Aerospace manufacturer BAE Systems is using software from Oracle to allow its engineers from across the UK to work together without having to leave their desks.
BAE has been developing its Shared Data Environment, essentially a desktop portal for accessing applications, for 6,500 staff.
This summer it began adding Oracle's Collaboration Suite software to the portal for 1,000 of its staff working on three separate contracts for the British Navy.
Oracle's software will allow project staff to share information - such as appointments and follow-up actions from meetings - from their desktop.
With staff working from bases as far apart as Portsmouth and Edinburgh, the Collaboration Suite will drastically reduce travel and costs, said Alex Winch, infrastructure and new capability manager at BAE.
"We were really pleased with the uptake. Using the collaboration facilities is so easy, we've been using it rather than walk across the office," he said.
Currently, Winch's BAE unit is using facilities such as web conferencing and instant messaging, and plans to use the software to allow it to work with computer aided design programmes across sites.
Should the Navy projects go well, BAE will then consider rolling out the collaboration suite to all its employees.
"The rollout depends a lot on where teams are in terms of their projects. It's not going to happen where projects are nearing completion, but it's ideal where they are new," said Winch.
The ease of migration to Oracle Collaboration Suite was particularly appealing, he added, because it is a web-based architecture that can be integrated into the Shared Data Environment portal. The only change needed is to install a web conferencing plug-in.
The one aspect of the collaboration suite that will not be used is the email client. This is because of an existing corporate standard dictating the use of Microsoft's Exchange, explained Winch.
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