Technology in the Office

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Along with information technology, it can be said that office technology, more

specifically, has had a significant impact on the business community, changing

the way corporations handle transaction, daily tasks, and communication. Office

technology is generally concerned with programs that deal with information, such

as word processing, data processing, graphics, desktop publishing, and

communications (Tansey 31). Most businesses now are supported by what has been

called the backbone of practically any technologically advanced office setting:

the local area network. Otherwise referred to as LAN, this network consists of a

many computers linked together in a single site. This is as opposed to a wide

area network (WAN), which can support either national or international work

groups on a much larger scale. The purpose of such a network is simple; it brings

everyone together, allow them to easily share and transmit important date,

graphics, email, audio, etc. Furthermore, practically every function that the

businesses must perform in their offices is based, fundamentally on technology.

Such functions include correspondence, multimedia presentations,

videoconferences, automated records management, and technologies to support

distributed work groups (Tansey 32).

Office technologies are very important and essential components of office

systems. Office systems exist to facilitate and retain communications, including

the creation, processing, retention, and distribution of information (Tansey 35).

Office systems consist of tasks to be performed, procedures for completing tasks,

a set of automated technologies designed to enhance productivity, and people

working within the framework of an organizational structure. A compatible synergy

among these components creates a smoothly functioning office operation that

enhances the productivity and efficiency of the overall organization and

contributes to the success of the business. Contributing factors to the synergy

include integrated hardware components and integrated software applications

(Tansey 35).

With the advent of the PC, office technologies have radically changed the way

companies do business. Prior to the use of PCs in business, secretaries or

administrative assistants typed letters, created reports, and organized

information in files. Now most office workers have a PC and take responsibility

for these functions, as well as many more. Employees key their own letters and

e-mails, create spreadsheets, graphs, and multimedia presentations, and keep

their files on computer networks. Laptop computers are used by business travelers

to make multimedia presentations, send and receive e-mail, do research on the

Internet, play games, and create and send reports and spreadsheets. Laptop

computers can also be used to take notes in meetings.

Voice-mail technology has also radically changed the way business is conducted.

Voice mail has greatly reduced the need to have an employee answer the phone and

take messages for others. Because messages are recorded on voice mail, workers

can retrieve the communications and process them as time permits. The messages

can be forwarded to other employees, saved, or deleted. An option on some

messaging systems is sending messages to groups of people.

Caller-identification became available in the mid-1990s as an option on office

telephone systems. This innovation allows the caller to be identified by name and

number before the telephone is answered. Some office systems have caller-i.d.

only for internal telephones, while other companies have systems that identify

callers from outside the company as well.

So many office systems functions today depend on office technology that it is

difficult to imagine accomplishing all the necessary tasks without them.

Sophisticated office technologies are available to...
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