Overview

The Office Software: Computer monitoring software for small business owners

About theOS

The Office Software (theOS) software is a must-have, multi-functional office productivity tool designed to help managers and employees achieve increased productivity and enhanced security. The Office Software combines over five years of research and development from Pandora Corp's consumer-centric PC Pandora with decades of staff experience in process and resource management, and brings the result to small business environment.

Users

The primary consumer of the theOS system and services are small businesses and medium-sized business with a high level of geographical granularity.

theOS can also be effectively deployed by educational institutions in classroom environments. The software allows instructors to quickly and easily access students' computers using the theOS Remote Access Device, which is included with the standard package.

Benefits

theOS allows employees to measure and report time put into execution of work items at different levels of granularity. This is crucial in multi-tasking environments where employees are not permanently attached to a single project or account. The tracking and reporting engine helps employees allocate their time to maximize the return.

theOS gives managers the ability to:
  • Analyze activities performed by employees and the time spent on different work items, as reported by the employee.
  • Analyze activities (websites visited, time spent on websites, programs used, emails sent and received, etc.) performed by employees and the time spent on different work items, as captured by the monitoring device.
  • Access an employee's or student's desktop in real time.
  • Track computer usage at a group and an individual level.
  • Cross-reference activities reported by an employee with the details captured during the execution of the activities.

Actors

The theOS system has two actors directly involved with the software on a daily basis:
  • The Manager, who oversees products, projects and employees, tracks activities, adjusts settings and generates reports using the managerial interface called theOS Dashboard.
  • The Employee, whose activities are being monitored and measured.
The theOS program has several actors whose needs have been taken in account and addressed:
  • Senior management, consumers of reports generated by managers. The manager has the ability to generate various reports to be consumed by the upper management.
  • IT personnel that deploys and maintains the software.
  • Legal representatives, who might have concerns about applicability of certain features.

Building Blocks

theOS system consists of three major logical components:
  • Covert Activity Monitor (CAM) which monitors various aspects of computer usage and stores the data in a data store for possible review. The goal of this component is to ensure integrity of the sensitive data, help employees retain focus and help managers discover and address work-ethics related incidents (cyber-slacking, harassment, etc.).

    The activity aspects available in the current evolution of theOS are Program Usage, Websites, Web Requests, Keystrokes, Web Searches, Email, Instant Messaging, Peer-to-Peer/File Share and System Interaction.

    In addition to that, the CAM engine allows the a manger to control resources (such as web sites) made available to individual employees or groups. The manager has the ability to completely block or password-protect access to specific websites or entire categories of websites. Similarly, the manager has the ability to mark certain websites as time-wasters and calculate the amount of time an employee wasted on websites designated as time-wasting websites.

  • The Overt Activity Monitor (OAM) which allows employees and managers to track time spent on individual tasks. The goal of this component is to help managers and executives estimate the time, the effort and ultimately the cost of individual projects. This component is especially important in multi-tasking environment where a single employee often works on more than one product during a reporting period.
  • The Real-time Access Device (RAD) which allows a manager real-time access to an employee's desktop. The component is particularly useful during the initial training phase of entry-level employees. Often referred to as 'ghosting,' this component is particularly useful during the initial training phase of entry-level employees, making theOS a desirable and useful tool in the education and training environment.

Each of these logical components spreads among different organizational and physical points (Manager, Employee, Data storage, etc.)