By Claire West

The threatened round of tube strikes starting on the 6th September could cost London’s economy nearly £48 million a day according to the London Chamber of Commerce and has sparked a surge of interest in Cloud computing with its ability to enable effective working from anywhere.

The series of planned 24-hour walkouts in protest over job cuts will cause huge disruption for thousands of Londoners returning to work after their summer holidays and Piers Linney, joint CEO of leading UK unified communications and Cloud computing organisation, Outsourcery said, “As companies prepare for an autumn of discontent they want to ensure there is minimum disruption to their core operations and Cloud computing is allowing them to do it. During the recent volcanic ash crisis we saw an increase of 300% in Cloud computing enquiries and with a series of tube strikes planned, enquiries have risen once again by 125% as companies seek other ways to ensure it is business as usual and minimise the disruption and impact the strikes could have on their operations.”

Outsourcery can offer businesses an integrated communications solution including instant messaging, presence information, voice and video conferencing using Office Communicator for group discussions and document sharing. Businesses can see the availability of all their employees — whether they are talking on the phone, meeting a client or checking e-mails - and contact them in the most appropriate and time-efficient way.

Innovative unified communications solutions are proving the perfect antidote to the threatened strikes as the technology removes the need for employees to meet with each other face-to-face while still allowing them to work together effectively. Unified communications brings together Office Communicator, which includes presence functionality, group chat, remote desktop sharing and conferencing facilities on to a single platform accessed from a PC, with email and phone services providing businesses with a tool for more effective communication across their organisation.

Linney continued, “The threatened strikes show that small businesses cannot always rely upon employees being able to meet face-to-face. With large numbers of employees unable to travel to the office, businesses are finding that they need more effective ways to stay in touch with their colleagues and clients. Unified communications lets businesses of any size communicate and collaborate more efficiently.

Office Communicator also provides the ability for users to take part in a web conference. These can be scheduled via Outlook using the ‘Schedule a Live Meeting’ button or ad-hoc. Web conferencing supports a rich mix of data collaboration such as instant messaging, audio, video, slide presentations and application sharing.

Users with a Windows Mobile device will be able to download the active sync software allowing them to obtain access to instant messaging and presence information on their device.

For additional information on how unified communications and Cloud computing is changing the way we work or to arrange an interview with Piers Linney email outsourcery@flamepr.com