UK charity Christian Aid is using compression software to expand its presence overseas.
The technology allows staff working abroad to access the same data as colleagues based at the charity’s London head office.
Christian Aid wants half of its staff to work away from head office by 2008 and aims to move its decision-making process overseas.
The software compression system, supplied by iOra and used alongside Microsoft SharePoint content management software, provides remote staff with access to decision-making support systems and overcomes problems with poor connectivity and power availability.
The system replicates parts of the document library, says Steven Buckley, head of the charity’s common knowledge scheme.
‘Changes on the system are synchronised, but with the new system it is highly compressed, which means replication of large amounts of data does not require high connectivity,’ he said.
The software has been rolled out to travelling and local staff in Kenya, Honduras and Tajikistan, and will now be extended to more than 60 countries.
Analyst Bloor research director Philip Howard says compression should improve performance and be further boosted by the availability of better products.
‘When reading the data off-disk you are reading much less so it saves more time than decompressing it,’ he said.