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Office Automation and Group Collaboration

Essay by   •  February 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  936 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,121 Views

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In the modern workplace communication between parties and information sharing have become more important than ever. Organizations move at a much faster pace than ever before and efficient communication is a must. Furthermore the tools that allow organizations to work, produce or communicate faster are becoming increasingly important. This types of tools fall under the category of office automation and the communication aspect falls under group collaboration.

Office automation is in its simplest form is any machinery and/or software that facilitates the manipulation or sharing of information that is needed for the day to day operations of the organization. Things like LAN (for information sharing and access), telephone switchboard, office software (word processing, email, presentation), adobe acrobat (for PDF files), among others, basically any machine or item that make the information sharing, management or manipulation easier for the organization can be considered part of the office automation process. On the other hand we have group collaboration this is normally some software that facilitates the communication between a group of people, mostly centered on a goal, project or a common interest that bring them together. This could be a shared email list, a shared activity/meeting calendar, access tom the same files (for example a shared hard drive between them where they all have access to a group of shared files). Another type of group collaboration can be websites where groups can meet and share information, for example Yahoo Groups, Excite Groups, MSN Groups, this websites offer memberships to a groups, where people with similar interests of goals can interact. They also provide some tools to facilitate this like message boards, mass group emailing and areas to share photos or files which all group members can access at their leisure.

The authors company uses many varied office automation software which allows for an easier form of workplace interaction and improved efficiency, but many of this office automation items also have disadvantages which must be dealt with as they appear. The man item of office automation in the authors company is the LAN (local area network) which connects all of the workplace computers to a main server and allows them to interact with each other. Among the items that the local area network bring to the table are global internet access which provide access to all the network computers, access to Microsoft Outlook in real time (message sent appear almost instantly), access to shared hard drives for information exchange and access to the company's CSG system (this is the system where all the customer data and services are accessed and modified. The company's local area network is a very useful tool but it has a very evident drawback and that is that if for some reason the network crashes or has to be taken offline then there is no way to access any of the aforementioned systems. For example the company uses a proxy server with provide access through

the LAN to the internet, while this server provides the benefit of limiting any employee access to questionable or forbidden sites, if the network crashes, the server crashes and it prevents the user from accessing the internet altogether. Situations like this have happened before in the company and because of that the company was unable to provide its customers with assistance until the problem is resolved, hence the disadvantages from this office automation service are considerable when they come into play. Another office automation item used in the authors company is the



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