TALK | Skype general manager Andrus Järg: Cloud as the safest method of consumerization

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Best of HR –®Andrus Järg is General Manager of Skype Estonia. And find: The future lies in the cloud. What that looks like, he tells in an interview. Skype, which is now part of Microsoft, is considered the Estonian flagshipCompany: The software was developed by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn.

Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Skype: further than many others

Employees no longer get service phones, but use their own smartphones, notebooks and tablets at work. So far, the employees of Skype get still devices from companies, with which they can then log in at any time in the company network. For Andrus Järg, general manager of Skype Estonia, however, the future is clearly in the cloud: it has to be so secure that it does not matter which device is used to access the data.

Järg is therefore further ahead than many other company directors - and this also applies to work organization. There is a sauna with WiFi in Skype in Talinn and Järg himself says: “We have an open office here, no closed rooms, and I also work in the open office. This enables me to communicate very well with my employees and also strengthens cooperation between them. The best motivation for me is other people. So when I notice that my productivity is declining, I try to exchange ideas with my employees and we try to find solutions to the problem together. ”

Freedom of choice increases productivity

The danger of mixing work and private life? According to a survey by IT company Citrix Systems, 31 percent of companies surveyed around the world already have bring-your-own-device policies that govern how employees can use their own devices for work. More 37 percent are planning to implement it over the next two years. This is not only cheaper for the companies at first glance, the employees are also happy:

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A multi-year study carried out by TNS Global Research on behalf of Dell and Intel shows that freedom of choice in technology increases employee productivity by more consciously, more freely, and more flexibly adapted to their needs for a terminal.

So far: strict separation of work and private

In fact, Consumerization, as the trend is also called, raises a number of technical and legal questions in this form: First and foremost, the work and private devices must be strictly separated.

If, for example, professional data are synchronized with private contacts, calendars or cloud services, the company data are in danger, and vice versa, privately used applications represent a considerable security risk for the IT system of the company.

Different user profiles required

Various technical solutions are available for this problem: To install an application on the devices, which manages an encrypted data container with all business data and accesses. The Frauenhofer Institute has developed such software with BizzTrust.

Another option is to install different virtual machines. However, this requires deep intervention in the operating system, which can make the manufacturing warranty go out and require special drivers that are not available for all devices. Newer smartphones finally have the solution already on board: Here you can easily switch between different user profiles.

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Alternative Cloud?

Another option is to keep the company data on the company's servers during processing, or store the data in a cloud that is secure. This is also the solution that Skype Manager Järg suggests.

However, a working Internet connection is always necessary, which can not be guaranteed in rural areas or abroad. In addition, there are still concerns about data security.

Skype Manager Järg therefore has a simple answer for people who ask about the risks: “It is natural that people are afraid of new developments. It was the same with the computer - and that is normal today. It will be the same with cloud computing. ”

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Andrus Järg on personal productivity

Here is a short interview that I had with Andrus Järg about his personal productivity:

What do you do first when you start your working day - at home or in the office?

I usually start my work in the office at 8.30 a.m., but it can also happen that I start at home because as an international company we work in different Zeitzones work. First, I check the various communication channels and edit all of them, for example eMails, which have accumulated overnight - of course, there are also many messages that arrive when I'm not working.

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What distinguishes your working style?

Perhaps the most important feature of my work style is that I like communicating with other people. I like to get feedback and I always try to make decisions in a team.

How - by which tools and methods - do you increase your productivity?

I use videoconferencing as often as possible. Even if the other side does not turn on the video function: I always start calls with a video. For us, a video call is something natural, we also conduct interviews via Skype. In addition, as we develop software, we use many web development tools.

What do you do when productivity drops?

The best motivation for me are other people. So when I notice that my productivity is slowing down, I'm looking for an exchange with my co-workers and we're working together to find solutions to the problem.

Where do you work most productively?

I enjoy working in our office. We have an open office here, no enclosed space, and I also work in an open office. This allows me a very good communication with my staff and also strengthens the cooperation with each other.

Is not such an open office disturbing the concentration?

Of course, there are times when you have to focus on specific tasks. We have special rooms for this or we can work from home - we do not have specific office hours, but people can work where and when they want.

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How many hours do you sleep per night?

To be productive, I need my 8 hours of sleep. Of course, there are situations, such as meetings or business trips, where you have to make do with less. However, I have found that it is necessary to separate work and private life to get a balance. I am a family man and have two children whom I try to dedicate as much time as possible, and whom I also want to live a regular rhythm of life.

What else do you think about productivity?

It is sometimes difficult to keep the line between work and private life. But I communicate to my coworkers that they only disturb me in my spare time in emergencies. Of course, there are also weekends to work on, that can not be prevented.

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