a great access for people that work at remote locations but still need immediate access to corporate files. Remote access is another big part of our automation imitative. From an overseas location I can gain access to the corporate intranet through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and perform tasks such as completing my timecard, expense report or updating my benefit information. This allows me to do tasks that used to require a visit to Human Resources, which because it had to be during normal business hours meant time away from the customer.

My company also makes extensive use of Personal Data Assistants (PDA) for people holding certain positions. Unfortunately because of the expense and some security concerns, they are not as wide spread as I would like to see. The only authorized device is a Blackberry and it must be a company issued model to be authorized to access our network.

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Office Automation and Collaboration. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Office Automation and Collaboration

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