Virtual Organizations and Collaboration Software
What is a Virtual Organization?
New Forms of Organizing
The distributed and pervasive nature of the Internet, and the ease with which institutions can now communicate across great distances, have made new forms of organizing possible for institutions. These various forms of organizing have attractive benefits for institutions, including cost savings and increased flexibility.
As institutions have taken advantage of these new technologies to distribute their work and workers, and to re-shape information flows in the pursuit of mission, strategy, and business objectives, they have moved towards being virtual organizations.
A virtual organization can bring together, often temporarily, independent entities in partnering or outsourcing arrangements, enabling them to share expertise, resources, and cost savings until objectives are met and the network is dissolved.
Virtual organizations are virtual not only in the sense that they exist largely in cyberspace, but also in that they are unconstrained by the traditional barriers of time and place.
The ultimate goal of the virtual organization is to provide innovative, high-quality products or services instantaneously in response to customer demands.
There are many definitions of virtual organizations, including:
- A flexible networks of independent, globally distributed entities (companies, institutions and/or individuals closely linked to advanced telecommunications and computing technologies) that share skills, knowledge, resources and work toward a common goal.
- A form of cooperation involving companies, institutions and/or individuals delivering a product or service on the basis of a common business understanding. The units participate in the collaboration and present themselves as a unified organization.
- Virtual organizations do not need to have all of the people, or sometimes any of the people, in one place to deliver their service. The organization exists but you cannot see it. It is a network, not an office.
- A temporary network of inde-pendent linking by Integrated Technology to share skills, costs, and access to one another’s markets.
- A virtual organization is any organization with non-co-located organization entities and resources, necessitating the use of virtual space of inte-raction between the people in these entities to achieve organization objectives.
Following collaboration software tools are being used to support collaboration and virtual organization among the EITA team members worldwide:
|The Enabling Virtual Organization (EVO) System
||EVO, developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a videoconferencing and desktop sharing system designed to provide a seamless real-time collaboration platform for bridging remotely located collaborators and resources in support of science and research.|
||Plone CMS, Open source Content Management System (CMS), is a web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to add, edit and manage a website.|
|EasyChair Conference System||EasyChair is flexible, easy to use, and has many features to make it suitable for various conference models.|
|Connect people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.|
|Manage your professional identity, build and engage with your professional network, Accesses knowledge, insights and opportunities.|
|Google Search Engine
||Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more.
|Gmail: E-mail from Google
||Talk, chat, share, schedule, store, organize, collaborate, discover, and
create. Use Google products from Gmail to Google+ to YouTube, view your
search history, all with one username and password, all backed up all
the time and easy to find at (you guessed it) Google.com.
|Google Maps||Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions.
|Google Earth||Let you fly anywhere on Earth to
view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in
outer space to the canyons of the ocean.
|Worldatlas||An educational resource for world maps, atlases, and in-depth geography information.
|The Weather Channel
||The Weather Channel can show you local weather for thousands of cities around the world. You can even find local weather for every US ZIP code by State.
|Time and Date||Find current Time Worldwide (World Clock) and Calendars for countries worldwide both online and for printing.
|Doodle - An Easy Scheduling Tool||Online tools for scheduling meetings and other appointments.
|English Chinese Dictionary||Language tools: English Chinese dictionary and Chinese English dictionary (字典).