Once upon a time my colleague sat next to me

You probably know the feeling: You get the urge to drink an after work beer with your team, but there is a significant problem: Your co-workers are located in an office in Dubai and instead of an after work beer, all you get is a paltry beer emoticon with a message saying ‘Have a nice weekend’. In the last couple of decades, changes within business communication have occurred and as the after work beer has changed into an after work beer emoticon, a countertrend has started to appear, which makes teams seek a more social relation within communication solutions back. But it is not as easy as it may sound, and even though technology has helped create virtual rooms across locations, most communication solutions fail to make team members feel socially connected to each other.

Four decades of developing communication tools for shipping

As a provider of communication solutions for shipping teams through the last four decades, Nordic IT has seen this change evolve, and has always been aware of providing the industry with new and innovative solutions to any issue that might appear. The journey has been great, taking us all the way through telex, fax and now reinventing email for shipping teams working across locations. But during the last couple of years, we have seen a significant increase in the demand for a more social communication solution, to make up for the lack of physical social interaction, when working together across destinations.

Related: How to make virtual teams work.

Since the early days of the Nordic IT journey, we have specialised in shipping teams and have always been aware of issues that might occur, when working with global teams, who needs to communicate clearly together from one part of the world to another. So, let’s take a few steps back to see how Nordic IT has addressed the above issue.

Back in the early 80s, most shipping teams communicated through a Telex. It was a long and inefficient process, in which shipping associates could only send one message to each other at a time through a Telex Machine. But shipping teams were in desperate need of a faster and more efficient way of communicating and the founders of Nordic IT came up with a new idea. They invented a communication tool called a Telex-Interface, which combined the Telex and the computer, giving shipping teams the opportunity to save crucial time, when sending messages across offices.

As time went by, email began to collaborate with the internet and suddenly email was an open door for everybody to use, which Nordic IT quickly acknowledged. Within a short amount of time, the telex-interface was redefined into an email system, providing shipping teams with the best opportunity to work even faster and more efficient, when working across destinations.

Telex facts

Telex is a network similar to a telephone network. It allows people to send text-based messages from one Telex Machine to another. The Telex Machine’s appearance is very similar to an electronic typewriter, but is broadcasts the messages through the Telex Network. 

A countertrend appears

Today, most shipping teams know how challenging it can be to operate globally, and due to four decades of evolving communication environments, almost every trace of social communication within businesses has been erased. As mentioned earlier, a countertrend has begun to evolve and the transformation from physical social interaction to virtual communication has now started to rebound. This is why Nordic IT has spent the last couple of years developing an intelligent email system, which accommodate the evolving countertrend, trying to give back global teams an opportunity to regain some of the lost social interaction.

Related: Q&A with Nordic IT Development.

Imagine this scenario: You are working in Singapore and your co-worker is in Copenhagen. With a normal email system this could leave a big social gap. But with MARK5 it is different: With an integrated team functionality, global teams can now work across locations and still have the opportunity to follow each others every move. With the automatic synchronising system, team members get to share and register every single move, for a constant and complete overview of what co-workers are working on. This provides team members the best of both worlds; still being fast and efficient but with an important social touch.
So next up is just to find a way to socialise through email. That might be a hard task, though. But it is never to say, what is going to happen next within the development of communication solutions for shipping teams. One day it might even be a much more social environment than today. And one thing is for sure: At Nordic IT we will keep trying to improve teamwork – even when your work from different locations.

Related: 5 ways to optimise virtual teams.

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