One Day in the Life of an Office 2.0 Worker


The current session is supposed to show me “One Day in the Life of an Office 2.0 Worker“.

From what I can see on the screen this means basically a) waiting for your net connection to come up b) hope that the application runs (we had a gmail server problem earlier) and c) mostly having to use a web application without the benefits of MS Office in efficiency and feature richness as well as ‘known’ and well designed UI.

I still have to have somebody to set up the system for me and make it usable because for the basic users everything of this is already overhype. So far I have not seen a lot of impressing stuff around possible enhancements for the Office 2.0 worker. The only thing I can see so far is collaboration through the net – which makes it easier to share and work on documents.

Now, a question: How many people in private as well as in company life do use such features? And how many of those still will just mail documents back and forth? How many of you have ever received documents out of MS Office even using the “show changes from other user”?

One other reason here I am here is my favorite thing: Asking the ‘international’ question. (That usually is of course my German / European view, but usually that is even more than enough to throw people of their “we are perfect and so cool!” mind.)

One of the basic requirements to have a successful application being used in Germany? Have a German interface. Not have a gazillion features, but do something basic right. In German.

No German interface? Only the geeks will use it. And if they use it and something German comes along? Chances are people will fled you.

The question this panels fails to answer is: Who is the target audience of being an office 2.0 worker? Enterprise users? Small companies? Single users? For me it boils – again – down to having an application which people can use and understand.

The guy from Joyent is the first one which really points out first and formost the it is not about the application but about open standards and how I can get my data in and out. Then, and only then I will be willing to perhaps try you out.

Now to be fair, I have seen a lot of nice little things on the presentations. BUT: If I want to use it with others together, I need to sign up for such a service. If I work on another project? Possibly a different service again. Which in the end does mean I will start using a service which most people are likely to use or have accounts with it.

And tell you what – even Gcal has not the mass amount of normal users you might need to have to organize your life with Gcal.

CRM System? Does this please sync with my mobile equipment?

Having it online – can I please have a working syncing to my local disk if I choose to? Now for example I only have from time to time net connection because I cannot get a prepaid card with data plan.

And can I please have either a self explanatory application OR have a decent manual?

So many many obstacles to overcome. Many problems to solve. It is probably not nice to say, but a lot of those companies will fail.

But they will be a step towards the real solution which is working.

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2 Responses to “One Day in the Life of an Office 2.0 Worker”

  1. Tim says:

    How many of you have ever received documents out of MS Office even using the “show changes from other user”?

    Your kidding. This is one of the most important features. We have partners in 6 countries and we are working together on projects. Very useful is also the “Sharepoint Internet Service” intranet-website to share documents and

    Our collaboration over the internet is organized with the Sharepoint-Sites. The problem for the internet-based applications is the unsettled questions about data-protection and data-security.

  2. Nicole says:

    Of course I am not. Most normal users never use this feature. As many others.

    Once they have understood how to use it, then they start using it. Until then, most people are not ‘brave’ enough to go play and discover.

    As for Sharepoint – the times I worked with this I had the problem that the other people working with this where just using this as a space, not as a real system to share.