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Conference Explores New Business Opportunities in Virtual Office

December 28, 2011
By Rajani Baburajan - Virtual Office Resource Contributor

 A conference organized by the Avila Business Center, a Portugal-based provider of physical and virtual office spaces, recently in Lisbon concluded that choosing co-working and virtual offices is a rational measure and an intelligent choice for the offices of the future.


The conference, “Your Office Anywhere,” discussed the future of businesses and encouraged the entrepreneurship in this space. The event discussed tendencies, identified investment opportunities in times of economical difficulties and showed path towards the office and professionals of the future.

The event comprised of two panels that discussed the current situation of physical offices renting market and the new technologies which allow a professional to have ones office available anytime anywhere, using technological mobile platforms.

Some of the industry leaders who participated in the Avila Business Center conference include Carolina Rendeiro, CEO of the consultant Right Space Management and director of the Global Workspace Association; Marco Santos, responsible for the Microsoft (News - Alert) Business Office Division in Portugal; Paulo Silva, CEO of Aguirre Newman; and Mariana Seabra from Jones Lang LaSalle.The first panel, “The Offices’ Market in Portugal,” identified a present scenario characterized by a “hostile economical climate” and by a “market affected by austerity measures, low levels of confidence and lack of Prime offer”. These facts lead to a rental retraction and the showing up of clients demanding more Prime quality products at accessible prices.To fight these tendencies, the responsible reminds that owners will have to create incentives to the renting in order to increase occupation, according to Mariana Seabra.

Aguirre Newman pointed to new Human Resources tendencies for the second decade of this century. “The world is demanding for us to reinvent ourselves at a Human Resources level. It is time for mobility, this is the keyword. New work concepts have arisen: interaction, flexibility, communication, sharing”.

The second panel, “Consumption Trends in the Virtual Offices and New Technologies,” was led by Carolina Rendeiro who spoke of her experience in the USA market, where she is since 1978. “Since then, this industry already had many names, but it started with an answering named call centers.”

Regarding the major trend of the moment in the USA, Carolina says the preference companies have on having bigger spaces to offer for Coworking areas. “Starbucks, the Hyatt and Marriott hotels have already demanded information to be part of the GWA and enter in this industry.”

Pedro Coutinho from WATERDOG mobile began to speak of the history of the mobile terminals, which started in 1973 with the mobile phone from Motorola created by Martin Cooper (News - Alert).

With mobile devices and applications, users may control all the business services of the company: ERP, CRM, Project management, documental management and billing, according to Coutinho. “Currently, we are more advanced than getting home and connect to the company’ server. We may have on our Smartphone and tablet all that is kept in the office PC”. 

Rui Lopes, Swipe Twice’ Partner, presented the myOffice app as a case study. The myOffice is a contact and management platform in real time, which sends to the client all information online. According to Lops, in 2012, the app is going to have an optimized version for iPad and the internationalization is going to happen.

Meanwhile, Marco Santos, Microsoft director, showed how easy it is to have collaborative action at a distance with interconnection with different office software, counting with the help of the SharePoint and Lync recent services. “The presence in this conference is a new alliance and that is why we have accepted the challenge.”

For Marcos Santos, the future of productivity has everything to do with the offices. “We have to be productive apart from the devices we use, to use the information the more comfortable way: on-premises or in the cloud, or a mix of both. There must be a redefinition of the concept of productivity, a major easiness to access content, to share with clients and colleagues.”

In a related development in the industry, recently Phone.com (News - Alert) announced that Virtual-PBX.ChooseWhat.com has rated Phone.com’s Virtual Office 300 plan as one of the highest quality services offered on its Web site.

The virtual office capabilities offered by Phone.com include unlimited extensions, voicemail to text transcription, voicemail alerts, and unlimited voicemail storage for 90 days, company officials said.


Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco


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