Groove in emergencies

An article in Microsoft’s TechNet Magazine post Katrina on Louisiana State University’s Emergency Operations Center, highlighted some deficiencies in ordinary IT during crises.  First, you can’t depend on vast bandwidth or even any bandwidth at all in an emergency.  Second, your constituency can increase dramatically.  One day you’re managing the IT needs of staff, the next, you have to deal with external agencies, contractors or volunteers; people that aren’t in your directory or who can be provisioned quickly and easily. 

That’s where Groove comes in.  Once files are downloaded in a Groove “workspace”,  information to be shared with others, only the changes are exchanged.  Work can continue off-line, and when one goes back on-line, documents are synchronized.    For cross agency or inter company working, it’s like manna.  No files attached to emails, and all the versioning problems those entail.  No server to set up.   Everyone has their own synchronized copy of the information on laptops.   For keeping business continuity plans up to date, ensuring they are distributed and always available, or for sharing project information in a distributed team, it has a lot going for it.

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4 Comments

Filed under Business Continuity, Coordination, Resilience, Security, Virtual Teams

4 responses to “Groove in emergencies

  1. Sounds a lot like Notes.. 🙂

    —* Bill

  2. Think through what it would take to build a Domino based application used by people in other organizations who can’t be trained and who must be able to access files in common offline. Groove is a tool for the “edge” of the organisation, where there might be multiple agencies coming together very quickly to work on a relief effort or any other type of project for that matter. Groove’s low entry threshold makes it a suitable tool for the task.

  3. Sounds a lot like Quickplace 🙂

  4. Web-based project tools are similar in aim and function. Offline access, which is part of QuickPlace is a major feature in common with Groove. The UI concepts and architecture are world’s apart. One could argue that Groove should be more reliable in connecting in low bandwidth conditions however I haven’t seen any head to heads to prove that. There are industry clusters favouring this one or that cropping up. For Groove, one cluster is definitely emergency management. Architectural or UI approaches and functions matter less than the application of best practices that emerge from the real life use of virtual workspaces in a particular scenario .

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