Well, we’ve had our invites to Google Wave for a little over 12 hours now and although I may have slept for part of that time I have had some vision for ways that LangfordSevier can integrate this service into our virtual office.
Collaboration: This is the obvious one here, being able to work together on a document at the same time has a crazy, almost whiteboard feel to it. Although, like Jacinta, I feel strange everytime I see someone erase what they’ve written. So far document collaboration has been the only thing I’ve looked at so I can’t really comment on how to shuffle other media like video and web widgets. I catch myself thinking that for Wave to be fully utilized all members of the party need to be in the wave (note capital W while referring to the application and a lowercase w when referring to the individual wave) at the same time, but actually it works great when others are absent. If you missed something just hit the playback button and watch your teams creativity blossom.
CRM: Using wave as a way to keep a live snapshot of where we are with all of our clients is really exciting. Each client could have their own wave that we can keep track of where we are with them but all of those waves can be compiled into a master wave that gives us a quick overview of all of our clients as well as their current status. I know that there are amazing free CRM applications out there but this is a solution that lives within Google and I can see myself logging into this way more often that say Zoho CRM.
Conference Calling: Although this isn’t fully integrated yet it’s not hard to see the potential here. Being able to click a button and have all of the user’s phones ring to start the meeting is simply awesome. We also know that Google Voice will be linked to this in the near future. I know that there are other services out there that do this but again this is all in one place, that’s the kind of efficiency gains that a virtual office can revel in.
Time Tracking: Having the ability to not only track your own time for projects but share that data with a collaborator is pretty great. On top of that you can let the client in on the feed so they can watch their bill rack up while you work, keeping them in the loop not only shows that you are working on their project but they won’t be surprised when they get the final bill. I know that you can do this through spreadsheets, email or time tracking software but again having all of this in one place… are you seeing a trend here.
This is only a sample of what this new medium can be used for and it certainly will constantly change. With the additions of extensions and widgets it will constantly gain functionality. I feel that this tool we be used as a traditional social media platform where friends can quickly share information and interact, but I also feel that this tool will be effectively used by business to supplement the virtual office. Needless to say, Jacinta and I will be using it and we will fill you in with our thoughts and impressions.