2011/01/23 Leave a comment
How many IM chats do you use in business? Do you spend at least a part of your schedule scrubbing or responding to emails? Wouldn’t you love to know if you could pop into your CIO’s office and white board your strategy on your company’s software product on the fly? And what if you could take your productivity margin and streamline it with a system that allows you to have real time development/quality control sessions with employees spread across the globe in secure peer to peer network infrastructure.
Engaging and smart are the adjectives to describe a web-enabled virtual office platform. A company called Sococo (Social Communication Company) is the brain child of Paul Brody, Founder and President and David Van Wie, CEO. Matt Leacock, Principal User Experience Designer, used the methods of agile development software practice as a foundation for the online experience.
As Matt Leacock explained with the product development; “We create visual, virtual, and vital communication experiences. The key ingredient is our spatial user interface. By visualizing the space — or context — of the communications that happen in Sococo, we unlock tremendous value for our users.”
He further added, “When people in the physical world communicate, they get the benefits of their shared context. They can point and reference an object, document, or something on the wall. They can use multiple channels of communication simultaneously and can switch between them effortlessly. They can quickly change the focus of their communication to anyone in their current room or to someone down the hall. Spatial user interfaces allow us to use real-world metaphors to capture this signal in a natural way for our users.”
Last year, I recently met Brody at a Gigaom event. On the trade show floor, I saw firsthand how interactive it can be. With all the elements of an office environment, gaming experience, and social network communication, this little beauty can efficiently needs of a small business (0-25) up to a large conglomerate. This week, I created a free account and witness the value of a team space platform.
To further the argument for signing up with Sococo, two customers chime in on the benefit of creating a virtual workspace. Kieran Guller, who owns Metasoft and Bill Krebs, Allscripts, who is a 3D animator comments on their experience. Krebs who created Agile Dimensions can give testimony to its use.
Guller who leads Metasoft created a unique opportunity for his company. Focusing on business to consumer websites for his business has ramped up many cloud based marketing tools for clients like Ace Hardware. Sococo provides on the fly decisions for beta website development. Seamless communication with ho partners allow snap decisions with the feature of Sococo’s own Agile Zen and Bugzilla platform.
One of the most intriguing success stories highlighting the Sococo platform is the actual cost of real estate. Geller explains a significant move on his company when he decided to close down offices.
“We had three physical offices—Walnut Creek, San Ramon and Alameda. We were able to shut down WC and San Ramon and our staff now works in their PJs out of their home. They are much happier and productivity has increased twofold. We may still shut down Alameda and open up an office in Lafayette. Either way, we only need one physical office.”
This smart decision came from a fiscal standpoint. Despite a solid lease agreement, the company currently saves $5,700 per month. For this economy, Metasoft pays less than half of what the organization was spending in 2003. And that is sound for a company’s balance sheet.
Krebs, an independent agile development coach, assists developers with project management. Bill knows the importance of a comprehensive communication like Sococo. As a 3D designer, robust and intuitive programs are a part of his technical intellect. He relies on the product features offered by the company. He compared a lot of products for virtualization but found Sococo was just what he needed. “I need the simplicity. I need just enough of the psychological language, the visual cues. There’s a powerful psychology at work when you are in Sococo. It’s very immersive.” He considers Sococo “his go-to program. He chuckles as he considers it “his gateway drug.”