On the Job: Not just for chat rooms anymore

12 Jan, 2004 By: Cadalyst Staff

Omnipod's enterprise instant messaging and file-sharing platform connects four remote offices

EYP (Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C.), is an architecture and engineering firm with offices in Boston, Albany, New York City, and Washington, D.C. With more than 400 employees, the company serves clients in the federal government, colleges and universities, industrial labs, and historic preservation.


According to Anthony Hauk, EYP corporate IT manager, the company constantly valuates how new technologies can enable it to become more competitive and streamline existing business processes. Enter Omnipod's POD (Professional Online Desktop). "When we began our instant messaging initiative, we looked for a vendor that could offer us a highly secure, centrally controlled enterprise communications platform that integrates file sharing and transfer capabilities, as well as numerous other secure communications functions, into a presence-based infrastructure," said Hauk. "Once we selected the Omnipod solution, we began a gradual, full-scale deployment to all 400 employees. What surprised us the most was that people at all levels in the organization quickly embraced the concept of instant messaging -- even those who consider themselves 'technically challenged.'"

Multitasking, Multilocation Solution
As a tight-knit, results-driven organization with four different offices, EYP promotes itself to prospective clients as an entity that leverages a variety of architectural and engineering expertise, regardless of geographic location. "The challenge of having remote teams work together is encouraging real time, fluid communications," observed Hauk. "The good thing about Omnipod's offering is that if you are sitting next door, or 200 miles away, from someone in your workgroup, using an enterprise -class instant messaging solution is not as intrusive as the phone or as fragmented as e-mail."

File Sharing Makes Revisions Manageable
Once EYP deployed the Omnipod platform, its employees discovered another benefit of the POD: file transfer and storage. In addition to IM, the POD's enterprise file-sharing system lets them securely and instantly store, distribute, and transfer files of unlimited size.

"Transferring files through the POD, instead of e-mailing revisions of drawings, documents, and photos, is much easier to manage and control. Our goal is to have Omnipod's file-sharing application become the repository for all EYP documents. That way, anyone (with the appropriate access privileges) can retrieve files easier and faster," Hauk noted.

Client Support Improved
When holding phone conferences with clients, EYP's architectural and engineering teams started to use the POD for back-channel communications. To resolve issues or share ideas without involving the client, the team on the conference call used the POD's secure chat functionality during the call. "There are times when you need to resolve an issue in real time with a client, but first need to consult with your coworkers in the background. Using the secure chat feature, we developed a back-channel communications medium that became a real help in improving the quality of our client relationships," added Hauk.


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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