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.