February 26, 2018

We move into a virtual office

June 14, 2011    PracticeРаспечатать эту статью

We move into a virtual office

The company’s office Artex Media , which is engaged in developing and maintaining Web sites are increasingly empty, and not because of the crisis. Projects abound, work in full swing around the clock – and here, in the center of Dnepropetrovsk, and everywhere at the moment are employees of the company. This week, for example, the head of the firm is working in Kiev, the designer – from Poland, the manager – because of traffic jams to sit in the cafe at the other end of town. At work, it has no effect, on the contrary enhances the creative process and the atmosphere, just now going through all online: the working group “found” in their own online forum, in the same coordinate details and documents, and, if necessary, contact the individual go to Skype.

The fact that the company, which operates in the Internet, decided to move the workflow in a virtual internet, does not mean that this approach to work is only applicable to this area. No matter what you do: publish books, deliver or sell cars shoes. It is important that the classical idea of ​​the device of office life are out of date. Now, do not need to buy expensive software and server software, have a staff of IT-specialists. Instead of all these expenses, you can simply take advantage of modern Internet technology.

The truth does refuse to office space and investment in software has not yet received: in the case of active use of online services, you need to take care of an alternative Internet channel from the office. Yes, and keep accounts on the Internet until ready all. But to save money on establishing the office infrastructure of the production process is certainly possible.

Here are five Internet services that are useful for small companies.

Mail and environment working relationship

Mail and environment working relationship

Mail and environment working relationship

Many private entrepreneurs have been using the Internet service Google Apps for corporate email, file sharing and calendaring. In the Google Apps hosted convenient access rights management, that is to open the document can be opened for all comers, and only for their employees, but it can limit the view and set the right view and edit just for yourself.

Does this method is reliable? A large amount of corporate information hosted on the Internet, information is not physically stored on your computer, so when the Internet will be absent, all employees will remain with no documentation or mail. But glitches can occur if the standard IT-infrastructure. And one more thing: do not put in the public domain the information that can bring to blackmail, in case of transfer it into the hands of the state.

What problems does: standard office software is expensive, requires the support, configuration and updates. Here everything is easy, simple setup to start a new employee access to only need 2 minutes. And most importantly do not need the help of a sysadmin.

How much: if the company has fewer than 50 employees, you can use a basic account which provides free, if you have more than 50 employees, for each new employee will need to pay $ 50 per year. Payment is made via the Internet, on-vehicle credit card, the system will debit the agreed amount from the credit card.

What services are : Google Apps, Softcloud and Point4All.

Manage tasks and projects

Manage tasks and projects

Manage tasks and projects

Denis Mitrofanov, head of the Internet project qTrack, offering project management services on-line, said that all the abundance of similar Internet projects are usually companies are reluctant or unable to use such services. However, they do make life easier. Any project, whether it’s printing business cards or develop a complex technological details, is a manufacturing process with its phases, which is represented by the performer and is controlled by the customer. Implementation of the project means the consistent implementation of these steps.

The process of passing on these steps can be followed from the resource, which is the project management system. The process of formulation of the problem and further exchange of information is simplified: it is enough simply to respond to letters that come from the project participants, the messages are automatically stored in the system and get an answer right away everyone who works on a particular task.

There are various types of project management systems. They are:

  • in the form of SaaS-service, meaning you pay the rent for the use of a specific package (the package base, for example) the project management system, which includes certain features that you need. Plus, this type of software that does not need to immediately lay out $ 300-400 for a license and pay 100-150 USD per month. There are also no costs of adjustment and support system. Among the few drawbacks is to provide a small functional if you want a great opportunity that you should pay attention to the box solution.
  • in the form of software (boxed license) to be installed on the server (hosting). Plus the fact that the functional of this system is rich enough, and it means you will be able to trace any stage of the project, including internal mail between the parties, the allocation of rights and other important add-on. Disadvantages of price alone. License cost ranges from $ 200 to $ 400.

What problem : the system organizes all the processes allowing to find the most important sites and bravely to overcome them.

How much: qTrack, for example, a basic version can be used free of charge, and the price of Enterprise Edition cost $ 10 per month (five projects). Package on an unlimited number of projects will cost – $ 100 per month. The number of users in any form without restriction. As the boxed version of the best option ActiveCollab.

Choice : 37signals.com (Basecamp), Comindwork, Trac (for example, AGAVA Trac), qTrack, ActiveCollab.

System Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The system of customer relationship management (CRM)

The system of customer relationship management (CRM)

f you collect all the information about your customers into a single intelligent system can mean increased sales effectiveness. The knowledge base of your customers, for example, can monitor all calls herself a loyal buyers, as well as remind the seller about his birthday or the 100th purchase, etc. In contrast to the classical bulky boxed, CRM as a Web service can be implemented fast enough (according to Maxim Votyakova, managing partner at CT Consulting, it will take about five days) and a quick return on investment.

Commercial Director of the hosting center “Oversan-Skalaksi” Andrew Artischev, says he chose one of these platforms (Salesforce.com), picked up because of user-friendly interface to directly involve employees in the job. Implementation of the system took about a month, and costs in the first stage included: an annual license, the cost of the basic settings, and ten workshops. Andrew has got himself in the role of the system, now integrated platform with call-center, corporate mail and calendar. The main advantage to the Commercial Director – transparency and full order of the department. Conveniently, it is possible to connect to access the application, for example through the iPhone. But to convince employees to work in the Dana system was not an easy task, therefore, ordered Artischev and training seminars.

What problem : classic boxed version, which are installed on company servers, are expensive: the total cost of ownership is the cost of licenses, annual support is difficult to forecast the cost of implementation, cost of server hardware, its configuration and deployment as well as the cost of IT-support staff.

How much does: annual license per user in Salesforce.com, costs from € 324 (less than five employees). Services to configure the system to your needs – the second cost item, the amount of these expenses are calculated separately.

Выбор: NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM.

IP-phone and video conferencing

IP-phone and video conferencing

IP-phone and video conferencing

Save on fixed line service enables you to IP-telephony. According to the head of the analytical marketing RTCOMM, Irene Novozhilova, with the largest operator in Russia, IP-based network, currently at the organization office markups can do without the installation of stationary PBX. Although, if you want IP-telephony can be combined with conventional bonds. The real benefit of IP-telephony is that this type of connection supports all telephony services. So you can easily customize for example, receive a fax to email or office phone as a home.

True to save on the system administrator to create in your office IP-telephony not be able to: Setup and support its internal network requires constant monitoring. Must constantly watch for traffic flow and adjust the value of online channel (2 Mbit/s, 15 Mbit/s), which may lead to additional costs on the Internet.

What problem : to reduce the possibility of investing in a classic fixed link and the cost of a professional who will support the telephone network (up to 50% if the long-distance calls are prevalent).

How much does: IP-phone itself, depending on the functionality of costs from $ 100. Connecting to the server IP phone costs from $ 10 to $ 60 per seat. The monthly fee ranges from $ 1.5 to $ 6. You also need additional equipment as: a gateway to the backup function, it is essential that if you disable Internet telephony is not “falling”, together with the Internet, as well as a special switch with the ability to supply the network (PoE), so that each phone is not connected to AC power. To arrange a video conference you need a simple videophone, or a set of devices, which consists of a screen, camera and codec (a special device to connect to the internet and formatting the signal).

Choice : Comstar, a group of “Rostelecom” (RTCOMM), “Central Telegraph”. Smaller companies are likely to resellers are the same companies, however, work with them can cost a bit cheaper.

Completely virtual hosting

Completely virtual hosting

Completely virtual hosting

Director General of analytical agency “Investkafe” – Semen Birg, said that online startup, which he recently built, are faced with uncertainty: bad forecast to increase attendance, growing database, and use external widgets allows unpredictable server load. Therefore, when choosing a hosting it always tries to minimize the risks, even if it becomes him a penny. To date he chose for himself the best option in the form of cloud hosting. What is it? Instead of buying expensive servers, it uses the resources of large hosting providers, which allocate part of their network and of its resources to create a virtual structure. It’s easy: first, low price, and secondly, a simple payment by credit card and easy access to the necessary resources to solve large-scale problems.

The world leader in Internet hosting – Amazon Web Services. Today, there is the Russian equivalent of the service, which was created by “Oversan-Skalaksi” on the basis of already having a modern data center in Moscow. Russian provider is currently considering customers with loading of 5,000 users per day, before connecting the audit is required. But the company takes responsibility for the performance of the site and promises to resolve any issues related to access.

What problem: You do not need to purchase expensive servers that cost between $ 1,000 and pay the salary system administrator. It is also possible to use the service trade-in, moving the finished system with its own equipment on the rack “Oversan.”

How much: from the cost of hosting “Oversan-Skalaksi” can cost you up to 25% higher compared to obychnymhostigom. Total cost per month out of the actual consumption volume: hours of power and gigabytes of data. With increasing load of your website instantly expands system capabilities, and your costs go up, but if you happen that your site will not be available all night – during which time you will put no expense.

Choice: «Oversan-Skalaksi», Amazon Web Services, the classic shared hosting providers: AGAVA, Masterhost.

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