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Software for remote work with the designer
In given article it is shown, as well as with what help of software remote working out can be realised in a number of design and product companies with detailed calculation of expenses and the forecast of possible risks.                       

The constant pursuit of reduction of costs and reduction of terms, forces sooner or later the head of the company to arrive at idea on attraction to work “free artists” or speaking in modern interpretation freelancers. If to reject all legal, accounting and legal delays, understanding that the firm main task is a minimum quantity of shots and decrease in costs on taxes, pension and insurance payments it is possible to tell absolutely precisely that the economy will make the considerable sum. The general scheme of remote work Remote work is new practice of performance of works on hiring which becomes attractive thanks to amplifying general necessity to reduce an expense for manufacture and to improve level of service for clients. It is necessary to note, what not each kind of activity is possible in the absence of the person on a workplace, but a number of modern office trades in aggregate with modern development of communication media allows to make it absolutely without serious consequences for firm. We take typical office workplace, a room-kelija 2х1.5 or the table the computer phone the Internet is worse than that. All these means are accessible to the person not only at home, but also on the journey at modern development of communications. Work of the ordinary designer in modern design office, is not less adhered to the means of production set forth above. On design stages when all nuances and a design of the future product are stipulated to co-operate to the designer with higher colleagues it is not necessary, it is occupied by mechanical work on working out of knots and details, further he develops on them the working documentation and sends it on check to the leading designer. In a reality there are many small questions connected with “the know-how”, those or other questions of design and other trifles of the decision on which designer to accept independently not in the right.

Let's list the basic problems – fears and arguments with which operate, proving necessity of classical system of mutual relations for design office:
1. Operative interaction because all are concentrated in one premise.
2. Convenient interaction having consultative character in the design office, each employee aspires to assist the colleague.
3. The operative control over working out by the leading designer and the chief engineer;
4. Discussion possibility in real time of details of the project and development of conceptual decisions with application simple means (in a classical variant it is a sheet of paper and a pencil).

It is known that working out in design office is a realisation of the project in vision of the leader or the main designer, based on wishes of the customer, software and technological possibilities of the enterprise and experience. Creativity of ordinary designers zachas e is rather limited by frameworks of the constructive on enterprise constructive and technological decisions. The serious and big organisations have no possibility to give work freelancer because of its huge labour input and responsibility. To one person not under force in reasonable terms to execute all project completely. Accurately and competently to segment the project in design office each leader is capable not. Frequently occurs so: primary study is carried out by more skilled designers in close cooperation with the chief engineer of the project and the customer, and then separate stages of the project – basically detailing and completion for leaders regarding a detailed portrayal are transferred to less qualified employees. This one of the reasons on which it is difficult to give the present working out freelancer as at an initial stage the steadfast control of working out is necessary.

The main window of program Skype Except purely technical problems, conducting remote activity is interfered also by social problems. Sharpest of them – unwillingness of leading designers to which shoulders the management problem is assigned by the remote designer to change mutual relations with the executor. Division of object into separate parts, technical project drawing up is necessary. Certainly, with all it the expert with a wide experience in the field and familiar with concrete manufacture can consult but how to be to the worker not familiar with the enterprise and collective? We will consider a number software and hardware decisions, the listed problems directed on overcoming.

As the basic means of teleconferences was it is possible to choose the program for IP-telephony Skype. Besides vocal dialogue in it exchange possibility by instant messages in a text format and video transfers to real time also is realised. Thus the file transfer can occur in any format without restriction on the size. Advantage of the program – high quality of a sound and the image even on lines with small speed of data transmission. Theoretically Skype tolerably works on the classical modem 56K with average speed of transfer of 2-3 Kb/s, but it is real, except Skype, you it is more anything in the Network cannot be engaged, therefore for comfortable dialogue it is necessary to think about speed 256K and above.

The window of program IBM Lotus for transfer of the image of a window to the remote computer

In addition to dialogue means it is desirable to establish a plug-in which will allow to show to the remote worker the contents displayed in real time on its screen. It should be the analogue of the program of the remote assistant in Windows, only without management function, but providing viewing of a concrete window, for example CAD-programs. Thus other windows should be invisible. The optimum decision is the module on the basis of IBM Lotus.

The additional equipment for teleconferences represents a microphone and the web camera – at cost the decent variant will manage on the average in 500 rbl. of the web-camera, as a rule, are equipped by the built in microphones and are as much as possible simple in connection and adjustment. Average speed of video for this money will make approximately 15-20 shots in a second that more than it is enough for comfortable dialogue.

The kind of a window of the remote computer in a browser window

As a result the tooling set forth above allows to solve many problems. Skype completely compensates a dialogue problem in real time – both in vocal, and in a video format, that is the first problem dares completely. Skype uses the usual data link, and payment of negotiations is carried out on the spent traffic – in connection with universal distribution of limitless tariffs it is possible to consider the given kind of communication almost free: the average price of the limitless tariff in Chelyabinsk makes 300-500 rbl. In aggregate with a plug-in for demonstration of a window of the program of the remote worker and the web camera it is possible to organise high-grade brain storm and check of the performed work in the real time, thus the leading designer does not need even to rise from an armchair. Also probably to use the web camera for video image transfer on which the leader will state the thoughts on a sheet of paper, Skype thus will provide vocal support of discussion and transfer of intermediate CAD-files from freelancer to the leader. The given technical decision will allow to avoid all above described difficulties.

Remote management of an active window of the program

The given prograamno-means help and with such hard case when freelancer co-operates with the leading designer who does not have elementary skills of work on the personal computer. The separate computer with an exit in Interenet, the web camera and a microphone is for this purpose necessary. It is necessary for user to press only the button of inclusion of the computer, further the system starts in an automatic mode: after loading the special script suggests to cause the concrete employee, itself starts a Skype-plug-in for viewing of a window and other auxiliary programs. The web-camera is directed on table area so that well to see everything that will be drawn on a sheet of paper. During such decisions it is possible to achieve the operative control over work of the designer: the leader at any moment can approach and look that occurs to the project in active discussion, operatively to give advice, having outlined sketches on a paper and having checked their realisation. Thus formally work of the leader not changes – it the same as and earlier, supervises work and gives operative commands. We will list lacks. All system is rigidly adhered to the Internet, and its any failure is capable to affect an active part of discussion seriously. However, in most cases failure by duration even in some days is not capable to affect strongly a course of design works – eventually, designers can, having communicated by phone, to begin independent studies and further to use them.

Expenses for equipment by the additional equipment consist only in web-camera purchase.

Safety is guaranteed by VPN-connection, and in case of need Skype can cipher calls and the information handed over through it.

The traffic expense on the average makes 20-30 Mb/ch at moderate quality. In the presence of limitless tariffs this problem disappears at all.

Additional training of users it is not required – Skype and a plug-in are documented and can be easily mastered independently.

As to a choice of the plug-ins, allowing to draw in a program window: first, they in practice appear absolutely unsuitable for the reason that the mouse the person draws not so quickly and accurately as that is demanded by an explanation in designing, and tablets are far not at all. Therefore a pencil and a paper, and image transfer – through the web camera.

All interaction is desirable for organising through an enterprise server, it is preferable if it is a web-server as web assumes universal data exchange plus simplicity of the organisation. Thus on head internal page of the enterprise for remote employees any helpful information, such as news of the company and the other useful internal information can take places. On the basis of a web-server access to enterprise databases in case of need them for remote employees can be organised, but the most important for the designer is means about which help it can represent the work for discussion with the leading designer. Modern means CAD to some extent have means for the publication in format WEB of results of work. Thus, designing – the difficult creative process demanding operative discussion and the control from outside of the leading designer, but absence of the employee at office does not mean that it is impossible to operate and supervise operatively intermediate variants of the project, to introduce corrective amendments, i.e. to be engaged in usual design work, thus dialogue to conduct in the simple standard ways.

1. Virtual design bureau. Means for remote work with the designer//CAD and a drawing, #11, 2008 []
2. Remote work. Software of remote work of the designer [ razd=stat&id=8]

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 07/22/2009

Comments of experts of Челябэнергопроект:
The system administrator
It is not known, whether transfers Skype the confidential data of the user (cases when the volume of the transferred traffic was more necessary), therefore application of this program, instead of specialised decisions, at own risk have been revealed.


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